This message from Scottish Rite Grand Almoner Peter J. Samiec, 33°, is part of a series for the Helping Hand Initiative, a fundraising campaign to remind brothers financially impacted by the effects of Coronavirus that we are here to help them in their time of need, and to encourage brothers who are able, to give whatever they can to our relief effort. Read here about the important work of the Grand Almoner’s Fund. If you can help, visit DonateRite.org.

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

-Thomas Paine

Though written more than two centuries ago, these words from Thomas Paine at the start of America’s Revolutionary War are remarkably timely in this new reality we are experiencing in 2020.

We are living in times that try men’s souls. Many are out of work and in the days ahead could find it difficult to make ends meet. The worries about feeding their families and providing the additional necessities of clothing and shelter can be burdensome and certainly trying to one’s soul. As Grand Almoner, I can attest that there are those of us who are finding these times trying.

Commander Glattly recently sent a card to every member, asking if they were well or needed any assistance. This outreach generated responses for aid, and we stepped up. The stay-at-home orders across our Jurisdiction have not affected our resolve to help our Brothers in need through the Almoner’s Fund. Distributing this aid may look differently than it has in the past – a phone call instead of meeting face to face, a check in the mail instead of delivering it in person – but our work continues.

We are all looking forward to a return to normalcy, but many of us will be coping with a new normal. Even as lockdowns are lifted, the far-reaching effects of this crisis on our economy will likely continue, leading more of our Brothers to reach out for our assistance. Who will help these Brothers in need? We will, as Scottish Rite Freemasons through our Grand Almoners Fund, with your support. Your contributions to the Grand Almoners Fund will provide the resources that will allow us to fulfill every worthy request we receive.

Paine speaks of the “summer soldier and the sunshine patriot” who “in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country.” How easy it could be for many of us, isolated in our own homes, to shrink from serving one another and forget our duty to the Craft. Let us not profess to be Brothers but ignore this opportunity to fulfill our Masonic obligation: to help, aid and assist a worthy Brother.

As Freemasons, we aren’t called to be “summer soldiers” or “sunshine patriots,” living our principles only when the days are bright. The lesson of the cable tow reminds us of the bond we share as Brothers, a bond that must remain strong in the darkest days. We must “stand it now,” this crisis we are living, and step up in support of our fellow Brothers. If you are able, please consider contributing to the Grand Almoner’s Fund through the Helping Hand Initiative. You will definitely “deserve the love and thanks” of all the Masonic family members whom we help and assist in this worthy effort.

To donate to the Helping Hand Initiative and help support the Grand Almoner’s Fund, visit DonateRite.org.