The Mission Statement of the Sovereign Order includes in the first point “to create and deliver to the fullest extent…the benefits that can be developed for the Lord’s sick and poor”. These benefits are for all regardless of religion. They are an obligation for every Commandery and Priory. These obligations stem from the early years of the Sovereign Order when every Knight, including the Grand Master, was required to give a day every week to the Hospice.
Helping one’s neighbour is a Christian duty for all Knights and Dames of the Sovereign Order. Individual effort is a spiritual obligation. Each Commandery is also expected to help the Sick and Poor with projects that involve joint action, whether it is donations, effort by members or some combination of both. Individual effort is difficult to capture and list on a website and often may not be in the name of the Order. Group activity, however, can be identified. We show below the activities from 2011 for reporting Commanderies.
Each Commandery chooses the charities it will support. Most charitable activities are for the benefit of the local area. Some Commanderies choose a few larger projects and others distribute smaller contributions over a broader spectrum. But everywhere, the joy of seeing others helped is a fundamental reason for membership. The Knights and Dames of the Sovereign Order are thankful for the opportunity.
All funds contributed for charities go to the designated charities. There are no charges for overheads whatsoever. The Sovereign Order annual Oblations (dues) are used to cover the low operating costs and for additional donations. In addition, Commanderies and Priories have a variety of fund raising events and campaigns, the net funds of which go directly to charity. No Member receives compensation for any work done for the Sovereign Order.
Below is a partial list of charitable projects carried out by Commanderies and Priories since January 2011. The efforts vary according to the size of the Commandery or Priory. The easiest way to get to an area of interest is to click on it in the index to the right. Otherwise, simply scroll through the projects to those of interest.
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of Canada > Vancouver Commandery
- BC Hospice and Palliative Care Association: The BCHPCA represents many BC hospices and palliative care organisations. It is the main organisation for the Province with over 160 individual and group members. The Commandery has supported them for over 10 years. Strategies to improve the oversight capabilities and functionality of the BCHPCA were devised. $30,000.
- Chilliwack Hospice Society: This Hospice provides over 660 hours particularly for its relaxation program. The award allowed for an increase in the number of volunteers by 8 with a corresponding increase in hours of service within the hospice. $5000.
- Comox Valley Hospice Society: This hospice provides bereavement support for 170 new clients per year. The award allowed development of training materials, workshops and consultations to build the community bereavement support capacity. $5000.
St. John Hospice: Funding of the planning, architectural conceptions, construction, building equipment and furnishings was started. This project was conceived, planned, designed and built by the Commandery. The funds were raised largely from members with an assist through BC Housing. The 99 year lease of land negotiated with the University of British Columbia represented value in the region of $7 million while the cost of the building was $5.3 million. The website is at stjohnhospice.ca
- BC Hospice and Palliative Care Association: This important association started to experience increased support from volunteer board members, improved support of members and stabilisation of its staff. The ongoing support has helped to foster resurgence in its fortunes and capabilities. $27,500.
- St. John Hospice: Ongoing capital funding of the 2012 project.
- Christ Church Cathedral: In support of the Centenary Celebrations of this iconic church providing pastoral support for the residents of Vancouver and services to the disadvantaged in the downtown area of Vancouver. $5,650.
- Camp Kerry Society: Innovative bereavement support for children youth and families. These are science based peer group programs which can have a lifelong effect particularly on youth. Inspirational leaders and community support provide coping tools, positive memories and helpful connections to others with similar experiences. $5000.
- Comox Valley Hospice: Enhancement of their website, particularly related to advance care planning and development of tools to assist in volunteer training. Volunteers donate 23,000 hours of service annually. The donation will help provide accessible and cost effective technologies to allow increased knowledge of “having the talk” about mortality. $5,500.
- Comox Valley Hospice: The non-profit society has 160 volunteers and proposed to enhance retention and continuing interest for volunteers through development of online training and by augmentation of classroom training currently used. The donation was to address multiple different concepts and training options to assist volunteer training. $5,900.
- St. John Hospice: Ongoing funding of the 2012 capital project completed. Members of the Commandery managed the recovery from burst pipes. Funding was completed and the Hospice put in service. As noted in 2012, $5.3 million.
- Camp Kerry Society: Support of a successful youth bereavement program, of great benefit to many youth, from a variety of cultural backgrounds. This donation was particularly to assist in the employment of a year round counsellor to enhance the annual Camp. $5000.
- Fraser Canyon Hospice Society Camp Skylark: A three day camp for children aged 7-12 who had suffered bereavement sometimes in extreme circumstances. Supported also by the BC Ministry of children and families. $5,000.
- Mission Hospice Society: Training sessions for 40 volunteers for the Hospice. $4,000.
- Nanaimo Community Hospice Society: The incidence of suicide in partners of those who have committed suicide themselves is very high. (10%) The award allowed for a doubling in facilities and programs offered to surviving partners: $5,000.
- Oceanside Hospice Society: The donation is to help develop and implement a new concept, the client navigator, to assist those who have been involved in a recent bereavement.. It mirrors the patient navigators used in hospitals to allow navigation of the complexities of medical care. $5,000.
- Castlegar Hospice Society: The donation supports a new concept of a drop in center to provide support for those recently bereaved. This award allows the use of a physical space and the development of a bereavement “kit” to assist in carrying out the numerous tasks which those who have been bereaved need to deal with. $5,000.
- Christchurch Cathedral: Support of the necessary renovations of this cathedral and the improvement of its kitchens, providing about 36,000 meals annually for the homeless and disadvantaged of the downtown of Vancouver. $50,000.
- BC Hospice and Palliative Care Association: To facilitate the formation of the BC end of life coalition formed by the University of BC Palliative care division, the BC Center for Palliative Care, (both headquartered in the St John Hospice UBC), and the BC Hospice and Palliative Care Association. This will strengthen ties between academic medicine, the Government initiative in the Provincial end of life care action plan and private hospice and palliative care facilities. $5,000.
