What does it mean to be selected as the First Lady’s Charity?
By selecting an organization as the First Lady’s Charity we hope to inform Ohio Masons that there is a need. We choose organizations that we feel connected to and are tied closely to masonic tenets. This year, I picked the Ohio Masonic Youth Groups as my charitable focus. These groups will get exposure and awareness from the time it is announced at the Deputy Grand Master’s rollouts and throughout the year at district fundraisers, receptions and anything I plan to attend.
Why did you select Masonic Youth Groups as the First Lady’s Charity for this year?
Neither Steve nor I were involved in any of the Masonic Youth Groups, I was a Girl Scout then a Girl Scout Leader and a Cub Scout Leader as well as a Boy Scout Committee Member. I didn’t know much about the Masonic groups other than there were three: two for girls and one for boys. The organization in your area varies by your location in the state so I didn’t have much exposure because of where I lived.
At each district reception, awards were given for Excellence in Youth, some were masonic youth and some were not. As the Masonic youth spoke I noticed that many of the recipients presented themselves well, spoke poignantly and were very appreciative of being recognized for the award.
As a newly retired teacher I think it is great to be able to get our youth involved in groups that foster confidence, leadership, community awareness and patriotism.
Can you tell us a little bit about each youth group and what they do?
Rainbow Assemblies – for girls ages 11-20, Rainbow for Girls is a Masonic youth service organization that teaches leadership training through community service both locally and through an overarching Ohio Service Project. The current Ohio Service Project is NEDA- Feeding Hope (National Eating Disorders Association).
Job’s Daughters Bethels – for girls ages 10-20, The Job’s Daughters’ mission is to create confident young women, who respect tradition, and will shape the future. Members learn invaluable skills that increase their confidence and prepare them to lead. The current Grand Service Project is called, “HIKE” and its goal is to raise funds for grants that can be awarded to support children with hearing impairment.
DeMolay Chapters– for boys ages 12-21, The DeMolay is a youth leadership organization, striving to shape young men into leaders of character. DeMolay teaches timeless values, and the challenge of leadership – both of character and of action. Members are encouraged to take control of their own success.
What impact do you see the Masonic Youth groups having in Ohio?
I believe that Masonic Youth Groups could have a great impact on other youth in Ohio and on the Masonic community. When kids see others doing good, working hard and having fun, we hope that they’ll be inspired to participate. As a teacher, I’ve seen the effects of social media impacting kids’ confidence and these Masonic groups show them how to lift each other up and give them a sense of camaraderie and confidence. They help each other achieve their personal best in their groups as well as in their communities. Being a member of a Masonic group will also provide a solid foundation of Freemasonry, and as the kids start to age out of these groups they may go on to become a Mason, a lady of a Mason or member of Eastern Star, Oriental Shrine, Amaranth, White Shrine or Daughters of the Nile already having some knowledge of Masonic principles and rituals.
What is your role with the charitable initiative?
My role with this initiative is to bring awareness to help all the youth groups with membership, getting leaders, and funding for various needs.
Thinking about this time next year, what are you hoping has been achieved for the youth groups?
I am hoping that all Masons in Ohio are aware of these three youth groups and know where they are located in their area. I would love to see that the lodges are working to create relationships with the youth groups to build a great foundation for future events and fundraising. With this initiative I also hope to bring awareness of these organizations to all youth in Ohio – I hope they will be excited to join and learn the skills these groups have to offer.
What are you most looking forward to this year as the First Lady?
I am most looking forward to traveling and sharing the good projects and programs Ohio Masons are doing with each other and our Masonic youth groups in and out of state. I’m excited to build awareness around Ohio Masonry and how wonderful the organization is for not only men, but their ladies and youth.
How can local lodges and Ohio Masons contribute to the charitable effort?
Local lodges and Ohio Masons can contribute to the First Lady’s Charity of Masonic Youth Groups in a variety of ways:
- By donating to the First Lady’s Charity through the Charitable foundation- a link can be found at : www.freemason.com/charities/ohio-masonic-youth-groups/
- By encouraging the youth groups or any youth in their area to participate in their lodge activities when appropriate
- By sponsoring a youth group or youth event (think about sponsoring a local sports team, a robotics team, etc.)
- By discussing the Masonic youth groups with their lodge brothers, friends, and families, to build awareness
- By donating appropriate clothes for the Masonic youth ceremonies
- By providing financial assistance directly to masonic youth groups in your area for:
- Adult insurance
- Registration fees
Can you share any upcoming events or initiatives?
The three youth group state advisors are working on a brochure to have in lodges with all three groups information in one place.
Pages for the youth groups will be found on the Grand Lodge of Ohio Website:
- www.freemason.com – once there click on About, then click on Masonic Organizations where each group will have their own clickable link.
- You can also find more find their websites here:
Another initiative I’d like to promote is setting up Masonic Youth Group Training through the Masonic Model Assistance Program for all masonic youth and the adults. This training will be held on March 25, 2023 at the Aladdin Shrine 1801 Gateway Cir, Grove City, 43123.
Want to learn more about other Masonic Organizations? Check out our Masonic Organizations page!