The history of the Masonic order can be traced back to biblical times as the organization is steadfast in its requirements that members adhere to a Christian faith that includes taking care of others.
Students at Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary School benefited from the faith of the local Masonic lodge earlier this week with the donation of backpacks full of school supplies to begin the second semester.
It took three men to lug in all the backpacks that were filled to capacity with school supplies containing complete sets of everything on the Copperas Cove Independent School District school supply list. This is the seventh year the local Masonic chapter has donated school supplies.
Members of the Mount Sinai No. 42 Holy Royal Arch of the Masonic Order donated school supplies in August to Hettie Halstead Elementary School, but chose Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary School this time after Mason member Victor Wiggins met someone he believes God put in his path.
“I was actually at Burger King and started chatting with a woman who was a teacher at Fairview. She told me that the kids needed school supplies. So I came back to the chapter high priest and asked if we could help them,” Wiggins said. “We want to ensure our kids are set for the future. So we worked as a chapter to pitch in and get those backpacks rolling.” He said the community service project not only makes his organization stronger as a whole but makes the community stronger as well. “We are making the community aware that we are there to make its backbone stronger and to teach another generation to do the same. It’s a chain reaction of neighbor caring for neighbor.”
Several organizations, churches, clubs and individuals conduct school supply drives to provide for families who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program at the beginning of the school year in August, said Shelley Brown, Cove ISD program specialist, who works with federal funds through the Title I program.
“A lot of students come to school in the first semester with just enough supplies to last a few months. At the beginning of the year, the parents are able to purchase supplies at discounted rates, but during the second semester, those great prices are not available. This limits what they can provide for the remaining school year,” Brown said.
Donated school supplies are always welcomed at school campuses or at the central office, 703 W. Avenue D.
Outgoing excellent high priest of the local Masonic order, Charles Lilley, said the organization will continue to invest in the students.
“It is easier to prepare strong children than repair broken adults,” he said.