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 Canada > Priory of Mainland British Columbia > 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.
- Purdy Pavilion Residential Care Project: Provided four renovated hospice rooms, one for each floor – it has now been completed. Each room is warm and welcoming for patients who are near end-of -life and their families. They no longer have an institutional feel but a home like ambience with complimentary wall colour, window covering, floor covering, lighting and comfortable furniture for family staying over (hide-a-bed). Each room has appropriate tasteful signage indicating SOSJ sponsorship. Commander Anne Rowland brought all her talents to bear on this project. There will be a formal dedication ceremony later in the year. We hope to shortly have six Nurse Educators identified who will be funded to take the ‘Intensive Medical Course in Palliative Care’ offered by Victoria Hospice
- Cottage Hospice Painting Project: The Cottage Hospice is a 10 bed hospice located in a heritage building on Vancouver’s eastside, operated by the Bloom Group. The SOSJ funded a $9000 grant to fund the painting of 10 patient rooms and bathrooms.
- ‘Because We Care’ Outpatient Clinic: This clinic will be attached to The North Shore Hospice but with separate entrance. SOSJ is partnering with the North Shore Palliative Care Program in providing a $150,000 pledge spread over two years to support this new Outpatient Clinic. It will manage pain and other symptoms for patients with life threatening illness to avoid the delays of treatment in the Emergency and Chemotherapy units and unnecessary hospital admissions. This clinic is very innovative, the first of its kind in BC and possibly Canada. With our pledge SOSJ is sponsoring the reception area where our support will be acknowledged with appropriate signage.
- Environmental Scan of BC Hospices and Hospice Societies: Vice Almoner Dame Susan Scott Gabe with help from Lorraine Gerrard, BCHPCA Executive Director has completed a comprehensive survey of all the existing hospices, palliative care programs, hospice societies in BC. Data collected includes: demographics, areas served, cultures served, number of beds, active volunteers, local training programs, annual number of patients served etc. This information will be invaluable for the SOSJ in planning our allocation of charitable resources and expertise going forward.
- The Downtown Eastside Hospice: The SOSJ is hoping to partner with Vancouver Coastal Health in building a new hospice in the Downtown East Side serving Vancouver’s most marginalized citizens. The new hospice will be a 10,000 square foot facility occupying the fourth floor of a new building in the heart of the DTES. The first three floors will provide comprehensive medical, social welfare and addiction services provided by Vancouver Coastal Health. The floors above the hospice will be to provide social housing. The land is being donated by VCH and the developer is BC housing. To create the hospice, SOSJ will pledge up to $1.5 Million over four years. This project closely aligns with our mandate to serve the Lord’s sick and poor.
- Proposal for a St John Endowed Chair in Palliative Care at UBC: BC has a number of excellent Hospices including our own at UBC. Bill C277, a national policy mandating palliative care as a right for all Canadians is before the federal government. There remains one missing initiative to ensure that quality palliative care is available throughout BC and Canada. The missing piece is the updating and lifelong continuing education of all healthcare practitioners, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical students and, in the era of medical assistance in dying, lawyers, professional colleges and others. To achieve a widespread knowledge and ongoing update on advances in palliative care, a powerful educational initiative by a strong educational institution is needed now and into the future. This initiative requires an eminent, internationally recognized advocate who can effectively communicate with the public, with his/her academic peers, a professional college, government and the media to ensure a new initiative and ongoing cooperation in the provision of palliative care to all citizens of BC and Canada. A strong advocate as the first St John endowed Chair in Palliative Care at UBC would make UBC a Centre of Excellence in Palliative Care.
- Prince George Hospice: Chevalier Howie Charters has been in preliminary discussions with the Prince George Hospice Society. They have asked for our help. They are early in their planning process.
- Terrace Hospice Society: Ongoing advice is being given to this Hospice Society by our Vice-Almoner, Ross Sharp. There may be an opportunity to develop models of palliative care in small remote First Nations Communities that provide needed medical support but are sensitive to the local culture. We had a meeting with one of the executive members in Vancouver early this year to discuss ways we may be able to help.
