REPORT OF MINNESOTA MASONIC CHARITIES
To: The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge A.F. & A. M. of Minnesota:
Minnesota Masonic Charities has as a principal aim “To be your Charity of choice because of the difference we make”. Such a goal naturally elicits a question: How do you show that you (MMC) have made a difference? The easy answer is to simply state that our actions in providing care for the elderly, speech and language treatment for young children, cancer research, medical research for childhood diseases, research and treatment for the developing brain and dozens of other charitable actions makes a difference to all those who have, in some way, been positively affected by our philanthropy. While that is a simple answer and it is demonstrably true, its simplicity understates the magnitude of our work.
An elderly person and their family naturally seek to find a safe, caring, comfortable place to live. In Minnesota, there are many facilities that may offer the needed services, however, Minnesota Masonic Home has now been recognized by Newsweek Magazine as the “Best Nursing Home in Minnesota”. Such a designation recognizes that a facility must offer much more that a minimum standard of care. To be the best you must have a kind, caring, highly professional staff, great facilities and environment, exceptional rehabilitation services, wonderful food and engaging programs. All of these attributes are in place at the Minnesota Masonic Home. You may be justly proud of the association of the word “Masonic” with high quality and compassionate care. The Masonic Home is making that difference.
The Minnesota Masonic Children’s Clinic for Communication Disorders gives children a voice. A child who never before could say “I love you” to their mother or father finds the voice to do so. Families who have a child in need to treatment, find a place where their child will receive state of the art treatment regardless of their ability to pay. Each year more than 75 children receive speech and language services and over the past 30 years nearly 2,400 children have been treated. That is making a difference.
The Minnesota Masonic Charities Scholarship Program is consistently ranked in the top five of all scholarship programs in the State. Each year we provide scholarships worth more than $1,500,000. Of that total amount, about $200,000 comes from Lodges and OES Chapters, which is then matched by MMC. The decisions regarding scholarship winners is made entirely by the local Lodge or Chapter thus ensuring local control. The Matching Scholarship program adds greatly to the impact on the lives of deserving students through monetary aid in their quest for more education and a better life. This year we have added a new scholarship, the “Selfless Scholarship”, which is unique in the world of scholarships. Simply put, the Selfless Scholarship is a scholarship whereby a student nominates another student for a scholarship and describes why that nominee would be a worthy recipient. Academic achievement is not the prerequisite for the scholarship, but rather the quality and character of the nominee is most important. If the nominee is selected to receive an award, he or she, receives an award of $2,500 and the nominator receives an award in the same amount. The Selfless Scholarship has generated great interest and enthusiasm. Another example of the difference we make.
Our support of the Masonic Cancer Center, the Masonic Children’s Hospital and the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain puts Minnesota Masonic Charities at the forefront of sponsored research, care and treatment for diseases and illnesses affecting thousands of Minnesotans and millions more nationally and internationally. Our aim has always been to provide support for ground breaking research that would be broadly shared so that our philanthropic support would have the greatest possible benefit to the greatest number of people. That is making a difference.
In the coming years Minnesota Masonic Charities will always seek to be “Your Charity of choice because of the difference we make.”
Respectfully and Fraternally Submitted.
Eric J. Neetenbeek, PGM
President and CEO