Dear Companions of Warwickshire Royal Arch Chapter,
As we enjoy our Easter holiday with our family and friends there are many children for whom Easter is a continuation of their struggles and difficulties. There are so many children in our Province who have been forced to live in Shelters, Hostels and Bed and Breakfast Accommodation as a result of domestic abuse or their families have hit rock bottom due to the fall-out of the pandemic and as a result lost jobs and their home.
An Easter Egg is not much but at least it gives them something to smile about, lift their spirits if only for a day and to know that some of us care.
I was recently visiting a Craft Lodge and without any prior warning I was presented with a Cheque for £250 from Warwickshire Mark Masons Provincial Grand Master W.Bro. Phil Wills. I thanked the Mark PGM for the generosity and gave a brief explanation to the Lodge of the plight of these children. As a result, and after the meeting a brother asked me if he could contribute saying that his mother had been a victim of domestic abuse and that he had spent time in a shelter. He donated a further £100. By us reaching out to these children with a little bit of chocolate not only does it give them a SMILE today but it may well sow the seeds that they also will remember in the future what Freemasonry had done for them and would wish to become a part of Freemasonry themselves.
In total we have been able to deliver more than 3,000 Smiles again this year. A fantastic response from the brethren across our Province.
I am completely overwhelmed by the fantastic £1,000 donation from The Royal Arch Benevolent Fund of Warwickshire. I am also very grateful for the help provided by some of the Companions who gave of there time and effort to deliver the SMILES this year.
Again, on behalf of all those children and Myself I say a huge thank you to you all. You are truly magnificent.
Yours Sincerely and Fraternally
W.Bro. Andy Staker