- BC Hospice and Palliative Care Association: To allow professional rewriting and editing of an Advance Care Planning training manual, and allow its distribution throughout BC. This is intended to ensure a wider education and involvement in this important personal planning activity critical to improved palliative care and the sustainability of the Health System in BC. $25,000.
- Pacific Rim Hospice Society: Remote First Nations communities on the West Coast of Vancouver Island experience unusually high traumatic deaths and suicide rates. Culturally sensitive counselling and other support will be provided in one community Ahousat, and started in another remote community: $5,000.
- Camp Kerry: Children who recently suffered bereavement benefit greatly from the friendship and support of peers, particularly participating in group activities. Camp Kerry will develop a community choir for children and parents. Science indicates this is a very powerful healing modality in children. $5,000.
- Comox Valley Hospice Society: The early evening or “settling time” in hospices can be difficult. Music therapy and healing touch can be very effective in allowing relaxation and providing comfort at this time. Enhancement of an already successful program will be provided. $5,000.
- Mission Hospice: Children 6-12 who have suffered bereavement will be sent to Camp Zajac for a week. This riding camp encourages friendship, reduces isolation and is known to improve recovery and ultimately success in future endeavours at home and school. $5,000.
- North Okanagan Hospice Society: A well-known national expert will facilitate a series of community learning programs “Living Well / Dying Well.” Evaluation of the effects of the events will be used to plan future such events. $5,000.
- Various Donations: There are other smaller disbursements each being between $500 and $2,000 in most of the years.
- In 2015 two projects in which the Commandery has a strong interest received a total of $2.53 million. The advocacy contributing to these large donations, to the Abbotsford Hospice Society and the BC Hospice and Palliative Care Association, was provided by members of the Vancouver Commandery. Further advocacy is expected to bear additional fruit later in 2015. No Sovereign Order funds were spent on this activity.
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of Canada > Okanagan Commandery
This Commandery started in 2014 and is developing its plan for charitable contributions.
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of Canada > Ontario Commandery
The Ontario Commandery was formed in January 2015 and established a charitable foundation later that year. The Commandery has committed to fund palliative and hospice care projects for the next 5 years.
Provided $2500 to the Ontario Palliative and Hospice Care Association of Ontario to train volunteers in key areas of palliative and hospice care.
Provided $15,000 to the Diane Morrison Hospice, a partnership between the Ottawa Mission and Ottawa Inner City Health that provides hospice care to homeless men and women in Ottawa, to renovate their nursing station as they expand their hospice from 14 to 21 beds.
Provided $15,000 to the Good Neighbours Club, in partnership with the Toronto Inner City Health Associates to support the Good Wishes project, an initiative intended to provide homeless individuals with critical support through their end of life in ways that respect their personal journeys. Specific wishes include funding a family reconnection, a set of new clothes, etc.
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of Canada > Victoria Commandery
- The Living Spaces Project: This was the final year of the Commandery’s support for the Living Spaces project which began in 2007. This project provided furniture for the personal use for people facing challenges and in supported housing in Greater Victoria. The total 5 year contribution: $220,000.
- Close to Home Counselling Service of Victoria Hospice: The Commandery made a 5 year commitment to support the Close to Home Counselling Service of Victoria Hospice. The Service provides support to the families and individuals of the street community facing an end-of-life situation. $50,000.
- Close to Home Counselling Service of Victoria Hospice: Year 2 of Counselling Service commitment. $50,000.
- Close to Home Counselling Service of Victoria Hospice: Year 3 of Counselling Service commitment: $50,000.
- Close to Home Counselling Service of Victoria Hospice: Year 4 of counselling Service commitment. $ 50,000.
- Broadmead Care Society: In support of their Overhead Lift campaign. $5300.
- Victoria Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation: To support a day long learning session for front line workers and caregivers from across Canada meeting for the first time to discuss the barriers marginalized individuals face to accessing resources at the end of life. $4000.
The Victoria Commandery has worked hard to identify a charity which was unique, important and affordable, one which could become identified with the Victoria Commandery. In 2007, the charity committee conceived and implemented the “Living Spaces” project in partnership with the Victoria Hospital Foundation, providing new beds, linens, housewares and clothing to the mentally ill homeless . In addition, more than 40 quilts were donated to the residents, and this campaign raised approximately $250,000 over 5 years.
Following this endeavour, the charity committee recommended the Commandery support a 5-year $50,000 per year commitment to a Victoria Hospice Society programme called “Closer to Community Counselling” which supports two outreach workers dealing with end-of-life issues amongst the sick and poor. Funds for this project came from a number of sources: live and silent auctions at our Investitures, donations by Members, and a very successful Art Drive for Hospice.
As a gesture to reach directly into the community, the Members served breakfast to the clients of “Our Place”, a large and extensive community service facility which aids homeless, mentally and physically challenged, and impoverished people in the inner city area.
In addition, a number of the very active Members are involved in supporting a transition home called Clover Place, under the flagship, Pacifica Housing, in which donations of time (shopping), and items (blankets, towels, books and clothing) are provided which aid in providing a link to the outside community to the underprivileged.
A request for funding for the purchase of $5,200 patient lift for Broadmead Senior Care Residence was met by the Members of the Victoria Commandery.
Approximately $11,000 was funded by the Victoria Commandery for two full-day sessions related to hospice, chaired by Dr. Kelli Stajduhar, Professor in School of Nursing & Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health.
