BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Masonic Grand Lodge of Minnesota together with Minnesota Masonic Charities presented a $40,000 check to Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) this week to help veterans with their heating costs during the harsh winter.
“Most people filled their propane tanks in the fall, thinking it would last until spring,” said Kathleen A. Vitalis, President/CEO of MACV. “At the time, the price per gallon was something like $2. Currently, the price per gallon is $4.50 and we are just seeing prices at over $6/gallon.”
The need for statewide energy assistance for veterans is at an all-time high. MACV has found that those desperate to keep their heat going have done so at the expense of safety concerns.
“They’ve maxed out space heaters or have used their ovens to heat their homes,” said Vitalis.
Propane is only delivered to residents in larger quantities, so the investment is a large lump sum for many. MACV appealed to the Grand Lodge and Minnesota Masonic Charities for relief funding once it became clear that many vets soon would be without heat. The Grand Lodge funded $20,000 and asked for a matching grant from MMC. The Grand Lodge Grand Secretary, Douglas Campbell and Eric J. Neetenbeek, President and CEO of Minnesota Masonic Charities, delivered the $40,000 check to Vitalis and MACV Metro Regional Director, Jimmy L. Collier, last Tuesday.
“The difference this money will make will be huge,” said Vitalis.
About Minnesota Masonic Charities
Minnesota Masonic Charities (MMC) is the nonprofit charitable organization of Minnesota Masonry. The organization promotes greater levels of Masonic charity by uniting and combining contributions to charitable causes, as well as directly aiding Masons, their families and society through its grants and services. MMC’s total charitable grants average nearly $5.6 million a year as part of yearly services totaling nearly $70 million. These services include support for cancer research and treatment, scholarships for Minnesota students, housing and healthcare for seniors, and community support of youth, family and school programs throughout the state.