The University Lodge #141 Freemasons have been a fixture at the University District Street Fair. Over the last 5+ years, the Lodge members can be found selling balloons for kids – and they donate the profits from their sales to charity. This year, we were so grateful to be the recipients of their generosity.
The group found the fundraiser easy to put together, since they had worked with the University District Street Fair before. They also got some help from other organizations to make their fundraiser a success – the helium for the balloons came from another group at cost. They also had their members sign up for shifts for the Street Fair booth, so everyone had a chance to get involved.
You may be wondering – how did the Lodge get involved with us? “We got introduced to the House thanks to one of our members, who has a relative that volunteers regularly at the House,” says Ren Hamil, the group’s Worshipful Master. Since the introduction, the Masons have contributed in many different ways to the House, including hosting pizza nights and movie nights. “Everybody likes coming to the house – it feels good to serve people, and it’s great to be able to do something that you can see makes such a difference to families, even if it is just serving pizza,” says Hamil. “The House gives a tour to any new members who come to serve on pizza night, and it is always so helpful for our members. They really get a sense of the breadth of what the House offers to families.”
The University Lodge #141’s mission also dovetails nicely with the mission at the Ronald McDonald House. Ren explains that “like nearly any other fraternal or service organization, the goal of the Masons can be simply but accurately distilled into the Golden Rule: treat other as you’d hope to be treated if you were in their place. There’s a ceremony at the end of every meeting of Masons where the Master admonishes the members on the importance of hard work and charity, and ends by reminding them that ‘these generous principles extend further, for every human being has a claim on your kind offices: do good unto all.’ For all of our talk about kindness and brotherly love, at some point we need to swap our ceremonial aprons for kitchen aprons and get our hands dirty actually doing something to build the world up. Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House give us that chance to practice what we preach and offer a hand up to people who find themselves in that position where they could use a break.”
When asked what he would tell other groups interested in getting involved with the House, Ren advises other groups to “just get started and do something – anything. There are so many possibilities depending on your time and resources.” If you’re interested in hosting your own fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House, be sure to check out our page for suggestions and helpful tips.