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of the Eastern United States > Cleveland Commandery
2011 through 2016
Marion Sterling Elementary School – During the renovation of this school’s library, the Cleveland Commandery provided $10,000 for the purchase of furniture which was more suitable to the needs of the students and provided $15,000 for the purchase of books (including digital books). The school honored the donation by naming the library the “Sovereign Order of St. John Library.” The Cleveland Commandery has continued its support of the school by gifting books to the students, providing Thanksgiving dinners to the students and their families, and providing each student with a gift card for a pair of boots.
2014 through 2017
Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
In 2014, the Cleveland Commandery began communications with Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital regarding a project to combat childhood obesity, a community health epidemic. With research identifying exercise as a key factor, physicians probed various ways to increase a child’s activity and ultimately recommended a project using Fitbits. The intrigue of Fitbits lay not only with the children’s interest in wearing them, but also in the fact they allow for remote monitoring and more frequent feedback from the physician to the family. SOSJ Cleveland funded $160,000 for the purchase of Fitbits to be used in a two-year study. The study has prompted physicians to provide services of a more personalized nature in connection with their Healthy Kids Healthy Weight program. As part of this program, SOSJ Cleveland also hosted a half-day “Fun Fit Fest” at which families received information about healthy food options, learned about healthy activities, and had fun while doing so.
For a full listing and description of the Cleveland Commandery’s many projects, please refer to the Cleveland Commandery Profile under “Who We Are – Commanderies.”
Marion Sterling Library Books and Christmas Dinner
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of the Eastern United States > Commandery of Costa Rica
- Hogar Cristiano in Puntarenas received $3,000
- Hogar de Ancianos in Limon received $1,000
- Scholarship Grants in San Jose that totaled $3,000
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of the Eastern United States > The Palm Beaches Commandery
- Church & Food Pantry Food Bags: The Commandery of Palm Beaches distributed 800 food bags to the area Churches and food pantries suggested by our members. $10,000.
- Christmas Gifts: The Commandery purchased Christmas gifts, food and other needs in the City of Belle Glade, an area of considerable need. $6000.
- Individual help: The Commandery helped a family who were in dire need of a new roof, water heater and general need. The husband was bed-ridden and has since passed. They have an autistic son which prevents the mother from working. $3,400.
- Florida Outreach Centre for the Blind: The Commandery adopted the Florida Outreach Center for the Blind. The members help raise funds and provided the Christmas party with gifts and food. The Commandery also provided a computer and tablets for use in their office. $2,000.
- Rotary Feed West Palm Beach: The Commandery participated in the local Rotary Feed West Palm Beach. $1,500.
- Malta Orphanage: Members of the Commandery provided the Malta orphanage run by the Ursulines with face cloths and sheets. A further donation was made to help them refurbish the orphanage. The donation was made with the Washington and Cleveland Commanderies also participating. € 800.
- Eagle Wings Foundation: The Commandery assisted the Eagles Wing Foundation in providing post-disaster in Haiti relief. $1,000.
- Homeless Coalition: The Commandery helps them provide help and shelter for the homeless. $2,400.
- Matthew 25: This local prison ministry was received a support grant. $6,000. A further grant was made to paint a truck and provide signage. $2,850.
- On-going help for Belle Glade:Belle Glade, Florida is located in Palm Beach County, one of the richest counties in the State, while it is one of the poorest cities within the County. Our Commandery has adopted The First Haitian Baptist Church located in Belle Glade, Florida. Pastor Moralas St. Hilaire provides an After School Program for the local children to help them and keep them off the streets.The children are picked up from school and helped with school work, play time, music and are fed snacks and faith and then returned to their homes. The existing building for this project has reached the end of its life and is unfit to refurbish. The Commandery has undertaken a campaign to try and rebuild this building. To date we have collected $16,510. Our goal is to get 5,000 people to donate $200 to reach this goal.
- In Jacob’s Shoes Foundation: The mission of In Jacob’s Shoes is to provide new and gently used shoes, school supplies and athletic shoes and equipment to economically disadvantaged youth. Scholarships are also awarded to children and teens for camp, athletic, education, travel, after school care and extra-curricular programs. Further, we obtained over 132 pairs of shoes for the children at First Haitian Baptist Church After-School Program. Then in August, we obtained another round of shoes and this time we delivered to school back packs filled with school supplies. Working hand in hand with them we have collected shoes and even had a “Cleaning Night” where members participated in the process of making the shoes look like new. This program requires more effort than cash. $1,000.
- Urban Youth Impact SMART Coding Component Project: This project teaches Computer Programming to train the children in the intercity a trade. We also sent school supplies to the Urban Your Impact that was accumulated during our annual BBQ. $4,500.
- Food and Clothing: Member volunteers picked up and delivered food and clothing on an ongoing basis from local food pantries, donations from individuals and churches to be given to the Academy for Nurses & Health Occupations, a not for profit school, whose students come from the Belle Glade & Pahokee area. Many of these people do not know where their next meal will come from on the weekends when most pantries are closed. The Commandery has also given clothing to One Love – One Community Foundation which provides clothes closets in Title 1 Schools in Palm Beach County. At our Investiture we requested those participating in the Luncheon to bring an inexpensive rain poncho for the children in the Title 1 schools so that when it rains, they won’t get soaked. We filled a large bin!
- Coral Springs Museum of Art: A software package was donated by a member in the name of the Order to start an autistic program for painting. The program allows them to point at a paint can and then paint on the wall digitally, save it and never make a mess on the floor or wall. It will be a special exhibit. $5,000.
- Hygiene Bag Project: This year at the Investiture Weekend the Commandery did a “hands on project” where we prepared 100 hygiene bags for the homeless. Many members purchased product and also collected various items from all of their travels. These bags were assembled at our Friday Luncheon and all participated. Even the Grand Master! We also teamed up with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church who provides “Glad Sacks” filled with snacks for the children at the First Haitian Baptist Church. These were also assembled by our participants at the luncheon and 160 glad sacks were delivered to Belle Glade. A dollar amount cannot be given as it was a hands on project that comes from the heart!
