Spring “Shedding” – Masons Cross Districts to Build for MHCO

    21stMasonic_DonationTrip_Movies_Shed_2 Adding it to the Home’s monthly Needs List, a new Garden Shed for the Children’s Community Garden seemed like a big project.  With great expense and the decision to build, buy, transport, or trade, the Home’s growing garden was in need, but could that need be fulfilled?  Within the past year this monumental need was made reality and not just through the efforts of one gift, one person, or one Lodge, but through the generosity, care, and commitment of many.  It seems fitting that during a year of emphasizing the foundation of the Home and the relationships of people, one building for our Children’s Garden proved to bring together the charity, work, and faith of many.

    LandscapeDay_keithshed_4 Starting in the spring of 2015, the Lodges of the 21st Masonic District made it their purpose to collect enough funds to purchase a kit to provide the Home with a Garden Shed.  On June 26, 2015, led by DDGM Frank Wanko of Southern Pines No. 484, members of the district delivered $1,280, collected from the Lodges of the District, given to purchase a shed for the campus.  With the money donated, the kit was delivered that summer.  Next was the task of assembly.

     With a generous donation from the local CertainTeed Plant located in Oxford, NC, shingles were donated to complete the parts needed to construct the shed in early 2016.  Left was the skill, knowledge, LandscapeDay_keithshed_3and “sweat equity” to bring the building together.  With the opportunity to gather on the Home’s annual Great Landscape, brethren from the Home’s own district, District 13, came to the campus, saw, hammer, and level in hand on March 19, 2016.  Assembling the group was Brother Tommy Keith of Creedmoor Lodge No. 499 and with his and the efforts of over twenty Masonic brethren in two weekends, the shed was completed for use this spring and for years to come, adding to the Children’s Garden a valuable and useful piece for the future.

     Shed_April2016_3The true value of this simple wooden shed – the gift of collaboration, Masonic Unity, and the benevolence that comes when many give together – all for the kids.  Watching these donors come together, each giving a cherished and useful gift, in so many ways demonstrates the true power of a donation, when given by many.  It is what has carried this Home for over 143 years.  Much like the principles of the Masonic Fraternity, these builders each gave of themselves and relied upon the strengths and generosity of every person, from collections to construction, all to Shed_April2016_6bring their offering for use at their Children’s Home.  This was truly a gift from many that will give to many, for years and years to come.


     We salute and thank all those who had a part in this project, which will stand to serve our campus, our children, and as a reminder to what can be truly be given when donors believe and come together based on that belief in helping a child.





Carthage Lodge No. 181

Laurinburg Lodge No. 305

Raeford Lodge No. 306

Southern Pines Lodge No. 484

Rockingham Lodge No. 495

Hamlet Lodge No. 532

Roman Eagle Lodge No. 550

Elise Lodge No. 555

Elberta Lodge No. 654



Oxford Lodge No. 122

Franklinton Lodge No. 123

Adoniram Lodge No. 149

Henderson Lodge No. 229

Youngsville Lodge No. 377

Granville Lodge No. 380

Henry F. Grainger Lodge No. 412

James A. Johnson Lodge No. 413

Creedmoor Lodge No. 499

John H. Mills Lodge No. 624

Orphans Lodge No. 761

Butner Lodge No. 697


Special thanks to CertainTeed of Oxford, NC for their generous donation towards this project.



First Class of MHCO Ambassadors Begin Their Journey for the Children

ambassadorpinartwork     April 23rd was a very special weekend in the happenings of your Children’s Home.  A new and innovative program kicked-off during a spring weekend at MHCO – one ordained -to send Masons and their families forward, speaking, acting, and working on behalf of the Home and its children.  Twelve Master Masons from across North Carolina gathered, many with their spouses, to experience life on the campus  of MHCO and to learn specific information regarding the operation, programs, and plans of the Home.  With this knowledge, these Ambassadors were commissioned by Grand Master of Masons in North Carolina, MW Brother Bryant Webster, with the goal of carrying the Home’s message to families in need, interested supporters, and all seeking information and interest about MHCO.  From the idea of our alumni, seeking to engaging new and more individuals in their Home, as well as involving the Masons of NC in a more personal manner and on a more widespread basis came this innovative and important plan.  In seeking to involve more, providing them with the tools for communication, presentations, and constituent development came this first MHCO Ambassador Program in 2016.

     On Friday evening April 22nd participants met and began their orientation with a welcome with a tour of campus and dinner in different cottages.  Concluding the tours, our first class of Ambassadors and their wives met in the York Rite Chapel, there to share in the final activities of the day that would prepare them for the following sessions.  Included was a presentation from current residents of the Home and Class of ’68 Alumnus Dan Rice who shared their experience at MHCO and how important the Home has been in their lives as well as some of the daily struggles associated with life at the Home. 

     The next day began with a working breakfast and Welcome.  Information sessions began with various staff members and MHCO Marketing Chair Phil Johnson sharing information regarding the role of the Ambassador, guidelines and statutes that guide decision making regarding MHCO operations, conducting a Lodge Assessment, giving presentations on MHCO, current Programs and Services (including the referral process), Employment and Volunteering, Finance, the School of Graphic Arts, and Financial Development.  The information was intended to provide a well-rounded understanding of the many aspects of operation in order to present and respond to groups as an Ambassador.  Orientation continued with each person or couple developing an Action Plan to begin connecting with Lodges in their District, community groups to approach, and ultimately getting the message out in a manner to reach families in need in their respective communities.

DSC_0260     The weekend culminated with a Graduation Ceremony officially naming each participant as part of the inaugural Ambassador Class at MHCO.  Each received a Certificate, Pin, and a Walking Stick to help represent their purpose of leading others to the benefits, promise, and possibility of the Home.  PGM and  Board Vice Chairman Dewey Preslar presented the Walking Sticks and informed the class of their origin and purpose as it related to the Ambassador Program.  The Walking Sticks were hand crafted by Worshipful Brother David J. Stapleton of Greenville Lodge No. 284 and Dan River Lodge No. 129, who honed each just for this occasion embodying the strength, support, and importance of the work of each Ambassador for this first class.

     Commissioned by the Grand Master, each member of the Class signed the first Ambassador Charter, which currently hangs in the York Rite Chapel, there to welcome future classes for the Home.  Ambassadors were requested to provide a three year commitment to the program and new classes of twelve more individuals are scheduled for the next orientations in 2017 and 2018.  Within three years and with each new class, it is expected that each Masonic District in North Carolina will have their own Ambassador geographically located in their district.  The Ambassador will work with Lodges, civic and community organizations and individuals to provide information, make contacts, assess their relationship with the Children’s Home, develop action plans involving MHCO, present to various groups, and help take the message of hope to families in need.  For information on the Ambassador Program or to have an Ambassador come to your group, Lodge, or other venue please call The Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, 919-693-5111/888-505-4357.

The Inaugural Class of 2016 consists of:

John and Heather Harrelson    District 6

Joe and Barb Fuller                     District 9

Hubert and Pat Williamson       District 13

David and Gwen Nyce                 District 15

David and Julie Parde                 District 16

Tommy and Annie Greene         District 21

Todd and Alicia Smith                District 22

C. Ray Hall                                    District 23

Doug Earnhardt                           District 28

Chris and Liz Wilhoit                  District 34

Kenneth Sudderth                       District 37

Wiley Kessler                                District 38


     The Children’s Home continues to be a great place to be a kid and the impact it has reaches for generations.  Thank you all for helping bring this program to Light that is being shared more brightly across the state.