- BC Hospice and Palliative Care Association: The BCHPA is focused on the importance of advance care planning and the advocating for equitable access to responsive quality care for end-of-life patients and grieving loved ones. Its membership consists of individuals and organizations that deliver hospice/palliative care and bereavement services and programs across BC. Their direct services include assistance to patients ‘navigating’ the health care system, education, promoting volunteer participation, supporting hospice societies , their staff and board members, advocating with government and collaborating on leading research in the field. They now develop and host the BCHPCA Annual Conference in Palliative Care. The costs of attendance, including travel and accommodation, can be significant for their members outside the lower mainland. These are the organizations whose members need the education and networking the most. The SOSJ has provided $25,000 as the lead sponsor for the 2018 BCHPCA Annual Conference. This sponsorship includes exhibit opportunities, guest registrations, and awards luncheon attendance.
Grand Priory of Canada > Priory of Mainland British Columbia > Okanagan Commandery
We are excited to announce our goals for 2018:
- JoeAnna’s House: Every year, thousands of families from across the interior of British Columbia must travel from their homes in order for their loved ones to receive life-saving specialist care at Kelowna General Hospital. For many families wanting to maintain a presence at KGH for the period of their loved ones’ treatment, the lack of affordable short-term accommodation in Kelowna adds significantly to their hardship. Research shows patients heal better when surrounded by their loved ones. They get better when together. In partnership with the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, the Okanagan Commandery has committed to raising $50,000 to help build JoeAnna’s House, a home-away-from-home to keep families together when they need it most. The Family Room/ Consultation Room is to be named the “St. John Family Room/Consultation Room” in perpetuity. For more information on JoeAnna’s House, visit the website: https://www.kghfoundation.com/joeannas-house.
- Moog and Friends Hospice House: With the ever-growing need for hospice, and a shortage of hospice beds in purpose-built facilities, Moog and Friends anticipate their existing kitchen will get sharply increased use by volunteers preparing meals to take to patients experiencing hospice in their own homes. There are 4 users of the present kitchen, which is 19 years old (original to the building) and is no longer food safe. The users are (1) in-patients (2) their families (3) staff and (4) volunteers. The Okanagan Commandery has committed to raising $80,000 to have the current kitchen area closed off and renovated, with access being limited to staff and volunteers preparing meals both for in-patients and hospice patients who are being helped in their own homes. A second kitchen area would be accessed by families and volunteers who wish to make themselves a beverage or a small snack. For more information on Moog and Friends, visit the website: http://www.pentictonhospice.com/
Grand 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.
- Ottawa Hospice: A specific donation was a purchase of some equipment for a local Hospice for C$3,000.
- “Fall Colors Fun Run”: The Commandery organized a “Fall Colors Fun Run” for members and the general public to help raise funds for Hospice and Palliative care in Ottawa.
- “The Lost Treasure of Malta”: Dame Melanie Rock wrote a book called “The Lost Treasure of Malta”, with all the funds raised from sales going to the Commandery for charitable use.
Grand Priory of Canada > Priory of Vancouver Island > 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 United States and Central America > Priory of Northeastern 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 2016
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
The Hitchcock Center for Women: The Hitchcock Center for Women remains a leader in substance abuse treatment for women, carrying out the mission to “holistically” empower women to achieve and maintain productive, chemically-free, lives at home, at work and in the community.
Hitchcock Center is unique in that it is the only residential treatment center in the region to which a woman can bring her children (up to age 12) while receiving treatment.
The building has served as the home to thousands of women since 1992, it was suffering the effects of aging. The roof was in such poor condition that leaks have damaged many of the rooms, leaving them unusable at this point. In that condition, the building cannot operate at full capacity and efficiently provide all the services women need to face their addiction and heal their families.
The Cleveland Commandery approved to award the Center with a check for $31,000 in September 2017, to repair the roof.
Providence House: Providence House is Ohio’s first and one of the nation’s longest operating crisis nurseries among the 70+ in operation in the US and Canada today. They offer free, voluntary (non-custodial) emergency shelter to children newborn through twelve years old, actively living in crisis situations which place them at risk of abuse or neglect.
Providence House protects at-risk children and supports families through crisis, strengthening communities to end child abuse and neglect. At Providence House, they have cared for nearly 8,000 families and children in crisis.
The Providence House services and campus have undergone significant growth and expansion in recent years to meet the growing needs of families in crisis who have young children. The campus supports three distinct service areas in two buildings.
Providence House was in need of a surveillance camera to provide a secure and safe environment for its residents and workers. The Cleveland Commandery approved a donation of $10,000 to the Providence House for this purpose in September 2017.