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of the Western United States > St. Joseph Commandery (San Jose, California)
- Valley Medical Centre: Support went to the Valley Medical Centre for this new facility for spinal cord and traumatic brain injury program. The gift supports the park which is crucial for rehabilitation. It provides a course to train wheelchair users and expose them to various surfaces such as gravel, steps, curves and hills. $100,000
Family Supportive Housing: This organisation operates a shelter for homeless families in a converted warehouse. They provide a medical case manager to manage the program to address the families’ health needs. The Commandery provided funds for a medical room and related equipment in the residence for care, exams and inoculations. $50,000
- Advent Group Ministries: Advent serves youth who are victims of addictions, abuse, neglect and chaotic family lives. They provide their services through four homes, after school recovery programs, counseling and women’s and children’s refuge. Most kids come from probation programs. For many, Advent is a last chance. One of the recovery residences located in Morgan Hill was in dire need of remodelling after 23 years of use as a group home. The Commandery provided the funding and it is now named “The Knights of St. John’s House”. We also funded a new van. $100,000
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: In partnership with Veteran’s Affairs, the Alliance teaches military families how to support and advocate for their loved one. One focus is increasing the awareness by families of the resources available to handle Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Commandery paid for kiosks and LCD displays describing the available resources and placed in appropriate locations such as Veteran’s hospitals and community colleges. $79,072
- Defenders Lodge (Palo Alto): provides short term lodging for outpatient veterans and their caregivers while receiving medical treatment. This new facility is operated by the Veteran’s administration. The grant will help defray the construction costs. $100,000
- Mission Hospice and Home Care: A San Mateo based non-profit providing end of life care. Their rapid growth meant a need to upgrade their information structure, especially their Electronic Medical Record system. The program includes training of clinical staff, a common omission in such systems. $100,000
- Life Services Alternatives: This group provides affordable housing options for developmentally disable adults in Santa Clara County. They purchased their eleventh home which needed major renovation and refurbishment. The grant paid for the majority of the refurbishment. $100,000
- Hospice of the Valley: They have provided end of life and grief care to those needing palliative care and their families since 1979.Their computer systems were antiquated. The Commandery grant funded server and software upgrades and the purchase of iPads, and the like to provide access at care locations to medical records for clinicians: $$75,000
- Advent Group of Ministries: See 2012 above. The Commandery funded the modernization of Advent’s outdated information and phone systems.$25,000 matched by others
- One Step Closer Therapeutic Riding: This is an adaptive horseback riding center that helps 2000 children and adults, including over 200 U.S. veterans, each year. The Commandery donation will help refurbish the main bard, reducing safety issues. This will help staff to focus on their main objectives. $50,000
- St. Leo the Great School (STEM): This 120 year old school is emphasizing the use of technology throughout the curriculum. The school’s top priority is the implementation of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program. The total cost was covered by $35,000 from the Commandery matched by one of our members
- Services for Brain Injury: We funded a project to upgrade their outdated information system, including an electronic record management system. $40, 000
- Respite & Research for Alzheimer’s Disease: Alzheimer’s Activity Center: This organization provides daycare services to older adults with Alzheimer’s and related disorders, support for their families, community education, and inter-generational programs facilitated though the co-location of a licensed childcare facility on the Center grounds. It also serves as a small group cooking activity space for participants. SOSJ granted $60,000 for their project.
- Live Oak Adult Day Service: Live Oak Adult Day Care offers caregivers support and relief so that the caregiver can go to work, finish errands and other daily tasks while knowing that their loved one is well tended in a caring environment. In order to enhance the social/spiritual and calming of our clients, Live Oak would like to create a “Sovereign Order of St. John’s Garden” at each of their four sites. SOSJ granted $30,000 to LOACS for the design & construction of the gardens.
- Hope Services: Hope Services is the leading provider of services to people with developmental disabilities in Silicon Valley, and serves more than 3,900 people and their families in six counties. One of their major strategic initiatives is implementing an Employment, Media, and Community Connections program, designed to provide opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to learn, socialize, and receive services and supports that will improve the quality of their lives, and encourage them to be valuable members of the community. SOSJ supported Hope’s project with a grant of $70,000.
- Costco Ministries: A local Pastor collects items from three different Bay Area Costco’s and delivers them several times each week for the past 7 years! The primary beneficiary of these precious gifts from Costco and administrated by this Pastor is City Team: Heritage Home and House of Grace. Providing compassionate ministry for women who are pregnant and have no where else to turn and where abused and/or addicted women can rebuild their lives without being separated from their children. SOSJ gave this Ministry a grant of $35,000 to replace the aged truck-trailer.
- Family Supportive Housing: (See 2011) Family Supportive Housing completed the construction of a new residence for homeless families that combines the short term housing program with services to empower the families to move to self-sufficiency. For continued support in 2016 SOSJ donated $10,000 to FSH for the purchase of 18 Dell processors and one networked printer.
Cancer CAREpoint: Cancer CAREpoint was founded in 2010 and provides a wide range of free, non-medical support services to cancer patients and their families. Despite the excellent medical care in the South Bay, non-medical support is lacking. Cancer CAREpoint is the only local organization in San Jose that provides support for cancer patients and their family members, regardless of where they receive treatment, their cancer type, insurance type or ability to pay. Their mission is to transform support for cancer patients, families and caregivers in Silicon Valley through personalized, one-on-one Counseling, Assistance, Resources and Education. They serve almost 1400 cancer patients and their families annually.
SOSJ is providing funding of $25,000 to purchase twelve new computers to replace current computers, the majority of which are over 7 years old. This would significantly enhance their productivity and enable them to improve the way they track and support their patients.
