On Saturday, December 5, Knowle Masonic Centre (KMC) hosted an initiative to collect food, toiletries and toys for less fortunate people this Christmas. Members arrived at the car park of KMC one by one in accordance with Covid 19 measures. Some came with their families and some alone. Every donating member was met with a warm welcome and thank you from the KMC Board who had assembled - albeit socially distanced to comply with the regulations. What turned one cold morning into unforgettable and collective moments of appreciation was everyone’s enthusiasm for charity.
All food and toiletries were taken to the Renewal Church in Solihull which is the main distribution centre for the Trussell Food Bank Trust in the area. As the Trust reports, there are more than 14 million people, 4.5 million of which are children, who live in poverty in the UK. Let alone the devastating consequences of the pandemic on our society in 2020, food bank use increased by 74% in the last five years. All items have been sorted and stored professionally to provide emergency access to thousands of people who rely on the support of caring communities.
The pictures show the significant amount donated by our selfless members. The Church make nearly 100 food drops a day to deserving people in the local Solihull area. KMC also donated £500 in cash to them from its members in order to buy further food bank items.
The toys were originally destined for the local hospital but unfortunately, with COVID admissions are just not taking place so KMC agreed with them to take all toys to Birmingham City Mission (the Mission). The Mission is a wonderful organisation which, each Christmas, delivers a 'Toy Christmas Box' to around 3,000 children in the area. Those children quite literally will not receive a single other present so everyone should be very proud of all of those toys donated!
Being aware of the significance of the current crisis we are in, KMC cannot express its gratitude enough for the generosity of its members, lodges, chapters and other units. KMC particularly extends its appreciation to Junior Chamber and Grosvenor lodges for their commendable cash donations. £1,000 received by KMC’s community funds account have been shared equally between the Trust and the Mission so that more food and toys could be provided to less fortunate members of our precious community.
‘Community and Charity at Our Heart,’ the inspiring motto of KMC, not only denotes the key principles and values of the centre but also reflects the strategic importance of its services for its community.
The pictures say it all and KMC and the wider Province as a whole are proud of all of those units and members who kindly donated.
This article is edited by Ian Slesser, Communications Officer of Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire.