Masonic Angels wrap up busy holiday season

Winter coats, hats, mittens and more
Masonic Angel Fund volunteer Bill Stoeckert delivers winter coats and snow pants to Cape Cod Children’s Place staff members Karen Burns, Anna Swaby and Liz Carns. MAF photo.

Masonic Angel Fund Chapters on the Mid and Lower Cape wrapped up a busy holiday season on Christmas Eve.  Volunteers with MAF chapters in Orleans, Wellfleet, Yarmouth and Harwich worked right through Christmas Eve taking care of last minute requests.

Some of the items delivered in recent weeks include:

  • 270 winter coats
  • 180 hats
  • 180 mittens
  • 21 pairs of snow pants
  • 34 backpacks
  • 100 teddy bears

Community Support

In the Nauset Regional School District, all of the winter outerwear was purchased by a grant from the Virginia Cook Trust held by The Federated Church of Orleans.  Hats and mittens were purchased with a donation by the family of a deceased Mason.  Backpacks and snow pants were covered by individual donations.  Additionally, 100 teddy bears were donated by MAF co-founder Robert Fellows for young kids served by Cape Cod Children’s Place and Nauset Youth Alliance.

Coats, hats and mittens in the Dennis-Yarmouth region’s elementary schools were underwritten by grants from the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, one of the Scottish Rite Masonic Bodies in Boston, the Masonic Angel Foundation and monies raised by the Yarmouth Masonic Angel Fund.

At deadline, the Pilgrim Masonic Angel Fund in Harwich was still chasing down the last couple of winter coats for children at Harwich Elementary School.

Thrifty Shoppers

The Masonic Angel Foundation is known for its thrifty shoppers.  In the Nauset region, the chapters in Wellfleet and Orleans paid an average of $17.88 per coat.  Coats were purchased from The Clothes Den in Orleans, kmart.com and kohls.com.  “Dennis Talbot at The Clothes Den was extremely generous with us,” reported MAF President Robert Fellows.  “This local business provided us with over 60 coats at a very, very low cost.” 

Staples in Orleans provided 34 backpacks, left over from back-to-school, at less than 10% of their original price.  Many small items were sourced through Dollar Tree, which has a long history of partnership with the Masonic Angel Foundation.

In the Dennis-Yarmouth region, MAF volunteers sourced 150 winter coats from K-Mart in Hyannis at less than half their retail price.  Foundation-side volunteers also sourced snow pants from kmart.com at a 50% discount as well as the last few winter coats at up to 70% off retail on kohls.com.

Every Item Brand New

“Every coat, hat, mitten, backpack and teddy bear is brand new,” boasted Masonic Angel Foundation board secretary Mario Meré of Yarmouth Port.  “The kids we serve all too often end up wearing hand-me-downs or items that don’t look very new.  MAF always provides brand new articles of clothing, with tags still attached.  Knowing that “this is just for me” does wonders for a child’s fragile self-esteem.”

The Masons never learn the identity of the children who receive MAF assistance.  “We work through our local schools and social service agencies.  The families know that the Masonic Angels provided the items but we don’t know the recipients at all”, explains Mr. Meré.  “This protects everyone’s privacy and makes it much easier for the schools to work with the Masonic Angel Fund.”  

School staff determine which kids are eligible and submit lists of size/gender to local MAF volunteers.

And the work continues

The Masons do not hibernate the winter away.  “We will see a surge of requests after the Christmas school vacation once teachers see who did and did not receive necessary items as holiday gifts.  We are here to help whenever the schools and the kids need us,” declares MAF volunteer Adam Menges. 


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