Odd Fellows and Rebekahs have actively supported the Arthritis Foundation since 1986, embracing the opportunity to have a role in the search for a cure for arthritis by volunteering time, donating money and devoting efforts at the local, state and national levels. Contributions have allowed the Arthritis Foundation to sponsor research that has resulted in major treatment advances for most arthritis conditions. Over 5 million dollars have been raised and contributed over the last 15 years.
In 1985, George Shaw, SGM, had the vision to recognize that a relationship with the Arthritis Foundation could be beneficial to our organization as well as to the millions who are affected by this disease. In 1987, with the encouragement of PSGM Hugh Bradley, legislation was presented and passed making Arthritis an approved Sovereign Grand Lodge charity.
Odd Fellows and Rebekahs embraced the opportunity to have a role in the search for a cure for arthritis by volunteering time, donating money and devoting their efforts at the local, state or province and national levels. The continued and on-going participation by the members in support of this program has been evident by the amount of money raised over the past 16 years. Creative and innovative way of raising money have taken place, in addition, volunteer have manned telephones, stuffed envelopes and make themselves available to local chapters.
Odd Fellows and Rebekahs have been blessed with a sincere and giving membership. Millions are given each year to all related and community charities. Although our numbers have shrunk somewhat, the support given to those charities is greater than ever before.
It took almost seven years to raise the first $1,000,000.00 and only three years to raise the second. In 2001, we raised over $565,000.00 and were recognized as a major individual contributor. WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE! Making the world a better place to live is a principle of the Odd Fellowship. As we head into this century let us continue to join the brothers and sisters of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs of accomplishing this goal by accepting the challenge of finding a cure for arthritis.