ZOE: Many women are fortunate to have the love and support structure to lead them to marriage, children, and a meaningful life. Others, however, are not as fortunate. They find themselves in a crisis pregnancy.
ZOE serves as a conduit, guiding women to a wider range of support organizations, providing them with a more attractive set of options and hopefully a more promising outlook on their situation. For example, there is counseling, housing assistance, medical assistance, prenatal care, adoption and other services available that are usually unknown to most women in crisis pregnancies.
The organization was seeking funds to purchase an ultrasound machine to help women understand where they are at in the pregnancy process. The Cleveland Commandery granted this organization a donation $28,000 in September 2017.
Kids’ Book Bank: Studies show that being read to as a child and having books in the home are the two most important predictors of future academic success. Yet two-thirds of low-income families do not own a single children’s book.
Since 2013, children throughout Cleveland neighborhoods have enjoyed taking books from 60 Little Free Libraries. Little Free Libraries are small, engaging neighborhood kiosks filled with books, encouraging neighbors to “Take a Book, Leave a Book”. Today there are more than 50,000 in 80 countries around the globe including more than 85 in Greater Cleveland.
Several Cleveland Commandery members are personally involved with this organization that has the mission to foster literacy and a love of reading by providing free books to children in need. The Cleveland Commandery approved a donation of $10,000 to the Center in September 2017.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of Southeastern 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!
The Commandery’s main Project was our Food Drive
Food Drive – Chev. Bohlman stated the Commandery had a great turn out of members and volunteers at our Food Drive held on May 14th at the Children’s Home Society. We raised funds and with the Order’s match we were able to fill 1,000 bags for 15 Charities for $16,060. We had many volunteers, potential aspirants and even the youth. Next year we will begin earlier collecting funds and fill the bags bigger. 82% of the Membership Participated. Thanks to Chev. Bohlman & Dame Landen for a great job.
$5,000 – Feed Palm Beach County (Chev. Tony Lofaso) Donation and Helping Hands
$2,000 – Family Development (Ken Bowers) Ken has been inactive for a few years due to poor health.
He runs a summer camp and he needed help financially.
$7,500 – In Jacob’s Shoes – 30 members donated $5,775 and Commandery $1,725.
We teamed up with this worthy cause a few years ago. They have provided new & gently used shoes to our many poor areas in Belle Glade, Pahokee, Riviera Beach. The funds donated helped them provide backpacks filled with school supplies along with shoes for back to school.
$3,400 – Pahokee Retreat House – Fire Alarm System (donated by Kirkwood Foundation)
$100 – Children’s Home Society
$1203 – Florida Outreach for the Blind – This was our Christmas project where we provided money for
Them to purchase gifts for the young children and our members had a gathering where we
Brought Gift Cards for the teens. Supplied food for their party also.
$1,000 – YWCA High Tea Sponsorship 4 Members gave to support the YWCA at the Tea.
$4,500 – Urban Youth Impact for a Coding Program Pilot.
Belle Glade – First Haitian Baptist Church Building. Funds totaling approximate $25,000 in a restricted fund for the rebuilding of the area where the children go to do homework and play in a free after school program. We continue to support this church with food and clothing. Palm Beach County is the richest county in the State of Florida with 2 of the poorest cities Belle Glade & Pahokee with many gangs and drugs. Pastor collects these children after school and gets them off the street. Dame Pam Martyna has spear headed this committee which was under the Philanthropy Committee. Last quarter 2016 it was decided that if this was to go ahead more detail must be determined. It was taken out of the Philanthropy Committee and Chev. Schoech & Williams have offered their expertise. A feasibility study with questionnaire to be completed by the Pastor was presented and we are still awaiting results. Dame Martyna was not able to be at the Annual Meeting and I don’t think much has moved forward. One consideration out of the meeting that was held by this Committee was to investigate nearby existing buildings to renovate.
$500 – Feed Palm Beach County (Chev. Tony Lofaso) Donation and Helping Hands
(At this event, several members and future Aspirants participated in February)
$1000 – Florida Outreach for the Blind – This was our Christmas project where we provided money for
Them to purchase gifts for the young children and our members had a gathering where we
Brought Gift Cards for the teens. Supplied food for their party also.
$1,000 – YWCA High Tea Sponsorship 4 Members gave to support the YWCA at the Tea.
