Fred and Karen Kaiser
Why I believe in the Michigan
Masonic Charitable Foundation.
I have been affiliated with the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation (MMCF) for nearly 20 years, in one form or another. I first became aware of its good works in supporting Masonic Pathways, scholarships, the Red Cross, and a host of other community programs as a member of the Board of General Purposes. Membership in the Lewis Cass Legacy Society soon followed. My lovely wife, Karen, is also now a member of the Society.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to contribute to the Deputy Grand Master’s Appeal, Holiday appeals, and to become a sustaining donor. These last 7 years, I have even been able to serve as a trustee of the Foundation Board, which has allowed me to stay abreast of the differences your Foundation brings daily to the lives of individuals and the communities in which we have a presence.
Nothing brought home the importance of the Foundation to me more than difficulties with my mother in 2009. We recognize now, with hindsight, that what we thought were just eccentricities and the signs of normal aging were actually symptoms of the dreaded disease we know as Alzheimer’s. It rapidly began to take its toll on Mom.
The health care system in our country is great, but incredibly disconnected and uncoordinated. One health care provider too often doesn’t communicate with another, unless the family forces the issue. And, to whom do you turn when a health care need arises? What I would have given to have a wonderful program like Live Better at Home, so that I might have called and gotten advice, counsel and referral to agencies along the way!
We received a call in February, 2009, from the visiting nurse attending my mother in her home. The nurse told us that Mom nearly lit herself on fire fixing dinner for herself, and that she didn’t feel Mom could continue to care for herself at home. She said, “Fred…it’s time.” Knowing that as a member in good standing of our Fraternity, I might be able to secure a place at Masonic Pathways, I made a telephone call there. An angel named Janet Hunter was able to help right away. She guided me through the admissions process, and before I knew it, Mom was in that safe and wonderful community. We knew Mom would find as much support as her condition dictated, proper medication, nutritious meals, and new friends with whom she could interact. Your Foundation dollars helped make the wonderful Pathways community possible.
Your investment also aid members in distress. Mom had been very frugal all her life, but she exhausted her savings with home maintenance and other daily living expenses, so when she transitioned to Masonic Pathways she only had her home, an older car and monthly Social Security income as assets. Your donations ensured that as Mom’s care moved from assisted living, to the Alzheimer’s Unit, to nursing care and the cost exceeded her income, Masonic Assistance was able to make up the difference.
Sadly, Mom’s illness and a series of mini-strokes only allowed her to live for four months at Masonic Pathways. But for that four months, Karen and I are eternally grateful to Pathways, the Foundation, and to you for providing her support. My co-workers donated enough to the Foundation so that two trees were planted in her name. I continue to visit them at Pathways when weather permits, and remember…
You make these kinds of stories possible, every day. We have our predecessors to thank for their investments, and you to thank for yours. Please continue. If you’re not yet a contributor, please ask a trustee or Foundation staff member how you may best do so, in any amount that you can afford. Or, seek out the MMCF at http://michiganmasonsfoundation.org.