Charity has no substitute in Freemasonry. It has deeper roots in a freemason’s heart and certainly needs to be practiced by all masons. The solace it provides can be felt instantly with the blessings of the almighty and that unfailingly has the soothing effect on mind, body and soul. To quote some excerpts from one of the ritual manuals which emphasize for providing relief to a brother who may be in distress, would be worthwhile to mention. “A brother’s distress may arise from different causes. Firstly from the circumstances of difficulty, wherein he may need advice. The brother hailed would do so as may be in his power. Secondly from excessive poverty, and as wise stewards of the manifold gifts of God, we should always have a hand and heart ready to help”. Therefore, charity is undoubtedly, very essential for a freemason and serves as an important ornamental part of Freemasonry.
Annually, Winter Garden Lodge chooses an organization that needs help and/or is providing outstanding service to our community. Our current charity is the UCP – Winter Garden Chapter. Here is an excerpt from their website:
CHILDREN WITH AND WITHOUT SPECIAL NEEDS HAVE A NEW SCHOOL AND THERAPY CENTER IN WEST ORANGE
More than 300 children and their families to receive services annually
ORLANDO, Fla. (May 3, 2013) – Teachers, parents, children, community leaders and business partners celebrated the relocated UCP of Central Florida campus in Winter Garden on Wednesday, May 1 at 9:00 a.m. The new campus located at 1297 Winter Garden Vineland Road, Winter Garden, FL relocated to allow for more children to receive services. The 12,000 square-foot building allows UCP to serve children in school from toddlers to 2nd grade and offer physical, speech and occupational therapy to children ages birth to 21. The school will add 3rd grade in fall 2014. The opening celebration included speakers, a ribbon cutting, performances with UCP’s children and tours of the new campus. “Our focus at UCP is to help every child reach their full potential and live life without limits. Our new campus allows us to increase the number of children we can serve in West Orange County,” said Dr. Ilene Wilkins, CEO/President of UCP of Central Florida. “The vision of this new location was only made possible with the support of so many community partners who graciously joined us for the Grand Opening Ceremony.” Some of the participants in this landmark celebration included Michael Bollhoefer, City Manager of Winter Garden, Orange County Commissioner Scott Boyd, Robert Drane, President of R.A. Rogers Construction Company, and Paul Brown, Chairman of UCP’s Board of Directors. All of UCP’s Winter Garden students were in attendance with a special ABC song performance as well as a ribbon cutting with the kindergarten classroom. UCP offers a holistic approach to providing support, education and therapy to children with and without disabilities. Children with all types of disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, developmental delays, visual and hearing impairments and children without disabilities benefit from an inclusive educational environment that helps all children reach their full potential.
About UCP of Central Florida:
UCP of Central Florida is the experts for children with special needs and provides support, education, and therapy services for children, with and without disabilities, ages birth through 21. Services are offered at seven locations throughout Central Florida: downtown Orlando, East Orlando (2), Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Pine Hills and Winter Garden.
More than 3,000 children and their families received services provided by UCP last year.
For more information about programs and services, visit www.ucpcfl.org or call (407) 852-3300.
At our 2nd stated meeting in September 2014, we presented donations to the PTA of four local elementary schools as part of our Adopt a School Charity Program. The schools that were selected were Tildenville Elementary, Dillard Elementary, West Orange Montessori Charter, and Oakland Charter Elementary. We had a good attendance at the event and the donations were greatly appreciated. We hope to have a write up in the west orange times soon about the event. It was the start of our expansion of our Adopt a School/ Adopt a Teacher Program and we look forward to the new opportunities to serve and support these four local elementary schools.