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Monday, October 02, 2017

MSA Issues Disaster Relief Appeal for Puerto Rico; Joins Florida and Texas

The Masonic Service Association of North America has just issued an official Disaster Relief Appeal for Puerto Rico:

The devastation that two hurricanes caused in Puerto Rico, particularly Hurricane Maria, is by now well known. With 95% of the island without electricity or communication, and 50% without drinking water, it will take months to recover, but they are in need of help now.
Grand Master Raúl Rodríguez Quiles has contacted the Masonic Service Association of North America asking for help for the brethren of his jurisdiction by issuing a Disaster Relief Appeal.
As Masons across the country have contributed so much to MSA for Texas and Florida, we must again ask the greater Masonic community to try their best to do more. Every dollar sent to MSA will go the affected jurisdiction. Nothing will be deducted for administration, bookkeeping, thank you letters, or PayPal expenses. As with the two previous ongoing appeals, this third appeal for the Grand Lodge of Puerto Rico will help them aid and assist their distressed brothers, families, and lodges.
All current MSA Hurricane Appeals can be seen HERE. There are also still ongoing appeals for Florida and Texas from earlier in September. There are separate Paypal pushbuttons there for all three of these funds. 

The delay in this case was caused by the widespread destruction that wiped out the island's infrastructure. You have doubtless heard by now that electricity remains a scarce commodity currently, so as you can imagine, any communications were challenging in the immediate aftermath. The MSA's Simon LaPlace was finally able to somehow contact the Junior Grand Warden via Facebook. However, the Brother is a paramedic and was more than just a little busy for the first several days. He was eventually able to make his way to the Grand Master's home to speak with him. 

If you or your lodge prefers donating by check, please make checks payable to "MSA Disaster Relief Fund" and send them to: 

Masonic Service Association
3905 National Drive, Suite 280
Burtonsville, MD 20866

Be sure on the memo line of your check and on the envelope that you notate if it is for Texas, Florida, or Puerto Rico.

The Masonic Service Association is arguably the best and most effective way to provide financial assistance to Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas Masons (or to any other jurisdictions that may also request these official Disaster Relief Appeals through MSA). MSA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. That is important to remember, especially if you, your company, or foundation are making a large donation and are in need of a tax deduction in return. 

If your own Grand Lodge is conducting official fund raising, it is more than likely being done to forward it to the MSA fund for distribution. The charitable arm of the Masonic Service Association was specifically established by the North American grand lodges in the 1920s for the purpose of raising tax deductible donations, and to effectively distribute and account for the funds provided to Masons who receive assistance. Your entire donation will be sent to the affected jurisdiction. MSA deducts nothing for administrative expenses or expenses of any kind. Meaning if you donate $100.00, all $100.00 gets to Puerto Rico, Florida, or Texas Masons. 

Below is the press release from today. Click to enlarge, and please circulate.

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