(Treasurer: William R. Singleton-Hope-Lebanon No. 7; Founding and current Secretary of The Eagle Lodge No.1893; and Junior Warden: Irish Affinity Lodge, U.D.)
Freemasons participate in our fraternity in several different ways. Several belong to additional Masonic organizations like the Scottish Rite and York Rite. The Royal Arch, part of the York Rite, recently held a day of service to give back to their community. Masons from Federal Lodge #1, Potomac Lodge #5, Singleton Lodge #7, Washington Day Light Lodge #14, Albert Pike Lodge #33, Jerusalem Lodge #3000, Naval Lodge #4, Eagle Lodge #1893, Irish Affinity Lodge UD, East Gate Lodge #34, L'Haitienne Lodge # 925, Petworth Lodge # 47, Sojourner Kilwinning Lodge No. 1798 and Fiat Lux Lodge No. 1717 came together for this day.
Meeting at Singleton Masonic Temple the Masons performed a number of different service projects for worthy DC charities including Martha’s Table, Children’s Inn at National Institute of Health, and the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Martha’s Table provides several different services, including after-school enrichment programs, and a series of healthy markets located in “food deserts” in DC that are set up to fight food insecurity in these communities. Two critical food insecurity programs they run include McKenna’s Wagon, which is a mobile soup kitchen serving people across Washington, DC, and Saturday Seniors, which brings meals to seniors in their homes. In addition to the healthy hot meal, they also provide sandwiches. To help Martha’s Table in their laudable efforts, the Royal Arch Masons of DC switched from trowels to butter knives, and made almost 200 sandwiches to be passed out to the less fortunate in our community.
Children and their families come from around the world to be treated for disease at the National Institute of Health. To make families feel more at home NIH operates a lodging facility for children and their families, called the Children’s Inn. The Inn has a program where the children staying receive a small gift in their mail box.
For this organization, the Grand Chapter decided to donate to each child a teddy bear bank. The Grand Chapter painted over 70 different bears. Some bears were pandas, grizzlies and some were fanciful. Each bank was given a penny to help start the child’s savings. Plus for those who know something about Royal Arch Masons, we like our pennies.
Little Sisters of the Poor are a group of amazing religious sisters. They provide care for elderly and infirm people at their Jeanne Jugan residence. In keeping with the patriotic theme of the July 4th holiday, the Royal Arch Masons made each resident a patriotic sun catcher to help brighten their room.
In addition to doing these service projects, the Royal Arch provided Masons from all of these different DC Lodges the opportunity to share brotherhood, hear about the programs their Lodge is undertaking, and other upcoming opportunities for partnership and collaboration.
This day of service helped to connect the hundreds of Royal Arch Masons across DC in one unified day of service to give back to the community and leave their mark on their fellow man. Plans are already underway for next year’s!