The Masonic Volunteer Program was reinstituted in 2018 and is coordinated by DeAnna Kinney. The program now touches all aspects of our Resource Center. On average, over 65% of all referrals come from our MVPs in SE Ohio. These masons and stars are out promoting what we do and making sure that we are aware of the needs in this area. This is happening in Southern Ohio as well, and is starting to grow into other areas of the state. At this time there are 15 out of the 25 masonic districts with MVP Committees and 298 volunteers with 4 applications pending.
The efforts of the MVP come full circle, as they make referrals for support or assistance, and then can help to provide informal services as needed. For example, several volunteers in the 17th district referred a widow whose husband passed of Covid related pneumonia in December. As the coordinator in that area, DeAnna Kinney reached out to this widow to explain what services are available and offered grief support and guidance in arranging for her husband’s burial and masonic service. She mailed a Bereavement packet to her and helped to coordinate some formal grief counseling. During this process, it was discovered that the widow tested positive for Covid 19. This client was able to handle it at home but needed some basic items like food, medicine and bottled water to get her through. We were able to reach back out to our MVP Committee in the 17th district and had 2 volunteers who dropped off the needed items on her doorstep, and called to check on this widow daily. We also continue to monitor this widow and as of our last discussion, she asked if she could “pay it forward” for all the help and support she received. She is now considering becoming an MVP volunteer herself and is going to fill out the application once she is feeling better! She has talked about wanting to be a support to other widows in the future.
During this pandemic our volunteers have been busy checking on their lodge’s or chapter’s older masons, widows and widowers. We have provided them with PPE, thermometers and hand sanitizers (for those delivering items or providing transportation). Volunteers have sent cards, shoveled snow, and even made nursing home visits through windows. This is just an extension of what the volunteers typically do during a crisis or an emergency like an ice storm or a heat wave. They remind our community clients to keep food and water on hand, alternate heat sources, back up medication and to have a plan for power outages or flooding. If a need is discovered, the volunteer can then make referrals back to the Resource Center so that we may be able to help by linking that client with available resources or by using our Emergency Assistance Program.
We are very proud of what our MVP volunteers do, of their loyalty to the program and their efforts in helping our Resource Center clients.
If there isn’t an MVP Committee in your home district, please consider helping us to start one so that together we can reach more people in need. The following districts do not have a Committee: 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 16, 21, 22 and 25, although there is interest in 2, 21 and 16, with further discussion to follow.
Thank you for your support of this program. Our volunteers are an integral part of what we do in the community and enable us to expand our resources exponentially.Volunteer Training Guide