Homeless Veterans Emergency Housing Facility (HVEHF): HVEHF has provided transitional housing and supportive services to over 8000 homeless Veterans since its founding fourteen years ago. These vital services include housing, linkage to VA treatment programs, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, Mental Health and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment.
HVEHF’s transitional housing program is designed not only to provide stable housing, but also serve as an access point to VA health care and benefits. Currently, the facility has 25 treatment beds and 125 transitional housing beds for homeless in need of emergency housing services. They feed 150 homeless Veterans daily.
SOSJ is providing a grant of $65,000 that will be used for a much-needed major kitchen overall as well as to purchase a 15-passenger van that is needed to transport veterans to medical appointments, conduct out-reach efforts and bring homeless veterans to/from the facility to the Palo Alto VA.
JW House: JW House is an independent, nonprofit hospitality house in Santa Clara that provides hope, hospitality and healing to caregivers and families while their loved ones receive treatment at hospitals in Silicon Valley. Whether caregivers live across town or hundreds of miles away, JW House strives to provide a fully-inclusive experience to each day use and overnight guest. Since opening in 2008, they have hosted more than 50,000 individual visits.
JW House provides two types of services: Overnight Services and the Day Use Program. Families who have traveled more than 30 miles to their hospital are eligible for overnight accommodations, and preference is given to families of pediatric patients.
The Day Use program enables local families, as well as others who may not qualify for an overnight stay, to enjoy JW House during the day. They offer private rooms with showers and toiletries as well as day beds. Dinner is served 365 nights per year. All day use services are free of cost.
SOSJ is providing $38,200 in funding to purchase a number of household items including furniture, appliances, and a security system.
National Association on Mental Health (NAMI): NAMI Santa Clara County’s mission is to help people with a lived experience of mental illness and families by providing support, education and advocacy; to promote research; to reduce stigma and discrimination in the community; and to improve services by working with mental health professionals and families. Their mission is accomplished through nine educational and support programs
In 2012, SOSJ provided $79,000 in funding for the construction of kiosks which are used to make Veterans and their families aware of a special version of NAMI’s very popular Family to Family Program that focuses on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Currently, SOSJ is providing funding of $25,700 to update their failure prone Information System by purchasing sixteen desktop computers and a server.
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of the Western United States > San Francisco Commandery
Records of earlier charitable activities are currently unavailable.
- Operation Freedom Paws: This organisation assists returning veterans and other individuals with disabilities in acquiring the tools and knowledge to train and service their own service dogs. This helps overcome anxiety disorders and reduces the problems caused by the multi-year waiting list for trained dogs from existing organisations. $12,000.
- George Mark Children’s House: This Bay Area facility is a leader in pediatric palliative care. They emphasize family-centered medical care that emphasizes quality of life in a compassionate and supportive atmosphere. $5,000.
- Operation Freedom Paws: See 2014. $20,000.
- George Mark Children’s House: See 2014. $40,000.
- Operation Digging Deep: Digging Deep is a workbook for parents and children with cancer or other serious illnesses. The book guides families through exercises and important conversations about feelings, questions and concerns they have about their illnesses. The donation makes these books available to families who could otherwise not afford them. $20,000.
This movie was shown at our 2016 Christmas Ball to highlight the history of the Order and to announce and promote our chosen charities.
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of the Western United States > Commandery of the Sierras
- Renown Children’s Hospital Pediatric Family Room for the Pediatric ICU: This provided furniture for parents and friends of children while they are waiting to visit their child or friend in in intensive care. $15,000.
- The Assistance League: Help equip the new food pantry building for the Pantry program. This program provides food for indigent seniors. $12,000.
- Washoe County Child Advocacy Center: The donation furnished the waiting room and carpeted the building. This program is a single location where a child who has been abused or raped can see doctors, health professionals, police and district attorneys. This program minimizes the need for the child to tell their story many times to different people at different locations. $30,000.
- High Sierra Industries and Washoe Ability Service Center: This is a merged organization that serves physically and mentally challenged people. The Commandery donation is for the furnishing of a new building. $30,000.
- Compassion Community Clinic: For indigent dental care – $1500
- Various Donations: Minor contributions to Women and Family Shelter, The Sheriff’s Walkabout Program and the Women’s and children’s Center of the Sierras totalling $3100.
Grand Priory of the Americas > Priory of the Western United States > Western Military Commandery
- Semper Fi Fund: The most reputable fund focussed on wounded Veterans. $12,500.
- Bergen University of Canine Studies: This donation was for the “Paws for Purple Hearts” program. $12,500.
- Children’s Book project. $5,000.
- Clausen House: $25,000.
- George Mark Children’s House: $15,000.
- Services for Brain Injury: $32,250.
- Advent Group Ministries. $40,000.
- Clausen House: $12,000.
- Family Supportive Housing: $50,000.
- George Mark’s Children’s House: $10,000.
- Advent Group Ministries: $43,725.
- Assistance League of Reno: $12,000.
- Clausen House: $12,000.
- George Mark Children’s House: $10,000.
- Mission Hospice of San Mateo County: $54,000.
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation: $10,000.
- Advent Group Ministries: $15,700.
- Children’s Advocacy Centre: $30,000.
- Diablo Valley Veterans Foundation: $5,000.
- George Mark Children’s House: $10,000.
- Helpers of the Mentally Retarded: $5,100.
- Life Services Alternative: $50,000.
- Mission Hospice of San Mateo County: $18,326
- Operation Freedom Paws: $12,000.
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation: $50,000.
- Achieve Tahoe: This organization operates special adaptive summer and winter one -week military camps using trained instructors that provide specialized adventure learning and training in various seasonal outdoor sports for disabled veterans and their families. This organization is based at Alpine Meadows Resort, Lake Tahoe, CA. $5000.
