A fundamental activity of all Masonic bodies is the practice of charity, and the Grand Chapter of New York is no exception. It is proud to sponsor three particular charities. The good news is, over the years our Companions have been extremely generous. Indeed, in the past five years annual contributions to our charities have been around $60,000 a year! Our charitable funds total several million dollars. In New York State our three Charity Programs are:
THE ZERUBBABEL SOCIETY
Finally, the Zerubbabel Society was introduced a few years ago, and has proved so popular it has been taken up by a number of other States. A Companion commits to donating $1,000 to charity, at a rate of $100 a year (or more if he can afford it).
In return he is presented with an attractive jewel which he may wear at all Royal Arch functions; and a pin with a red ruby-like jewel, which is replaced by a diamond-like jewel once he has completed his pledge. Every year there is a champagne Reception held on the Thursday evening of the Annual Communication in Albany (before the GHP Banquet), where the members can get together and socialize. This alone has been responsible for locking in a charity cash flow of several hundred thousand dollars over the coming years! To join this illustrious Society, simply complete the form on this page and send it to the Grand Secretary’s Office with your first installment. A Grand Line Officer will present you with your Jewel at a convenient time in your Chapter.
ROYAL ARCH SCHOLARSHIP FUND
This provides scholarships of $500 and $1,000 to children, grandchildren and families of Royal Arch Companions. This includes Companions or their wives who are going back to school. Money is raised through the sale of the Royal Arch seals, and through the twice yearly fundraising activities of the Charities Committee. The pages of Royal Arch seals were designed by one of our talented Brazilian Companions a few years ago. They cost a mere $2 a sheet, and every cent goes directly to scholarships. The seals can be used on any letter and make a colorful addition to envelopes! Those seeking a scholarship are asked to complete an Application Form between January 1st and April 1st. They are awarded on scholastic achievement, character and financial need.
The forms need to be sent the Charity Chairman in a timely manner, and the Committee determines how the scholarships are awarded. To avoid any possibility of favoritism, the applications are assigned numbers so the Committee has no idea who they are considering. The scholarships are presented in July, at several locations across the State in tandem with Grand Lodge. To apply for a scholarship for a family member, download the Application Form on this page, and have the person applying complete it as quickly as possible. The annual deadline is the end of April. Make sure you complete it accurately – follow the instructions! An incomplete Application will be automatically rejected.
MEDICAL RELIEF FUND
This Fund, formerly called the Diseases of the Lungs Fund, was initially set up to help those suffering from the effects of illnesses associated with such professions as mining and trades involving the use of asbestos. However, since those professions are no longer prominent in our State, the focus on this fund has expanded to any diseases – including cancer – which affect the lungs. It is available to any Companion or direct family who is in financial need due to the costs associated with such a disease, including transportation to and from hospital, CPAP equipment, nursing visits and similar needs. This fund is paid as a monthly grant, and the individual’s situation is reviewed on an annual basis. A couple of years ago this charity funded the installation of an oxygen system to all the beds in the hospital facility. Anyone who knows of a Companion suffering from any disease affecting the lungs is encouraged to bring it to the attention of their High Priest, who can find the necessary forms on our website and begin the process to bring a measure of financial relief to him and his family. It is expected that this fund will further broaden its scope over time, subject to legal restrictions on use. If a New York Companion or a member of a New York Companion’s immediate family might benefit from this fund, please download the form on this page, complete it and submit it to your High Priest..
MEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION
This supports charitable activities associated with the Medical Research Facility in Utica and other medical facilities as well. The Grand Lodge maintains an extensive campus in Utica, with buildings dedicated to Grand Lodge and the various Concordant Bodies, as well as the Thompkins Chapel, a synagogue, a conference hall and stage. It also maintains a Retirement Home, a managed Senior Healthcare Facility, a Hospital and a state-of-the-art Research Center. The Grand Chapter paid for the construction of a two floor Royal Arch Medical Research Wing, and over the past decades has donated over a million dollars to medical research.
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE
The Charity Chairman or DDGHP will tell you about the events planned for your District. Remember, you can purchase the Royal Arch seals at any time for a cost of $2 a page. Companions will also receive a letter or email from the Chairman of the Charities Committee twice a year, soliciting funds. Donations may be earmarked for a specific charity, or given to the GHP Discretionary Fund, which he will assign to each charity according to its immediate need. We will shortly be putting up a PayPal link on this page for your convenience, so that you may contribute at any time without having to write checks or send letters.