The North Carolina Mason

May/June 2021

North Carolina Mason

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The Mason Official Publication of e Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Volume 146 Number 3 Oxford, North Carolina May/June 2021 NORTH CAROLINA ■ see OUTREACH, page 2 By Beth Grace Mason Editor e Masonic widow didn't know where to turn. Her husband had passed, she had no money … and a mortgage to pay off that she had not known about. e brother was at wit's end. His cancer was gone but the huge bills were not. How was he going to handle this and not lose his house? Another brother who suffered a debilitating stroke and lost his leg was denied disability. Who could he turn to for help in appealing a very bad decision? Who could he turn to? Who in the world would be willing to take his troubles on and help him out of a terrible fix? His fraternal brothers and sisters, of course. If you think you know all you need to know about the power of brotherhood and a giving heart, you should have a chat with Rebecca Gallimore, director of the Fraternal Friend- ship Program. e program, formerly known as the Masonic and Eastern Start Outreach Program or MESOP, helps aging Masons and Eastern Star members in trouble and has become a force in helping our fraternal family seek care at home, without having to relocate. "It's all about the brothers and sisters of Masonry. It's about helping them where they are … and making sure they all know they are not alone," Gallimore says. "As we age, many people feel they're the only ones feeling what they're feeling. ey think hardships will never happen to them. at's why we're here to help." e program is funded entirely by NC's Masons and Eastern Star members, their lodges, chapters, as well as the NC Masonic and Eastern Star Foundations via gifts to the Masonic and Eastern Star Home Foundation LLC – more commonly known in the Craft as MESH LLC. MESH, an arm of the NC Masonic Foun- dation, is governed by a five-member board of managers – all Masons and Eastern Star members – to serve fraternal members directly. It is not a program of WhiteStone, our senior care home in Greensboro. e MESH LLC is run by Masons and Stars for Masons and Stars. e WhiteStone Board of Directors supports the work but the program isn't about moving to WhiteStone. It primarily connects people with services they need locally, provides some limited-term financial assistance, or makes phone calls to help them find local resources. In fact, WhiteStone receives no revenue from this program, meaning all contributions you make to the MESH program are used directly for the care of brothers and sisters. "is is old-fashioned, straightforward Masonic charity," says MW Gene Jernigan, chairman of the WhiteStone board, which helped shepherd the program into existence in 2016. "is is the way Masons can reach from the mountains to the farthest point in the east. You can ask for help through MESH and receive help through MESH. is is all funded by brothers and sisters and goes directly to brothers and sisters. "is brings us full circle, in a way, back to the beginning, paying our blessings forward." e public face of the program is Galli- more, who works hard trying to help brothers and sisters with problems they consider Bringing Masonic charity full circle Program delivers MESH services to members Fraternal Friendship Program Director Rebecca Gallimore

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