Due to this being an Investiture year with 15 Aspirants, the Treasurer had limited the committee to $5,000 as robes and regalia had to be purchased. The balance will be remaining for the Food Drive in 2018.
BELLE GLADE PROJECT:
The First Haitian Baptist Children Development Center. Funds totaling approximate $40,690 in a restricted fund for the rebuilding of the Children Development Center where the children go to do homework and play in a free after school program. We continue to support this church with food and clothing. Palm Beach County is the richest county in the State of Florida with 2 of the poorest cities Belle Glade & Pahokee with many gangs and drugs. Pastor collects these children after school and gets them off the street. Dame Pam Martyna has spear headed this committee which was under the Philanthropy Committee. In 2017 it was discussed that we either have to meet with the Church and get a current plan that they have for the project. Otherwise if action isn’t taken on their party, we were prepared to write to each person who donated to the fund and find out their wishes since the project seemed to reach a dead end. It was taken out of the Philanthropy Committee and Chev. Schoech & Williams have offered their expertise. A meeting was held with Assistant Pastor Morana St. Hilaire to discuss how the plans are progressing. We met the Architects and listened to their plan of action. One problem is how they are going to run the program once the building is torn down. Apparently, the City will tear it down. We were promised information by our Annual Meeting. Dame Martyna was not able to be at the Annual Meeting.
Hurricane Irma brought more destruction to the building along with the Pavilion that is used for an eating area for the Children. The top blew off and the tables that were made of press board were soaked and warped. After the Investiture weekend, several of us took members of SOSJ from Vancouver to see the project and give us some guidance. After that meeting and seeing the destruction, Dame Martyna and Chevalier Smith took it upon themselves to find a solution to mount tables purchased from Lowe’s and remove the legs, remove the damaged boards and mount them on the existing frames. Wonderful solution. Hurricane Irma could have been a bit nicer and blew the house down so insurance could be collected. Oh Well!
Other Activities – HOSPITALITY COMMITTEE
We started the New Year with a New Year’s Eve Party at Dame Marshall with Fireworks on Flagler. Ran a 50/50 where the first 2017 Charity Champion was born. It was won by Dame Howard and awarded to the Celtic Festival in the Keys.
This clever idea was created by the Chair, Dame Nancy Marshall. The idea was to allow members to support their favorite Charity having to complete an application created by the Philanthropy Committee and Hospitality Committee. The member must work with their charity raising $2,017 and meet the criteria of the committees. In the meantime, the Hospitality Committee worked on several fund raising ideas to raise the matching $2,017. At almost every event an Auction was held raising funds along with items purchased such as bracelets, credit card holders & aprons for sale.
March 26, 2017 was the Annual Shalhoub BBQ – Open to all Members and Future Aspirants and friends that members feel should be considered. Always a wonderful event hosted by Chevalier & Dame Shalhoub. Great success! We collected Easter Baskets along with a great auction to raise funds for the 2017 Charity Champions.
On June 24th 25 Knights and Dames celebrated the Feast of St. John the Baptist with services held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (site of Investiture) and had a pot luck supper afterwards. Of course we had a jewelry sale from pieces donated by members. Great fun!
July 24th brought our Board Meeting to In Jacob’s Shoes Wine & Cheese Shoe Cleaning Evening – Several members traveled to their headquarters and had a wonderful evening of fun cleaning the shoes. Little wine helps!! In Jacob’s Shoes was the second 2017 Charity Champion to meet the criteria and funds were raised by doing a Bakeless Cake Sale. They rose along with Toni Mastrullo over $3,000. The award was given that evening.
On September 24th several members gather at the Colony for Lunch to Celebrate the Commander’s Birthday. In lieu of gifts contributions were made to the 2017 Charity Champions.
Boutique was also available at the Meet & Greet at Investiture Weekend!
December 9, Dame Martyna and Chevalier Smith held a Merry Christmas Party at their home and fun was held by all. And yes we had one last auction!
At December, 2017 we had enough funds to award 2 more Charities – Children’s Home Society and the Cancer Alliance of Help & Hope $2,017 each. Awarded at the Annual Meeting.
Since the auctions and Sales of product was so wonderful we have enough funds to do approximate 3 more charities so notice was sent out and we are waiting the outcome from the Committee evaluating them.
At our February, 2018 meeting we will present the remaining funds of $5,336 to the following charities who completed the criteria:
Palm Beach Habilitation Center
Visiting Nurse Foundation of Florida
Florida Outreach Center for the Blind, Inc
This pilot project will be evaluated for continuance in 2018. Congratulations to all charities awarded.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of 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.
