From its inception, the Scottish Rite has been keenly conscious that benevolence is a primary function of Freemasonry, and the fraternity has always been active in that field. The four major charitable efforts of the 32° Scottish Rite Masons in this jurisdiction provide the opportunity to put Masonic principles to work. The common thread for each is “improvement of the mind.” The charities are supported through voluntary contributions.
Children’s Dyslexia Center
The newest charity was established in 1994 to provide dyslexic children with specialized one-on-one tutoring, enabling them to cope with deficits in reading and writing. While dyslexia cannot be cured, it can be treated. The Children’s Dyslexia Centers are situated throughout the 15-state jurisdiction. Many are located within a building owned or maintained by a Scottish Rite Valley. Students are accepted into the Centers’ program at no charge to their parents nor to any schools from which they are referred. Applications are not judged on the basis of economic status, race, religion, or Masonic affiliation.
Leon M. Abbott Scholarships
In 1922, a college scholarship program was inaugurated with an initial appropriation from Supreme Council funds. In 1932, Leon M. Abbott bequeathed additional funds to establish an Education and Charity Fund. The first Abbott scholarship was not awarded until 1951 when the fund reached the financial goal set by Abbott. For many years, the scholarships were presented to journalism students at selected universities throughout the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. In 1984, it was voted to expand the scholarship pro-gram by awarding grants to children and grandchildren of Scottish Rite members, and to young people active in the youth groups affiliated with the Masonic fraternity. The first academic year was 1985-86, when the funds were allocated for 68 scholarships. As the allocation increases so does the number of recipients.
National Heritage Museum
Opened in 1975 as a bicentennial gift to the nation from the 32° Scottish Rite Masons, the National Heritage Museum provides changing exhibits of Americana, interspersing the role of the fraternity in American life. The facility is located in Lexington, Massachusetts adjacent to the Supreme Council headquarters, and is open to the public seven days a week with no admission charge.In addition to the exhibition galleries, the building also contains an extensive Masonic library and a large collection of fraternal paraphernalia. Traveling exhibits expand the museum’s scope to reach those living at a distance.