Just before Thanksgiving, Masonic Angel Foundation volunteer Bill Stoeckert swooped into Eastham Elementary school to deliver 8 winter coats requested by school nurse Karen Reichers.
It was a bittersweet moment, as the Masonic Angels are bidding farewell to Ms. Reichers upon her retirement later this month. “Karen Reichers is the last of our original school contacts,” reported MAF co-founder Robert Fellows. “We started MAF nineteen years ago with schools in Orleans, Eastham and Brewster. Karen has been there with us every step of the way. As our programs grew, she was right there to advocate for the students. In addition to winter coats, Eastham receives monthly food deliveries from our Beehive Food Program, school supply kits from Beehive School Tools and computers from our Laptops for KidZ project. Ms. Reichers helped us pilot test some of these programs, many of which have achieved impact far beyond the local area. She is also an excellent resource when we are trying to educate ourselves on a particular issue of concern. Karen has been a gem. It was an honor to work with her these past nineteen years!”
Once again this year, the Masons are purchasing coats through The Clothes Den in Orleans. Masonic Angel Foundation co-founder Robert Fellows commends The Clothes Den’s owner, Dennis Talbot. “Dennis provides these coats at an incredibly low price. They are high quality, brand name coats, mainly close-outs. The Clothes Den’s pricing lets us buy three times more coats that if we had purchased at full retail.”
Each coat recipient in the Nauset Region receives a pair of gloves and hat with their brand new coat.
Coats placed in the Nauset Region are funded by a generous grant from The Federated Church of Orleans and local private donors. Since they partner with school professionals, the Masons do not learn the identity of the children who receive their coats.
In 2016 the Masonic Angel Foundation and its chapters delivered 435 winter coats to children from Wellfleet to Falmouth.