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Area Freemasons assist local families

Photo courtesy of the Masonic Assistance Program

GREATER AKRON — On Dec. 18-19, over 40 Summit County Freemasons and community members assembled and delivered more than 80 food baskets and gift cards to area families in need to ensure they could enjoy a holiday dinner. The baskets and volunteers are pictured above.
This effort was part of the Masonic Assistance Program (MAP) of The Grand Lodge of Freemasons in Ohio, which is a year-round charitable outreach by The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Akron and Summit County Blue Lodges, according to MAP officials. Food basket recipients were nominated by Barberton Area Christian Ministries, The Salvation Army of Summit County and members of the Masonic fraternity, with selected families from Summit, Portage, Cuyahoga and Stark counties. Contributors to this donation included Save A Lot 634 and Newell Rubbermaid for the baskets.
“This effort, which began over 30 years ago as a Christmas food basket program, has been expanded to a larger year-round helpful initiative,” said Alexander Herbert, MAP chairman. “It is consistent with the foundational beliefs of Freemasons, which are brotherly love, relief and truth.”
Freemasonry includes more than 1.1 million in the U.S. and 68,000 in Ohio, according to MAP officials. Core values emphasize the importance of giving back, with The Grand Lodge of Ohio’s Masonic Charities dedicated to improving the lives of those less fortunate in surrounding communities. The Freemasons in Ohio provide college scholarships, free training for teachers, contributions to veterans and first responders and support for elderly care. For more information, visit www.freemason.com.