Most Worshipful Grand Master
JEFFREY M. WILLIAMSON
Grand Master of Mason's in
The State of New York

 

Masons are stepping up efforts to identify children at risk through a renewed emphasis on two of the most relevant programs offered by the Masons through their community outreach programs. He made this commitment this past weekend in the wake of the senseless mall and school shootings. "If these troubled young people had been identified, it is probable that these murders would not have occurred," he said. "This is the right thing to do!!"

Most Worshipful Williamson indicated that the funds to support these programs would come from the Grand Master's allocation from the Masonic Brotherhood Fund, a tax exempt 501 (c) 3 charity. He is asking individual Masons, family’s members and friends, as well as Lodges, Districts and Masonic Foundations, to renew their support of these vital programs through donations to the current Masonic Brotherhood Fund campaign and earmarked for the Grand Master's Allocation. Grand Master Williamson indicated he has the whole hearted support of R∴ W∴ Charles Catapano, Deputy Grand Master, in this effort and the Deputy Grand Master has pledged to work to continue and expand this program.

MSAT is a pioneering program developed by Masons in a number of states through the National Foundation for Children. For many years, NY Past Grand Master Carl Smith was the Chairman of the Board of the NFFC. He has this to say about this program, "MSAT makes a difference; since our first workshop in October, 2001, more than 2,300 New York educators have attended The MSAT Workshops; studies show that for every educator who received the training, more than 7 students each year receive help. This is one of the most effective systems for saving students at risk, and New York Masons are recognized as supporting this effort.”

The concept is to teach school administrators, teachers, counselors and other school personnel who interface with children, to recognize kids at risk ... children at risk because of peer abuse, sexual abuse, parental abuse, drug abuse and many of the other social causes which lead them to go astray. Once recognized, these children can then be offered the help they so desperately need through professional community based agencies.

The Masonic Safety ID program is one of the most active Masonic projects in the state with most Lodges actively participating. The concept is to provide parents and guardians with a compact disc with digital photographs, finger prints and all vital statistics to aid police through the Amber Alert Program when a child goes missing. According to statistics, some 20,000 children go missing in New York State alone each year.