What is Benevolence?Simply said, it is the ability to do something good for another in need.
Acts of Benevolence from the Masonic Foundation of Nova Scotia under this program are restricted to Master Masons, their Spouses and Orphans. The Master Mason must be in good standing with his Lodge in Nova Scotia to qualify.
Benevolence is funded internally by a portfolio that was created over decades by Mason’s contributions and sound investment.
Our Objective is to “help, aid, and assist all poor and distressed Master Masons and their immediate family”. Such acts frequently involve financial assistance.
Confidentiality is paramount! These are sensitive areas; empathy is of the utmost importance as Brothers in need often do not wish to make their need know. All applications are held in the strictest confidents.
Programs of Assistance have two avenues - the Individual Program and the Assisted Home Program. Both programs use the same application and worksheet forms available in the download section.
How to Apply for Benevolent Assistance: In the download section an application and worksheet can be obtained for your review. If you wish to continue, contact the Secretary of the Brother’s Lodge he is or was a member. You may also ask for help from another Brother you know to contact his Lodge Secretary if circumstances warrant, especially in cases of helping spouses and orphans of deceased members. Once an application and worksheet are fully completed it is sent to the Chairman of the Foundation’s Benevolence Committee for consideration and processing.
What does the Benevolent Grant Cover in Assistance?
Whether the type of assistance is of an Individual need or the Assisted Home Program the examples here are not fully exhausted as situations are as varied as those in need and sometimes the two programs are one and the same to the applicant.
1. Funding for the individual may include eye glasses, hearing aids, or bills from utilities that threaten service, travel cost for sickness that may affect treatment, and many more situations that may harm you or your family.
2. Funding for the purchase of special equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers, over bed tables and other items not covered by medical insurance. These items should be returned to the sponsoring lodge when they are no longer required and the lodge will advise the Committee for future need.
3. Funding for repairs and renovations to your home, allowing you longer independence in your home. Examples: ramp for a wheelchair, roof repair, bathroom or kitchen adaption for a disability, etc.
4. Funding for limited household assistance to cook, clean and provide transportation to appointments, etc but do not include professional nursing care. This funding is to a maximum of six months and then another application must be submitted.
When Funding is provided for Household Assistance
- Individuals providing assistance in the home will be engaged by the applicant, with the approval of the family members involved, but shall not themselves be a family member.
- Funds for household assistance will be based upon a rate of pay comparable to that of Department of Veterans Affairs for similar services.
- Funds for household assistance will not exceed 20 hours a week, however applications will be considered for more hours in exceptional circumstances.
Guidelines for Individual Benevolent and Assisted Home Assistance
- Request for benevolent assistance on behalf of a Master Mason or the family may originate with a constituent lodge,benevolent assistance may also be made to the Chairman of the Foundation’s Benevolence Committee through the Grand Secretary's office, using the application and worksheet available in the download section.
- Lodges submitting applications for assistance are encouraged to make financial contribution if within their ability to do so.
- The amount of the grant for assistance will be governed by the resources available for benevolence.
- The Chairman of the Foundation’s Benevolence Committee shall have the authority, in urgent situations, to approve benevolent grants to an amount up to $500.00 per incident. In these cases the money may be advanced with the understanding an application and worksheet will follow for file and audit purposes.
- When receiving a request for assistance the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and Secretary of the lodge will consult with the applicant and assist to insure the application is fully completed, and that the applicant fully understands the objective of the program.
- The Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and Secretary will ensure the applicant understands that any assistance granted may affect his/her existing supplement and assist the applicant to determine the possible effect before proceeding. They will ensure the assistance meets the objective of the program and that assistance cannot be secured from MSI, DVA, VON or some like authority.
- The Worshipful Master shall ensure the information contained in the application and worksheet be treated as Private and Confidential and shall not be discussed in open lodge. The Secretary will keep a private separate file for recording and processing the applications.