Masonic Hurricane Relief

Below is an email from James E. Fisher, DDGM, Masonic District No. 30-E, regarding hurricane relief for Coastal Bend area Masons by the Grand Lodge of Texas. The application form is at the bottom of this page.

Right Worshipful Sirs and other Masonic officers,
 
As a follow up to R:W: Underwood’s email distribution of the Masonic Relief form, and this earlier email I sent out.  After having an opportunity to review the forms I was not exactly sure how the forms were to be applied, and how this message from the Grand Master worked.  As is goes, the devil is in the details.  I followed up with R:W: Underwood and compared notes with another DDGM (R:W: Vance) who had also talked to R:W: Underwood.  I believe this email will provide the answers to some questions we all might share regarding the forms & the process.  I will try to be as brief as possible while still giving you the answers you may need.   For your convince the updated form sent by R:W: Underwood is attached.  If you’ve already sent in the original form I’m told that it will be fine, you don’t need to provide another one.  I hope this additional information is helpful.  
 
(1)  The Grand Lodge assisted relief is essentially two separate situations.  For the sake of reference call the first a Tier 1request.   Should a member or lodge need immediate short term relief the Grand Secretary’s office stands ready to send a check for up to $500 IMMEDIATELY.  THEY WILL BE IN THE OFFICE TAKING CARE OF ANY THAT CAN BE PROCESSED TOMORROW/MONDAY.  These checks will go out in Tuesday’s mail.  ACT NOW.
 
(a) Tier 1 Assistance - the critical information needs to be conveyed to the District Deputy.  The individual needs only to supply: His Full Name, Member Number, Current Mailing Address (can be lodge or other if displaced), Phone Number, Lodge No. and District No.  The DDGM reviews the information and the DDGM “recommends” it in an email to Grand Secretary Orville O’ Neil to orville@grandsecretaryoftx.org to formalize the request.   The DDGM can take the information over the phone, or passed along from another source e.g. WM, Secretary, friend that is in contact with the member. HOWEVER - IF THE REQUEST DOES NOT GO THROUGH THE DDGM TO THE GRAND SECRETARY IT WILL NOT BE PROCESSED.   The DDGM Recommendation is based upon his best knowledge of the situation.  i.e. if he knows the individual personally, or if he can be vouched for by a member or officer of the lodge.  Remember, we are here to help, not hinder a brother in need.  Trust is one thing that bonds Masons everywhere; be careful, but not obstructive in the process.   Also as a point of information, the DDGM should copy the lodge (W.M. & Secty) if the request does not come through them.
 
(2) Tier 2 Assistance – this is for longer term request, and those requests require the 3-page set of forms in the attachment.  One form for the Applicant, one for the Lodge and the third for the DDGM.  These forms are NOT used for Tier one requests.   A Tier 2 request is for members who need relief from monthly notes, rebuilding, medical, etc.  Such request may be for much greater amounts and therefore require more information for those commitments.  That process requires lodge review/approval and time to fully complete.  It’s not a quick fix.  Nor is it guaranteed to be approved in all or part.   
NOTE:  On the DDGM form, item 2 Insurance – this information can be given by the Applicant on his form in Item 5, Sources of Income. 
 
OTHER: 
(1)  A member can apply for either or both requests, to the point they don’t overlap.  
(2)  If the requestor is NOT A CURRENT MEMBER relief cannot be offered
(3)  Donations via the Masonic Service Association are fully tax deductible.  It’s a 501(c)3.   Grand Lodge receives the full amount of the contribution, fees are not deducted. 
(4) A Tier 1 request DO NOT require a vote of the lodge
(5) Tier 2 requests, Item 12 can be close estimates if, due to the storm, exact numbers are not easily available
 
Fraternally,
James E. Fisher
DDGM, Masonic District No. 30-E
 
From: Jim Fisher (home) [mailto:HoustonHistory@comcast.net
Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2017 5:38 PM
Subject: Harvey & Masonic Relief
 
Right Worshipful Sirs and other Masonic officers,
 
Grand Master Kirby has been reaching out today and may have already spoken to many of you.   He is trying to spread the following message relating to Hurricane Harvey. 
 
(1)  The Grand Lodge of Texas has worked out a relief arrangement with the Masonic Service Association for donations.   This agreement will allow donations to be made through this source and then distributed by the Grand Lodge of Texas.   See information below regarding those donations. 
(2)  Donations can also be made via the Grand Lodge of Texas website at http://grandlodgeoftexas.org/blue_lodge/hurricane-harvey-grand-lodge-texas-masonic-relief-fund/  This may be the most efficient way for Texas Lodges to make donations to our region.
(3) Masonic Relief Requests:  The GLofTX is prepared to provide immediate relief to needy members or lodges.   A form will be available on the Grand Lodge website very soon.  This form can be used to make the request for relief due to Hurricane Harvey.   Requests can be made for immediate relief for up to $500, if the situation so requires.   Distribution will based on the specific needs of the Masons and their families in this region.  
 (4)  The Grand Master would like his District Deputy Grand Masters to help communicate this information to the Worshipful Masters and lodge Secretaries across our region.   Please pass this information along to them as quickly as possible.   Also advise W. Master’s & Secretary’s to direct lodges that might contacted them directly from other Jurisdictions to send the contact to these sites to make their donations.    
Please use any resource at your disposal to communicate this information to the lodges and members of our area.  
 
Fraternally,
James E. Fisher
DDGM, Masonic District No. 30-E
 
 
Masonic Service Association
Texas Hurricane Disaster Appeal
 
The entire Gulf Coast of Texas was deluged with high winds and rain from Hurricane Harvey, setting records for rainfall from any single storm anywhere in the continental United States.
Extensive building and property damage, electrical outages, unhealthy conditions caused by flooding, and widespread disruption of normal living conditions has occurred.
The Grand Lodge of Texas has requested this Disaster Appeal, to assist their many brethren who have been injured or who have received extensive damage to their homes from Hurricane Harvey.
Donations can be made by check or online at Texas Disaster Appeal
 
 
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