April 2022: When it Comes to Helping, "Nothing Is Too Small" for Masonic Outreach Services
One of the most popular services Montes’ team provides is the Masonic Assistance Line (888-466-3642). The hotline connects California Masons with a team of counselors and staff who can help them identify and access resources they need. “Our teams handle things as small as looking for a specialized doctor that will work with our clients’ medical plans, to projects as complex as coordinating health services with various doctors,” Montes explains.
These kinds of health-related matters are common for MOS. But they aren’t the extent of what they can do. Service teams have helped members who were facing divorce connect to therapy services and helped members whose children were dealing with addiction problems find rehab facilities. “We’re also just there to chat if members would like to work through things with another person—like a sounding board,” she says. Each of these services are available for members at all stages of life.
That’s especially true when it comes to the Masonic Center for Youth and Family. MCYAF specializes in emotional wellness of adult and senior members and their families, as well as those with no Masonic affiliation at all. Service teams provide a wide range of virtual and in-person services, including therapy.
Lodges are also able to tap into MOS to support members who they’re unsure how else to help. As part of that, the Masonic Senior Outreach Services program helps some 250 clients each month, providing them with financial and non-financial services. Each eligible member gets assigned a case manager to help them with things like applying for veterans benefits or working with AARP or Medicare. Eligible clients can also receive financial assistance to help with things like the cost of living in a senior living community.
“In the end, we don’t want our members to wait until they’re at the end of the road to reach out to us,” Montes says. “We’re here to support you. Nothing is too small to call us.”
Masons are known for their commitment to helping one another and their communities—it’s a vow and obligation they take seriously. But when the tables are turned, they tend to have trouble being on the receiving end. “When it comes to taking care of themselves, sometimes Masons shy away from asking for help,” says Sabrina Montes, the executive director of Masonic Outreach for the Masonic Homes of California.
That means that too often, California Masons aren’t getting the most out of the services available to them. In the moments that members might need a helping hand, they’re turning away.
It isn’t just a matter of modesty. For many, there’s still confusion over what services are available through Masonic relief and who they’re for. For instance, Montes points out that Masons connect deeply to charitable efforts to provide for elderly members and their wives or widows. In 2021, her team helped lodges connect hundreds of such seniors to much-needed services through Masonic Outreach Services. But MOS exists to support members at all stages of life—not just seniors.
Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your April checklist.
Prepare any proposed legislation for Annual Communication, due April 24.
Begin preparing 2023 program plan.
Begin preparing 2023 budget, remembering to set aside funds for retreat attendance.
Begin preparing 2023 officer appointments.
Begin preparing 2023 installation of officers.
Review all candidates’ progress toward advancement.
Begin tracking 100 percent officer giving to the Annual Fund, with officers setting an example through gifts that represent their capability as well as their commitment to our charitable programs.
Continue to collect delinquent dues from members (were due on January 1).
Send list of members with late dues to the master for the Retention Committee.
Send any suspension notices.
Charity Committee considers remissions.
If your lodge has employees, file quarterly federal payroll tax form 941 (unless IRS has approved an annual filing of form 944, due in February).
If your lodge has employees, file quarterly state payroll tax form DE9/DE9C and deposit form DE88.
Prepare IRS form 990 and FTB form 199, both due by May 15 (unless your lodge has previously agreed to have Grand Lodge prepare these forms).
Audit lodge books, to be completed by end of month.
Prepare form 200, due to Grand Lodge by May 15.
Prepare IRS form 990 and FTB form 199, both due by May 15.
Prepare insurance premium payment, due in May.
Questions? Contact Member Services at email@example.com or (415) 776-7000.
Question of the Month
Last month we asked how your lodge supported Masonic Youth Orders. Of those that responded:
- We give to the youth orders - 44%
- We sponsor a youth order- 22%
- We do not have a relationship with a youth order 16%
- We co-host events with the youth orders - 4%
- Other - 16%