BERLIN – A local family will have plenty of gifts to open on Christmas Day, thanks to the generosity of a Berlin fraternal group.
Members of the Lincoln Lodge 53 Prince Hall Affiliated Free and Accepted Masons and representatives of the Masonic Riders Motorcycle Club joined together to buy gifts for a Berlin family in need.
“It’s about giving to the community,” said Rodney Belmont, president of the Masonic Riders. “Some kids get whatever they want. Others don’t. We thought it’d be a great idea.”
Members of both groups stopped by Buckingham Elementary School Tuesday to drop off the two carts of gifts they purchased for a family that has three children attending the school. Lincoln Lodge 53 member Jabbar Mills said that while this was one of the first projects the group had undertaken, it was the sort of thing its roughly 40 members planned to do again in the future. He said charity was a major focus of the fraternal group based in Berlin.
“We talk about hope, faith and charity,” Mills said.
Belmont said the Masonic Riders believed in the same ideals and often worked with members of the Lincoln Lodge.
“We’re built on the pillars of society,” he said. “This is just our way of giving back.”
Mills said the group contacted Buckingham Elementary School to find a family to help because they wanted to do something for local children. In the future, they hope to work with other schools as well.
Karen Marx, principal at Buckingham, said the school had been overwhelmed with generosity from the community this holiday season. The visitors from Lincoln Lodge 53 were one of many local groups that supported school children this month. Marx said Buckingham had received coats, clothing, gloves, hats and even toys from a number of area groups, including the Ocean City Elks Lodge, Sonrise Church and St. Luke Parish, among others.
“We’ve had a ton of community support,” she said, adding that in a school with a fair number of children from needy families it was greatly appreciated. “We’ve gotten help with a little bit of everything. It’s been great.”