A Different Kind of Gift

This article appears in the November/December 2020 Scottish Rite Journal.

By Matthew T. Szramoski, 33°
Director of Development

Despite the pandemic, the holiday season is approaching us and with it the excitement of seeing family and friends, eating wonderful meals, and giving and receiving exciting gifts. Perhaps most importantly, there is a feeling of goodwill and hope for all. It is especially a time for making memories and creating family traditions.

The holiday season has always been my favorite time of the year. Everyone seems a little bit kinder, a little happier as the spirit of the season seems to permeate most. That being said, we also know that at the holidays some are suffering and many are worried about their future, careers, health, and much more. It is a time for reflection and for those who are fortunate enough to help others.

We all have either participated in or live in fear of the notorious “Black Friday.” The day after Thanksgiving when Americans go wild and shop at 3:00 AM for discounted widescreen TVs or stand in line for hours to get a special gift at 50% off. We all like to buy gifts that we know the recipient will enjoy and save money at the same time!

Have you thought about providing a different gift in 2020? Perhaps one that can change the life of a young person forever? Giving Tuesday is on December 1 this year. The concept behind Giving Tuesday was to create an opportunity for individuals to assist others during the holidays through philanthropic support rather than just on disposable gifts, to leave a legacy.

We are asking Scottish Rite Masons and their families to consider donating to our new scholarship program on Giving Tuesday. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to provide ten $1,000 scholarships to students who are seeking higher education in 2021. Despite the pandemic, college costs continue to rise and many students, particularly those in the middle class who do not qualify for aid, are in desperate need of financial support to achieve their dreams. If we can raise more than that amount, we can help even more students!

To make a donation, you can do so via our online store. Or you can send a check made payable to the “Scottish Rite Foundation” to: Development Office Giving Tuesday Program, 1733 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009.

I hope you will join me in assisting the leaders of tomorrow by providing them with the skills and tools they need through education. Recipients are required to be related to a Scottish Rite Mason including sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. We are the University of Freemasonry—will we help others receive light? By providing these scholarships we are creating opportunities for others. If we can get in line at midnight to buy that new widescreen, surely we can help a young person obtain their dream? Whether you can contribute $5 or $500, every tax-deductible gift will be treasured by a student forever.

If you have any questions on the scholarship program or would like to consider permanently endowing a scholarship, which requires a minimum of a $50,000 donation, please contact Matt Szramoski, Director of Development at 202-777-3143 or [email protected].

A Different Kind of Gift