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The Oregon Masonic Youth Education and Literacy Foundation (OMYELF) was established by Oregon Freemasons to improve the education and literacy opportunities, activities, and capabilities of youth in Oregon. Efforts of OMYELF give students in public and charter schools the tools and support to build a strong education foundation, enabling them to be successful students now and productive citizens in the future.

The programs are listed below and allow all Lodges in this Grand Jurisdiction to help children in their local communities. Monies matched or reimbursed will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis within our fiscal year (May 1 – April 30), until all budgeted funds have been distributed. Applications, however, may be submitted year-round.

With generous contributions of time and money by Masons statewide, we can continue to help build a love of learning and make a significant difference in Oregon’s literacy rates, now and for the long-term. This is an opportunity to make an impact that will last forever – making education our legacy.

OMYELF acts as an umbrella foundation for the following programs:

Creating A Partnership (CAP) is available to boost the effort of Oregon Lodges in supporting community-focused projects to impact the education of local youth. We believe it’s the people who see the students every day who are able to best identify their needs and this is where CAP can make an impact.

Eligible projects include support for -
A. Individuals in need: Lodges may identify an individual or family in need within the community (i.e. through schools or local organizations/families). CAP can boost Lodge effort to provide clothing, basic school supplies, coats, shoes, dental work, eyeglasses, etc. Lodge scholarships are also an eligible form of support.

B. Projects: Lodges may identify projects within the community through charitable or other non-profit organizations, such as schools (i.e. backpack programs, reading incentives, playground equipment, etc.). Recipients of project-based support must be a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization, as defined by the IRS, or a public entity such as a school, firehouse or police department. An IRS determination letter must be provided with your application, if applicable.

Read the full guidelines here.

*Programs like Bikes for Books, Kindles for Books, Robotics, Blue Lodge and Masonic Youth Group Scholarships are all encompassed under Creating A Partnership. If your Lodge participates in one of those, your projects are likely eligible for reimbursement.


How It Works
The goal of The Grand Lodge's involvement is to amplify the efforts of the sponsoring Lodge, to make a bigger impact on the recipients and community. The Grand Lodge of Oregon offers 50% reimbursement with approved applications, repaying fifty cents for every dollar to the Lodge for school-related support through Creating A Partnership.

Example: A school nurse requests help with eye-glasses for a little girl. The Lodge decides to fund the $100 purchase and after submission of a receipt with the application, receives a $50 reimbursement from The Grand Lodge of Oregon, boosting future efforts.
Raising A Reader (RAR) is a nationally acclaimed literacy program creating new opportunities for children to gain crucial skills for academic success. In partnering with Raising A Reader, Oregon Freemasons provide children with book bags containing books they will take home and read with their family. This encourages children to read, learn, and succeed – one book at a time.
While schools are charged with educating children, the cornerstone of literacy is established inside the home through family engagement. Through RAR’s unique “book cuddling” program, parents can use the books to connect with their children – helping them learn to read while creating strong family bonds. By giving families tools and support to build a strong educational foundation for their children, we are impacting the future of thousands of children and families.

To advocate for literacy in your community, partner with the Grand Secretary to bring Raising A Reader to your local schools.

Our Unique Opportunity

Through generous contributions of time and money of our membership, we are supporting a new cycle of literacy by building a love of learning and strengthening family bonds through reading together.
Each year more than 113,000 children between the ages of 6 and 11 become missing or lost in the United States. Child I.D. provides parents with the opportunity to create a kit of identifying materials for their child, free of charge, giving peace of mind that they are prepared for the unthinkable.

The kit includes crucial information should a child become lost or missing with the child's photograph, fingerprint and description, to have on hand in case of an emergency. The entire process takes only a minute and no information is ever recorded on the computer equipment. The program operates with strict confidentiality.

The Grand Lodge of Oregon offers 50% reimbursement with approved applications, repaying fifty cents for every dollar to the Lodge for purchase of the software and operating equipment required by the Child I.D. program.

Keeping Children Safe in Oregon

The Grand Lodge of Oregon and local Lodges work together to bring this service to Oregon communities to support the safety of our youth. The program, lauded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is supported financially by Oregon Freemasons and staffed by volunteers at parades, county fairs, and many local community events.
*Programs like Bikes for Books, Kindles for Books, Robotics, Blue Lodge and Masonic Youth Group Scholarships are all encompassed under Creating A Partnership. If your Lodge participates in one of those, your projects are likely eligible for reimbursement.

REQUEST REIMBURSEMENT

For Creating A Partnership, please use this APPLICATION.

If interested in Raising A Reader or Child ID programs, please fill out this FORM.


SUPPORT OMYELF

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, OMYELF relies entirely on private, tax-deductible donations to fund the youth programs. 100% of the funds will be used to mature or develop educational programs in local communities throughout Oregon.

To join Oregon Freemasons in supplying these educational opportunities, please consider becoming a contributor. Donations to OMYELF can be made by anyone, Masonic affiliation is not required. Any amount helps. Donate online or mail donations to The Grand Lodge of Oregon at 2150 Masonic Way, Forest Grove OR 97116.

CONTACT US:

Any questions regarding OMYELF may be directed to the Grand Lodge office at (503) 357-3158.