Homeless Veterans Rehab Program (HVRP): HVRP mission is to help Veterans return to employment and stable housing while maintaining a clean and sober lifestyle. SOSJ provided a $2,000 sponsorship for the Veterans Run Santa Clara, benefitting HVRP.
Veterans Supportive Services Agency (VSSA): VSSA mission is to help injured Veterans apply for service connected disability compensation or to assist them to file with the goal to reach a level of service connected disability up to 100%, if so richly deserved. VSSA also helps injured Veterans who already filed their claims and/or whose claims were denied. SOSJ provided a $2,000 sponsorship for the Veterans Run Santa Clara, benefitting VSSA.
Wine Country Marines: Wine Country Marines has mounted a major effort to support families impacted by the Wine Country fires of October 2017. St. Joseph decided to donate $5,000 to these efforts.
Washington Elementary School: Washington Elementary School in San Jose generally serves the disadvantaged community in our valley. St. Joseph decided to donate $2,000 to provide much needed books for the school.
Hope Services: Hope Services (HS) HS is a Bay Area-based nonprofit that seeks to improve the quality of life of people with developmental disabilities. Their vision is to promote a common understanding that the world is a better place when people with developmental disabilities are fully accepted and integrated into all aspects of society. In gratitude for what they do and there’re support of the St Joseph Christmas Party SOSJ gave a donation of $5000.
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. JW suffered a major plumbing issue in January 2018 and SOSJ provided the emergency funding of $2,766 to resolve the problem.
Homeless Veterans Emergency Housing Facility 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 to not only provide stable housing, but also serve as an access point to VA health care and benefits. They had an urgent need for an icemaker and St. Joseph made a one time grant to cover this cost.
Hunger at Home Hunger at Home is an independent, nonprofit that distributes donated food to the sick and poor in Silicon Valley. They needed new reusable food containers and racks to transport the food and St. Joseph donated $1,000 to support this request.
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County CCSCC serves and advocates for individuals and families in need, especially those living in poverty. Each year they serve around 38,000 people, through a broad base of programs driven by a staff of more than 500 and over 1,000 volunteers at 80 community locations. Eastside Neighborhood Center in San Jose is one of two senior centers operate by CCSCC, serving over 950 low income seniors, providing hot meals, healthcare and other social services. The facility is in urgent need of renovation and repair, in particular to ensure they can continue to pass health inspections. St. Joseph has pledged $25,000 for this work to be done. Additionally CCSCC headquarters has a suite of offices that it formally leased to a software company. This space, now vacant, needs renovation in order to serve CCSCC expanded staff. The Commandery pledged $35,000 for this work.
Cristo Rey San Jose Cristo Rey is a Jesuit Catholic high school that empowers students from underserved communities in San Jose. It provides students with a rigorous college prep education and a unique Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP), in which students work in Silicon Valley companies. The work-study program helps students offset the cost of their tuition and also provides them with valuable work skills, instills accountability and confidence and offers access to positive, professional role models. They are completing their campus with a multipurpose pavilion, including a gym, cafeteria and stage. The space will be outfitted with a full IT infrastructure to accomodate500 students, with projector, speakers and a full PA system. St. Joseph is proving $26,486 to pay in full for the sound system. Additionally the school has to transport the students to the CWSP participating companies, some as far as 20 miles away. As the school is growing to it’s full size of 500 students there is an urgent need for a new van to support this transportation. The Commandery has committed $25,000 to this van purchase.
Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation Los Gatos VMSFLG was formed to honor and support veterans, military service members and their families. The foundation has three missions, the first of which is to build and maintain a Veterans Memorial in Los Gatos. Secondly they will educate the public on the sacrifices borne by those who have defended America’s freedom. Lastly they support yellow ribbon programs that deliver humanitarian support to veterans, service members and families, in particular providing support to heroes returning from deployment in adjusting to civilian life. In early 2018 the Los Gatos Town Council approved the memorial, which will be located in front of the Town Center. Our Commandery has committed $50,000 towards the total fundraising goal of $1.5m
Operation Freedom Paws Operation Freedom Paws mission is to rescue shelter dogs and match them with disabled clients, training them together as service dog teams. Since their founding in 2010 they have helped over 325 applicants learn to use service dogs to help regain their independence. Approximately 80% of their clients are military veterans. For these veterans having a proper flagpole at the OFP center is extremely important and meaningful. They have secured funding for the pole itself but want to surround the base of the ole with six in-ground, weatherproof bronze insignias, one for each branch of the military and one for POW/MIA. St. Joseph is providing $10,000 to cover the cost of the plaques.
