At the November Stated Meeting, Waco Masonic Lodge #92 stepped up to help children in two key ways:
- We completed our toy drive for children in crisis. About 400 stuffed animals were collected and will be placed in the vehicles of first
responders who will give them to children going through a tough time at crime scenes or other environments requiring the presence of law enforcement. Waco Police Chief Ryan Holt, Director of Victim Services Melissa Beseda, and Captain of McLennan County Sheriff Department Steve January came to thank the brethren for our toy drive efforts. Chief Holt struck a chord with members and visitors when he effectively guaranteed that “within the next seven days, your generosity will positively impact a young person on perhaps one of the worst days of their lives by reminding them that the Waco community cares about them.”
- Coach Chapman from University High School stopped by for his annual visit to Waco Lodge. He updated us on the progress of the Waco Make a Wish project. Every year, this program interviews carefully selected Waco ISD children and asks them what they want for Christmas. Having already
been identified as children with difficult home lives, they rarely ask for video games or toys like typical kids. Instead, they ask for basic needs such as blankets, jackets, food, and other things that no child should ever have to lack. Coach Chapman gave a very moving speech and a couple members of the lodge immediately donated funds to sponsor a couple children. By the end of the night, at least eight children’s wishes were granted.
These efforts to improve the lives of Waco kids extend the focus from October when we packed and delivered Fantastic Teeth kits for 150+ students at nearby elementary schools. This year, 130,000 tooth care kits were delivered across Texas as part of the Masonic Home and School’s Fantastic Teeth program.