The Masonic Angel Foundation (MAF) provided their "Beehive School Tools" school supply kits to over 4,500 Cape Cod children in recent weeks. Schools from Wellfleet to Mashpee received deliveries from the MAF's team of volunteers.
This is the sixth year that the Masonic Angels have provided school supplies for local kids. The program started small in 2013 with only 335 kits. The program grew to serve 1,000 by 2017. Last year, the Masons started out with 1,000 kits and then received a special donation late in the summer that took them up to 1,800 student. This year revenue was able to support kits for 4,500 students. "We planned to grow the program to 3,500 kids this year but the requests kept coming in. Our generous donors made it possible for us to fulfill every single request," reports MAF co-founder president Robert Fellows.
Local schools are contacted in June to ascertain how many kits they need. The items are ordered in July and then the kits are assembled in August. This year's assembly event involved dozens of volunteers working in shifts over a period of two business days. Volunteers included members of local Masonic Lodges, family members, teachers, students and even a school principal.
Volunteers visit the schools to deliver supply kits in the weeks leading up to the first day of school.
Later this autumn, when clearance pricing kicks in, MAF will purchase a large quantity of backpacks and distribute those to the schools. This year the Masonic Angels also pilot-tested a program to provide high end calculators, often required for certain math classes, for kids whose families cannot afford the necessary device.
The Masonic Angel Foundation's other programs include Beehive Food Program, Beehive Winter Coats, Laptops for KidZ and the original Masonic Angel Fund program. MAF programs have served local children since 1998.
Local school staff decide how many kits they will request from the Masons and which children will receive the supplies. The Masons never learn the identity of the children they support.
The Beehive School Tools program relies on the generosity of donors and also that of school supply vendors. "Our primary retail partner is Staples," reports Mr. Fellows. "They provide us with very generous discounts on the items we purchase along with truly excellent service in managing the inventory of supplies and staging the items for delivery. This is a whole-community project - from our volunteers right down to the U-Haul truck rental store that treats us so well."
This year's school supply program cost the Masonic Angel Foundation approximately $37,000 after all discounts.
Financial support came from individual donors, local Masonic Angel Fund Chapters, the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts and a generous private donor.
What's in the Kits?
Beehive School Tools kits for elementary schools include:
Middle and high school kits include:
Which Schools Received Kits?
|Brewster/Nauset Youth Alliance||55||55|
|Hyannis West Elementary||150||250|
|M.E. Small Elementary||75||325|
|Station Avenue Elem||75||400|
|Nauset Regional Middle School||60||460|
|Ezra Baker School||300||760|
|Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter||55||815|
|Wixon Innovation School||150||1045|
|Monomoy High School||200||1245|
|Dennis-Yarmouth High School||300||2142|
|Horace Mann Charter||30||2172|
|Barnstable Intermediate School||150||2347|
|Cape Cod Tech||50||2397|
|Nauset Regional High School||320||3067|
|Barnstable High School||300||3367|
|West Villages Elementary||300||3667|
|Barnstable United Elementary||400||4067|
|Cape Cod Child Development||120||4187|
Proud to Help...
"We are proud to help relieve a little financial pressure from the families of 4,500 local kids," concludes Mr. Fellows. "We look forward to doing a little more with each new school year."
(See the photo gallery below)