- Project Healing Waters: This local program at the Martinez, CA Veterans Administration hospital, is part of a national organization that is focused on the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled veterans through the teaching and participation in all aspects of fly fishing. The Martinez group consists of twenty in-patient veterans who suffer these disabilities. $5000.
- San Francisco East Bay Stan Down: Provided monetary and personal support for this special, every other year VA program, which provides a three day encampment featuring many health and welfare support programs focused on homeless veterans in the bay area. $1000.
- One Step Closer: This organization, operating in Morgan Hill, CA, provides programs in therapeutic horseback training and other equine assisted therapy programs. We provided funding for services to disabled veterans and their families. $5500.
- Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra: This program, based at Mammoth Mountain Ski Lodge, Mammoth Lakes, CA, provides winter and summer programs for the disabled, using specially trained instructors and adaptive equipment. Winter skiing or snowboarding, and summer hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, cycling and horseback riding are featured. Our funds were directed to support program participation by disabled veterans. $5000.
Grand Priory of St. Henrik (Finland)
- Support for the Plan Finland Foundation to provide monthly help to a student on a special project. This was by way of a test project. 300 €
- Sewing Machine for a poor dress maker student. 675 €
- Assistance to young students in danger of social exclusion. The subsidy was through the Evangelical Lutheran Church and their Messi support centre. It was very useful in keeping distressed students in school. 2000 €
- Continuing subsidy for the youth work organized by the Lutheran church. 2500 €
- The Grand Priory celebrated the 900th Anniversary of the Order with a special effort to help those in need, to total 12600 €. The gifts were the following.
- Support to the Messi guidance and activity centre for distressed young people as managed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church and an association of young Christian men in Tampere. 7000 €
- Support to the Osvitta Crisis Centre. 1900 €
- Support for the Mummon kammari, a voluntary organisation that helps the elderly. 900 €
- Support for poor families whose fathers are in jail. 900 €
- Help for a family who lost their home to fire. 1000 €
- Help for a student and an association that helps poor families. 900 €
- Various projects to total 9000 €
- Help for the victims of the Nepal earthquake. 2000 €
- Support for the Finnish Red Cross Good Holiday Spirit campaign for less fortunate families in Finland with children. 3500 €
Grand Priory of France > Priory of Brittany
The objective of the Priory’s charity is to help the disabled, homeless and children suffering from psychological troubles.
In 1971, the Knights and Dames of the Priory of Britain wondered how to ensure collectively the “pro utilitate omnium” Rule of the Order in addition to what everyone agrees to do as individuals.
Thanks to Providence, they were in contact with a group of doctors who sought the support of an association to carry out a project the Priory felt they could whole-heartedly support over the long term. It was and is to carry assistance to children, from birth to 20 years, suffering from serious psychological problems. Our brothers were passionate about the project that met an important need and decided to support it. Many have donated money and buildings or have made long-term loans without interest.
Their first psychological medical center was createdin 1972. Shortly after,our brothers created the”Association of Social Works and Hospitallers from the Regular Order of Saint John of the Holy Land in Britain”under the auspices of the Order.
Investment was so great that soon the Association applied for public aid. In France there is a law that allows private organizations to receive some help from the State provided they are creating or taking over educational or non-profit institutions whose purpose is to teach or give medical support to the needy.To receive such help, these institutions must sign an agreement and follow certain rules. The State aid supports operating costs for salaries and some investments. We own the buildings and are responsible for the management.
Our financial resources come from profits from the sale of products manufactured in the workshops for disabled, grants, concerts and bazaars.
Today, the initial support has grown to support other charitable activities. The Association of the Priory of Brittany created and manages:
- 3 centers medico-psycho-pedagogical (CMPP) for childcare and youth mental or social problems providing more than 22,000 sessions per year to 1,300 children. The centers are at Brest (1971), Redon (1977) and Vitré (1979).
- 3 Centers and Services Assistance by work (ESAT) that support nearly 150 physically or mentally handicapped individuals or former alcoholics and provides jobs within our workshops.
- Center Saint Yves in Plouray (1982) provides five workshops, woodworking, a farm, wood charcoal, and garden maintenance for a total of 63 handicapped people.
- Center La Corbinais at Saint Jean sur Cousenon (1987) provides garden maintenance and nursery activities for 34 handicapped people.
- Center Saint John at Fougeres (1988) provides care to 34 adults with serious deficiencies.
- A shelter for disabled employees and a home for disabled retirees.
In addition, we actively support the St. Joseph Village, which is an organization that provides accommodation and reintegration for homeless people
The Priory also provides help to those in need on a one off project basis comparable to other Priories. In particular, the Priory has provided shipments to hospitals and orphanages of medical equipment, drugs, food and clothing and comparable help to countries suffering from natural disasters or war. Counties that have benefited include Bosnia, Kosovo, Romania, Cambodia, the Ivory Coast, Congo, Palestine, Vietnam, Algeria, Morocco, Cameron, Benin and Haiti. Nicaragua was helped in cooperation with the Commandery of Palm Beaches. . Most often the equipment that is sent has been reworked by the Commandery of Leon-Cournaille and shipped by sea or trucked with a member of the Sovereign Order to be sure the goods are delivered to the right people
The annual budget for management of the 6 facilities is € 9m.
Other donations include:
- The Association bought the buildings for the village Saint Joseph for $150 000 US.
- Each year we finance the shipment of medical equipment to Africans countries for $2000 US.
- The Association made a bank guarantee for an investment of $800 000 US to restore the buildings of the “village Saint Joseph”: Fifteen new people can be safely and comfortably accommodated with individual rooms or studios, kitchen, meeting rooms, chapel and workshop.
- June 2015. The Priory gave $15 000 US to support Christians in the Middle East being persecuted for their faith.
