The North Carolina Mason

May/June 2021

North Carolina Mason

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Page 2 The North Carolina Mason May/June 2021 ■ see JONES page 9 OUTREACH, from page 1 insurmountable. e Illinois native moved to North Carolina in 1999. She worked in various mental health positions until she joined the WhiteStone home health staff in 2016 and began to gravitate toward senior care. She empathizes with some of the medical and lifestyle hardships aging folks have. She experienced some health issues of her own, including loss of vision in one eye at the age of 27, which gave her true empathy for those living with physical hardships and those in need of special accommodations. at empathy led her to the Fraternal Friendship program. "is program fulfills many dimensions of wellness. Whether it's financial or emotional, we are here to offer support," she said. "I truly enjoy getting to know the people who call. We can evaluate their struggles and oftentimes, come up with a solution together. at is the first step, pinpointing what their needs are. "en they get their lives back. ey get their pride back," she said. Sometimes, she says, symptoms cover up the real problem. For example, she helped one brother who had run out of money and needed help with medical necessities. rough her research, she discovered that someone was accessing his bank account and spending his money improperly. e program is open to all Masons and Eastern Star members in good standing age 60 and older, wherever they are. e program can also assist qualified and fraternally affiliated brothers and sisters who want to move into WhiteStone with entrance fees, room and board, food costs, prescrip- tions and healthcare expenses. What happens when you ask for help? You reach out to Gallimore, who begins the quali- fication process, which includes confirming fraternal status, and checking financial records, etc., to determine the exact level of help needed and how much each applicant can afford. Each recipient signs a contract that confirms the help being given and promises that if at all possible, the recipient's estate will repay the program for assistance given. at's not always possible because of the financial situation that led most appli- cants to ask for help, Gallimore says. Folks who need help often don't find themselves able to pay it forward. But if they can repay the gift, says Jernigan, "You are basically showing you're willing to help someone else by repaying what was given to you." Program services The program is open to all Masons and Stars in good standing age 60 and older, wherever they are. Assistance includes: l Emergency (short- or long-term) assistance with basic needs such as utility bills, groceries, mortgage, rent or healthcare expenses. l Help with accessing benefits through Medicare, the VA and Medicaid. l Funding for home improvements, such as ramps, to aid mobility. l Long-term care referrals. l Case management and healthcare navigation services. Want to donate? If you are interested in giving to the program, contact: Rebecca Gallimore The Masonic and Eastern Star Outreach Program 700 S. Holden Road Greensboro, NC 27407 Direct line for assistance: 888-558-6374 Email: When you contact her, please send along send a description of your needs, indicate your lodge and/or chapter name and number, and provide your mailing address, phone number and email address. Beloved leader dies at 85 Tommy Leon Jones, a child of the Masonic Home for Children who grew up to become a beloved administrator and chaplain of WhiteStone: A Masonic and Eastern Star Community, died May 10 after a life of faith, service, compassion and kindness. He was 85. A 46-year, 33rd degree Mason, he was a Joseph Montfort Medal honoree, three-term Grand Chap- lain of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and two-time Grand Chaplain of Virginia. "Tommy was just a unique and amazing individual," said Past Grand Master Gene Jernigan, chairman of the WhiteStone Board of Directors. "He has a passionate heart for everyone he came in contact with. He truly never met a stranger. "His presence brought about a peace," he said. "It wasn't all about what he said or did … It was just him, just who he was." Tommy was born Nov. 20, 1935, to Zebulon and Mary Edith Jones of Belmont, NC. He was the youngest of five, and just 2 years old when his father died. He was cared for by his mother and sisters Edith, Helen and Edna, and brother Jake. His mother Mary Edith barely made ends meet as a maid in a local elementary school. She turned to her late husband's Masonic lodge for help and three of the children – Tommy, Edith and Helen – went to live at MHCO in 1939. Tommy adapted easily to his new life. He worked in the shoe shop and served as the shop's errand boy, venturing into town to gather shoes for repairs. He collected payments (heels were 50 cents, soles $1.50, whole soles $2) and saved the nickels, dimes and quarters from his tips. He also helped gather coal and cut wood, and in his free time he enjoyed swimming and playing on the school's football and baseball teams. Tommy attended John Nichols High School, named after a North Carolina Grand Master, where he dedicated half of his day to academics and the other half to working in the shoe shop. Tommy graduated in June 1954 and attended East Carolina College on a football scholarship. He joined the Air Force ROTC, excelled in his WB Tommy L. Jones shares a smile with longtime friend and fellow graduate of the Masonic Home for Children, Past Grand Master Dan Rice (left).

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