Masonic Angels step up for kids in Hyannis

There is a great need at Hyannis West. 84% of the school’s 331 students come from low-income households and 84.3% of the students receive free or reduced lunch.
Hyannis West Elementary School social worker Jennifer Malone on the left and principal Kathi Amato on the right show off one of the Laptops for KidZ computers placed at the school by the Masonic Angel Fund.

Masons Support Hyannis West with food, laptops

The Masonic Angel Foundation has placed eight Laptops for KidZ computers at Hyannis West Elementary School since January. The Masons have also delivered 40 Beehive Food Packages to the school since March. The laptops and food packages are underwritten by the Masonic Angel Fund chapter operated by Mariners Lodge in Cotuit.

There is a great need at Hyannis West. 84% of the school’s 331 students come from low-income households and 84.3% of the students receive free or reduced lunch, according to data published by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 92.4% of the students are classified by DESE as “high needs”.

“Hyannis West is a challenge. We’re trying to focus as many resources there as possible,” says Foundation president Robert Fellows. “Last week we started applying for grants specifically to increase the number of monthly Beehive Food Packages we can provide to HyWest.”

“Overwhelmed with the generosity”

Hyannis West school social worker Jennifer Malone is effusive in her appreciation for the Masonic Angels’ support of the Hyannis West community:

“The families at Hyannis West have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the Masonic Angel Fund since the school began this collaboration. The students who were elected to receive the laptops have shown their appreciation in several ways. Some have written notes, others have shared stories about how great the computer is and others have simply said thank you with a giant smile on their face.

As a staff we are elated to have the support of the Masonic Angel Fund. Assisting families with essential food and household items through the Beehive program has given us an opportunity to help some families who may otherwise struggle to provide such items for their children.”

Community Support Needed

Laptops placed at Hyannis West were donated by International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Masonic Health System and Partners Health Care. The fair market value of eight refurbished laptops is between $1,600 and $2,400 according to Mario Meré, director of the Laptops for KidZ Project. MAF is a non-profit member of the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher Program.

If a Barnstable area business wishes to donate a laptop specifically for Hyannis West they can indicate that preference when they turn over the machine. Assuming the computer is viable to refurbish, it will be allocated to HyWest.

Beehive Food Packages cost $10 per month. They consist of high-volume food and household items purchased through Dollar Tree. “We try to buy the packages that provide the most servings. There are a lot of meals in a Beehive Food Package,” reports Mason and Beehive volunteer Adam Menges.

A $100 donation will provide a monthly food package for one Hyannis West family for the ten month school year. The Foundation is submitting grant requests to Hyannis area corporate charity funds and charitable foundations to expand the Beehive footprint at Hyannis West. As many as 100 families at the school could use this type of food assistance.

For more information on how you can support the Masonic Angels’ work at Hyannis West Elementary School, please contact [email protected]

Almost Fifteen Years of Giving

The Masonic Angel Fund program is approaching its 15th anniversary this November. The Masonic Angel Foundation now oversees over 150 chapters in 12 states. The program is operated entirely by volunteers, with no paid staff whatsoever. Operating overhead is funded by member dues and donations made to the operating fund. 100% of funds donated for MAF charitable programs “goes to the kids”, according to Foundation leadership.

The Masonic Angels have placed 556 computers with schools since the launched the Laptops for KidZ Project in May 2010.

950 Beehive Food Packages have been delivered to schools since they started the Beehive Food Program in May 2012.

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