- September 2015. The Priory organized a concert and we gave the benefit of US $1 000 for a French association that deals with the welcome of Syrian refugees in Brittany.
Grand Priory of Central Europe > Priory of Germany
The Priory of Germany has concentrated on growth for the last few years and is in the process of increasing its’ geographic focus through new Commanderies. Local focus is the base of most help to the sick and poor throughout the Sovereign Order so charitable efforts are expected to increase. In the interim, there have been numerous individual efforts including support for the Christian Churches in the Middle East where their simple survival is at risk.
Grand Priory of Central Europe > Commandery of Monaco in Formation
Monaco is a new Commandery that began operations in 2015. It is already honoring our motto “Pro Fide, Pro Utilitate Hominum” (For Faith, For Service to Humanity).
According to our reading of the Christian religion and of the Chivalry, charity must be done in discretion, so we will not put any amounts but on the contrary, time we spend in helping the people in need could be appreciated by the number of our actions and the quantity of harvested and offered goods.
- Persecuted Christian Refugees from the Middle East: Donations by the Commandery of Computers, Children’s Clothes, Help finding Apprenticeships, Mentoring, moral support, Weekly French Language Training, Financial aid to organisations which help Christians in the Middle East
- Iraqi Refugees : Financial aid for pilgrimage to Lourdes. Transport and facilitation to help Monaco based refugees meet with Var based refugees at the parish of Bargemon, France.
- Car donated to refugees in Var.
- Other Donations: Schooling in India for children in Delhi and a family in Chennai. Support for the Vietnamese “Children of Hue” and a donation for Sister Marie Works.
End of 2016 – beginning of 2017:
Most of the Dames and Brothers of the Monaco Commandery are involved in the Commandery’s focus in helping the Christian Iraqi and Syrian refugees hosted in the Principality of Monaco and in Bargemon (France), persecuted because of their faith. Every week, we give time to help these refugees, for example French lessons twice a week.
Other specific actions show the desire of our Dames and Brothers of the Commandery to invest themselves in helping the poor and the sick:
- August 2016: Donation to the Monastery of Mondovi (Italy) of 8 m3 of clothing brought by our Brothers to the Monastery, for the attention of the most deprived.
- August 2016: Assistance to the victims of the earthquake in Umbria (Italy): donation of two tons of food and two tons of clothing which were brought by truck by two of our Brothers in Umbria.
Our Commandery helped the victims of this earthquake in collaboration with the Monastery of the Capuchins of Genoa. We had put in place a call for donations to help the survivors of this tragedy.
- December 2016: Gift of toys, books, sweets for the 400 sick children, hospitalized at the Hospital San Salvadour of Hyeres (France). More than 400 toys have been offered. Members of the Commandery have been very generous and made the trip to Hyeres to distribute the gifts to the children and teenagers who suffer in their bodies and in their heads.
- March/April 2017: Work of Sister Marie (Monaco) : During two days, our Dames and Brothers of the Commandery were on the fair and sold clothes for the benefit of the Work of Sister Marie. The result was quite substantial. One of our brothers was the sponsor of the Lotto Bingo that ended this week end.
- April 2017 : A collection for Easter and purchase of sweets (chocolate eggs) for the Bargemon (France) parishioners and refugees children was successful. The participation of our Dames and Brothers in the traditional Easter Méchoui was fully appreciated.
Grand Priory of Central Europe > Commandery of Italy (in formation)
Italy is classified as a Commandery in formation due to its small size. It has had a donations program for some years. For example, since April 2015, it made donations to:
- Clothing for the French Red Cross, the San Vincenzo de Paoli Society, the Capuchins for a mission in Peru,
- Household articles to a home for problematic children of the Community of St Giles.
- Donations of rice for refugee camp in Tindouf in Algeria
- Donations to the Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Ghost at St Michael Mondovi in the form of a new gas fired heater, scientific books for trhe library, food and oblations
- Donations of children’s clothes and school material for a mission in Romania.
- Donation for a mission in Brazil at Gojas
- Donation to the Monastery of the Holy Ghost at Saint Michael Mondovi.
- Donations to a mission in Mato Grosso in Brazil and a Mission of Don Bosco for a Recreation Centre for Young People in Chişinãu in Moldova.
Commandery of Hungary
In line with its traditions, the Commandery of Hungary of the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller held its charity evening for the benefit of Hospital Bugát Pál in Gyöngyös on December 2, 2016. Apart from the Sovereign Order, beneficiary Hospital Bugát Pál and the Municipality of the Town of Gyöngyös got also actively engaged in the organization of the event as a result of which several donations were offered on part of physicians, entrepreneurs and private individuals living in town and its proximity. The charity concert as well as wine and painting auction took place in Gyöngyös, in the classic Orczy Castle.
Part of the program was a successful concert by an ad-hoc band, which was formed for the purpose of this very occasion from the members of one of the most popular bands in Hungary called Omega and the widely known band named Dr. Rock comprising physicians.
Our star guests were László Benkő and Ferenc Debreczeni, an honorary citizen of the town of Gyöngyös, as well as composer and pianist Béla Jankai.
The wine auction featured excellent wines donated by private individuals and a number of domestic vineries, whereas the painting auction was enriched by pictures of renowned painting artist Izolda Macskássy.
Hospital Bugát Pál has been a key medical service provider and employer in the region throughout its existence of 178 years. It ensures professional treatment of over 1,000 bedridden patients and more than 40,000 outpatients per year thanks to the hard work of physicians and other medical staff.
All proceeds of the charity evening will be used by Hospital Bugát Pál for the purpose of purchasing medical equipment necessary for proctological examinations. Donations raised in the amount of HUF 2,000,000 were solemnly handed over in a ceremony in Gyöngyös on January 25, 2017.
