Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike to create need for Masonic 'help, aid and assistance'

The following is guest commentary by long-time reader and Freemason known as Diogenes.

Perhaps this might be a good time to mention that in the immediate future, many brethren and others in the Texas Gulf Coastal region will be in extreme distress [during and after the landfall of Hurricane Ike]. Some will probably lose their lives, while many others will probably lose their homes and jobs.

It seems to me that it would be prudent to acknowledge the pending disaster, and begin gearing up to assist with the relief efforts. Particularly if I was a Mason in Texas, or an officer of the Grand Lodge of Texas, I'd already be soliciting donations and raising funds to assist in any way possible, and I'd be organizing teams of volunteers to assist with rescue, recovery, and relief efforts, etc.

Hurricanes don't strike unexpectedly like earthquakes and many other natural disasters. There's always a warning of several days, and that should give people an opportunity to prepare.

Why not take advantage of that opportunity to "aid and assist" fellow Masons, fellow Americans, and fellow human beings in a time of crisis?

Indeed, what practical benefit is any "philanthropic" organization that fails to recognize such pending disasters, and attempt to assuage the resultant suffering?

— Diogenes

Image: Hurricane Ike, Friday afternoon, Sept. 12, 2008

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  1. I agree with this article. Every GL jurisdiction should have a plan in place to help its members and the public when a disaster occurs or is looming. Many do assist after a disaster occurs, but, it is mostly monetary and well after the incident. I'd rather see a hands-on approach.

    Let me give you a personal example. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, my community and I were assisted by out-of-state private groups with food, water, MRE's, and other supplies. One particular group that made an impression upon me was a group of Indians from the Cherokee nation in OK. They had set up an aid station (and, no one asked them to, they showed up and did what needed to be done). All of their trailers told who they were and how they traveled all over the country to assist in disasters. I still remember those good men and women who helped me and my family a few days after the storm. We needed the help and they were there to lend a helping hand.

    After this, I immediately began thinking that we as Masons should serve the community in the same way: on the ground and hands-on. Institutional charities are nice, but, it would be better if we had men working in communities helping others face-to-face on the groud floor like the Cherokee group who drove to New Orleans to help my community.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could form a National Catastrophe Masonic Aid Association that would saddle-up with Masonic marked trailers and trucks, portable kitchens, supplies, food, and other assistance for communities in need after a disaster. We already have the infrastructure and lines of communication. We already have a network. We just need funds, donated equipment, and men who would volunteer their time for labor and training. This is my dream.

  2. The rotarians make these disaster cases that are shipped to 100s of countries. They are designed to be easily carried by 2 people and contain supplies for emergencies


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