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Freemasons support more ways to help people than any other private organization. In the beginning--the 1700's and early 1800's, Masonic charity was largely limited to members, their widows and their orphans. Homes for the Aged and Orphanages were established all over America.

But Masonic charity soon reached far beyond that fraternity, and now the great majority of the $525 million dollars given in America each year goes to those with no connection to Masonry.

Perhaps the best known Masonic charity are the Shriners Hospitals for Children, where the world's very best care for birth defects and orthopedic problems is available completely free of charge. In recent years, the Shrine has established Burn Centers where childhood victims of burns are treated, also free of charge.

The Scottish Rite has established Childhood Language Disorders Centers across America, where children with language problems (the most common problem children experience) are treated. Another part of the program provides training for teachers in a technique which is 87% effective in teaching children with dyslexia how to read.

The York Rite Eye Foundation does important vision research, as well as offering free eye surgery to children when the surgery is necessary to save their vision.

There are many other Masonic organizations which fund major research efforts into: Muscular Dystrophy, Childhood Neural Development, Diabetes, Schizophrenia, Mental Retardation, Learning Disorders and many other areas. One organization provides dental treatment for children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and myasthenia gravis, conditions that require highly specialized treatment.

In Indiana, Masons support the Masonic Home, with facilities in Franklin, Indiana, the Child ID Program and scholarships. In addition, each lodge can develop their own charity programs, to help fund local needs and projects.

Caring is an essential part of the personality of a Mason. That caring touches the lives of 1 in 4 Indiana residents every year.