Grand Priory of the UK and Ireland > Priory of Scotland
- Loaves and Fishes: This charity started out more than 20 years ago as a soup kitchen, feeding homeless people from the back of a van. Today Loaves and Fishes is based at Renfield St Stephen’s Church Centre in Glasgow and each Monday and Thursday evening the volunteers provide a hot meal and distribute food parcels to around 40 destitute men and women in a safe environment where neither aggressive behavior nor intoxication will be tolerated. £2,000.
- Various smaller donations went to East Kilbride Women’s Aid (£600); Kilcreggan Youth Trust (£500); Bobath Scotland Children’s Therapy Centre (£1,000); Graih Charity for the Homeless (£500); Kemmyrk Charity for the Homeless (£500).
- St Andrews Hospice: The hospice is based in Airdrie, Lanarkshire and provides a holistic service completely free of charge to patients and their families irrespective of religious, cultural or ethnic background. £10,000.
- Bobath, Scotland: Bobath provides therapy for children with cerebral palsy and also provides support for their families. £4,000.
- Marie Curie Hospice, Glasgow: This donation was made to assist the hospice provide essential services to patients suffering terminal illnesses and was particularly relevant because it was made in memory of the late HE Bailiff, Grand Prior Emeritus Donald J Storrie GCSJ, MMSJ who was Chairman of the Big Build Appeal Committee which raised £16.1 million to build the hospice which was opened by HRH Prince Charles in 2011. £5,000.
- Various smaller donations were made to Loaves and Fishes (£2,000); Red Cross Kintyre Transport Appeal (£1,000); The Preshal Trust (£1,500); The Tullochan Trust (£1,500); The Simon Community (£1,500); Easterhouse Phoenix Development (£1,500); Erskine Hospital for Service Veterans (£1,000).
- St Andrews Hospice – see 2012: £10,000
- St John Hospice, Vancouver: A donation in memory of the late Donald Storrie was made as a contribution towards the build costs of this hospice constructed as a result of a wonderful initiative by the Vancouver Commandery.
- Accord Hospice: Donation to assist with operational costs of this hospice which serves patients from Paisley and Renfrewshire in Scotland. £3,500
- The Simon Community: The Simon Community addresses issues around drug and alcohol addiction, mental health and the many complex problems the volunteers encounter as they support over 2000 homeless and vulnerable people each year. Because of emotional and mental health problems many of the individuals continue to insist on sleeping rough even when safe accommodation is offered to them. £2,500.
- Loaves and Fishes – see 2011: £3,500.
- Erskine Hospital: Erskine was founded in 1916 with the aim of caring for Service men and women who had been injured in active service. Still today, Erskine remains as Scotland’s foremost provider of care for veterans and their spouses providing unrivalled nursing, residential, respite and dementia care in its homes. Erskine also has special units dealing with disabled servicemen who have suffered severe injuries and emotional illnesses associated with conflict. £3,000.
- Calum’s Cabin: Calum Speirs was a young lad brought up on the Isle of Bute, in the Firth of Clyde, who died of an inoperable brain tumour in 2007 at the age of 12. His parents and their friends founded a charity to build a cottage (cabin) on the Isle of Bute to enable families in similar circumstances with a young child, terminally ill with cancer, and who otherwise could not afford to go on holiday, to spend a week, free of charge, in a lovely cabin on the beautiful Isle of Bute. There are now two cabins and our donation assisted towards operating costs to enable terminally ill young children and families to stay in a cabin for one week, all expenses paid. £2,500.
- Various smaller donations were given to The Preshal Trust (£2,000); Red Cross Kintyre Transport Appeal (£1,000); Pain Concern, Scotland (£1,000); Scottish Huntingtons Association (£1,000); Starter Packs, Glasgow (£2,000); The Carers Trust (£1,000).
- St Andrews Hospice – See 2012. St Andrews has just started a Capital Appeal to raise £8 million to enable it to carry out a major refurbishment of the building to greatly improve the existing facilities in addition to increasing occupancy by creating more single bedded rooms than it has at present. £20,000.
- Kilbryde Hospice: Kilbryde is a recently built hospice in Lanarkshire and is based in East Kilbride near Glasgow It is scheduled to be fully operational by early 2016 and our donation contributed towards the fitting out and furnishing costs of one of the suites for patients. £5,000.
- Marie Curie Hospice: A contribution was made towards the annual cost of a Cancer Care Community Nurse in Lanarkshire £10,000.
- Donations were also given to the following charities which had received donations in previous years – Erskine Hospital (£3,500); Loaves and Fishes (£3,500); Simon Community (£3,500); The Preshal Trust (£2,000); St Andrews Hospice (£5,000).
Grand Priory of the UK and Ireland > Priory of England
- Restore Project in Uganda: Restore has been working in Uganda since 2006, primarily promoting human rights and educational developments. £3,267.
- Various other small donations included Hospice of St Francis (£620); Camphill Village Trust (£1,000); The Pilgrimage Trust (£1,000); Peace Hospice (£1,000); Kent Air Ambulance Trust (£1,000); Moorfields Eye Charity (£1,000); Anidan (£1,000)
- Action Aid Hellas: The donation to Action Aid was a contribution towards the costs of building a new primary school for 875 pupils in the Northern Province of Rwanda. £2,053.2013
- Action Aid Hellas – see 2012. £2,177.
- Various other donations were given to St Vincent’s Nursing Home (£750); Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance (£750); Haywards Heath Food Bank (£750); Anidan (£750); Marie Curie Cancer Care (£750); British Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan Appeal (£1,000); Shoeburyness & Thorpe Bay Baptist Church (£750).
- Various donations including Educate Ethiopia (£1,750); Hospice St Francis (£875); St Peter & St James Hospice (£875); St Vincent’s Nursing Home (£875); Camphill Village Trust (£875); Cocina Economica (£1,131); Ark of the World (£1,144).