Freemasonry has been characterized as fraternity devoted to high ideals and admirable benevolence. Community service and charitable work are, in fact, principal Masonic activities.
Easily the best-known is the world's largest single charitable institution, the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children and Burns Institutes, which are located throughout Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.
Other Masonic bodies support their own statewide and national foundations for research, teaching, and treatment or rehabilitation services for children with learning or speech disorders, cancer, visual problems, and need of dental restoration.
Masons everywhere assist distressed brother Masons and their families. They also sponsor or support local projects ranging from the recognition of the achievements of others to scholarship programs. Masons serve as community volunteers and quietly extend help for countless thousands-from providing a child with shoes to assisting the handicapped.
Altogether, the budgets for these community services exceed two million dollars per day, which Masons support without regard to the Masonic affiliation of their recipients. With this spirit of working together to serve mankind, brotherhood works well, indeed.