Many of Masonic Villages’ residents are active in the community. Last year, residents contributed to service projects that benefited children, students, older adults, emergency service providers and those with food and housing insecurities.
Masonic Village at Dallas residents participated in an Adopt a Road project to help clean up nearby Country Club Road and volunteered at the Back Mountain Food Pantry, along with donating nonperishable goods and $4,340 to support its mission. They also contributed donations to Toys for Tots and Pyramid Healthcare. For the holidays, residents assembled 96 care packages for Meadows Nursing Home and provided holiday cookies to Dallas Township Police Department.
As “Team MVS,” Masonic Village at Sewickley residents and staff raised over $15,000 for breast cancer research as part of their participation in the 2022 Susan G. Komen West Pennsylvania “More Than Pink” walk. Resident Edie Yeager was the top individual fundraiser in Pennsylvania, while Team MVS was the top group fundraiser.
A dozen members of Masonic Village at Sewickley’s Plarn (plastic yarn) group knit plastic mats for the New Life Community Church in Pittsburgh, which donates them to homeless individuals. For more than 12 years, a group of residents has knitted blankets, robes and hats for Project Linus, a national nonprofit organization which donates blankets to children in hospitals including the Shriners Hospitals for Children, shelters, social service agencies or anywhere a need arises. They donated 45 blankets and six quilts in 2022. Residents and other friends of the Masonic Village at Sewickley Woodworking Group made toy trucks throughout the year, sold them and donated the proceeds to the Shriners Hospitals for Children. In total, $500 was donated, as well as handmade toys, in 2022.
Residents raised over $63,000 for the new Dining Services scholarship program and awarded scholarships to 11 students working as dining room servers.
David Binley, an economics major at the University of Pittsburgh, was part of the first class of scholarship recipients:
“Masonic Village feels like family,” he said. “I appreciate going to work every day and enjoy bringing in new people, training them and helping them see it’s a great place to work. I thank everyone who contributed. It was very, very generous.”
To qualify, servers must have worked at least 312 hours, submitted a short essay and application and already be attending or accepted to college. The additional funds collected will be used for 2023 scholarships.
Through the sales of handmade floral arrangements, jewelry, blankets, cards, gift bags and more, the Craft Group at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown raises money to support others. In 2022, they donated proceeds to numerous Masonic and community charities, including $1,500 to Northwest EMS and $1,500 to Friendship Fire & Hose. The Retirement Living Residents’ Association gave $1,000 to Northwest EMS and $1,000 to the Community Cupboard of Elizabethtown. The Masonic Village Piece Maker Quilt group, comprised of 30 women, gave money from their sales to campus groups and $1,000 to Northwest EMS. They also sent quilts to the Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.
The Grey Lions of Elizabethtown, Masonic Village’s Penn State alumni interest group, awarded five $1,000 scholarships in 2022 to deserving Penn State students.
Residents of the Bleiler Caring Cottage participated in several community service projects, including packing and handing out food to children in need in Hershey through Cocoa Packs, repacking food for local food pantries through Midwest Food Bank, picking up trash at the Elizabethtown Borough Community Park and writing thank you cards to veterans who work and live at Masonic Village.
Through the Congregation of Sell Chapel’s Community Outreach ministry, members donated $46,621 in offerings toward Elizabethtown Community Housing and Outreach Services (ECHOS), The Children’s Playroom of Lancaster, Hope Within, Communities That Care, Naaman Center, the Christmas Shop, the Community Cupboard of Elizabethtown, Cornerstone Youth Center, the CROP Walk and the Emergency Fund which has helped during floods and tornadoes. Members of the congregation volunteered with ECHOS and the winter shelter, The Children’s Playroom and other programs in Lancaster County.