Home First Home First is a homeless shelter in San Jose. Many of their clients have pets that need to be properly accommodated when in the shelter. St. Joseph is providing $2,000 for the purchase of crates for the pets.
Good Karma Bikes Good Karma Bikes is a nonprofit social enterprise full service bike shop. Their primary programs are College Opportunity and Outreach Program (CO-OP), which focuses on training foster children and disadvantaged children through a two year college program, Free Repair Clinics and Women’s Skills and Open Shop Night, workshops focused on helping women with bike maintenance and road safety skills. The Commandery is providing $2,000 to buy new desks for the teachers.
George C. Mitchell Elementary School George Mitchell School is an elementary school in the Monterey Peninsula school district. A high percentage of the students come from military families and low income groups. St. Joseph pledged $1,000 for the purchase of books and other school supplies.
Hope Services Hope Services (HS) HS is a Bay Area-based nonprofit that seeks to improve the quality of life of people with developmental disabilities. Their vision is to promote a common understanding that the world is a better place when people with developmental disabilities are fully accepted and integrated into all aspects of society. In gratitude for what they do and there’re support of the St Joseph Christmas Party SOSJ will give a donation of $5000.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of San Francisco Bay > San Francisco Commandery
- 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.
The George Mark Children’s House, the first pediatric palliative care facility in the United States, received $50,000 to continue its work in providing comprehensive, compassionate and life affirming care for children and their families. The funding was utilized for construction of a memorial garden which continues to celebrate the lives and stories of these children and gives solace to their families. The San Francisco Commnadery is noted on a permanent plaque in the facility for our continued generosity and support.
Digging Deep received $50,000 to support its efforts in creating a digital game, Shadow’s Edge, which allows teens faced with a terminal diagnosis the ability to explore their illness and to build resilience through their experience. The game also allows them to build community with other teens facing similar life challenges in an effort to build their support circle.
We are delighted to report the San Francisco Commandery was able to support two very worthy charities from the proceeds derived from our annual Christmas gala, The White Cross Ball. The event took place at the stunning St. Regis Hotel on Saturday, December 2nd. Dame Lorna Meyer Calas was Christmas Ball Chair and led under the auspices of Commander Karen Persichitte.
The George Mark Children’s House, located in San Leandro, CA, received $76,000 from our Commandery to continue its work in providing quality of life and continuity of care for children with illnesses modern healthcare cannot yet cure, or for those who have chronic medical conditions. As the first freestanding pediatric palliative care facility in the United States, The George Mark Children’s House has created a replicable model of care for children and their families from which other like-minded facilities have been created. The scope of care provided by the skilled and professional staﬀ has expanded and now not only provides end of life and bereavement care, but transitional and respite care. This facility continues to be a beacon of light for families in the Bay Area and beyond.
The Sentinels of Freedom also received $76,000 from our Commandery to continue their great work in supporting wounded veterans. Founder and CEO, Mike Conklin, was inspired to establish Sentinels of Freedom in 2003 after one of his sons was wounded in Iraq. He had great concern for wounded warriors without family or community support and wanted to ensure they had tangible means and support for full recovery. The Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Fund was created to provide not only comprehensive, but personalized care. The mission of the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation is to assist severely wounded and injured, post 9/11 veterans in their eﬀorts to become productive and self- suﬃcient members of their communities as they transition back to civilian life.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of Western United States > Sierras Commandery
- 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.
- Reno City Lights: Reno City Lights is our premier fundraising event, held in December each year, in 2017 at the Nevada Museum of Arts. All proceeds from this event ($15,000) were donated to Reno Veterans Guest House which will use it to help fund a major expansion of the facility due to open in 2018.
- Committee to Aid Abused Women: A donation was made to Committee to Aid Abused Women, who received $1,500
- Safe Embrace: An $8,000 donation was made to Safe Embrace.
- Homeless Shelter: Members painted a homeless shelter, spending a further $600 on supplies.
Grand Priory of the United States and Central America > Priory of San Francisco Bay > 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.
- Napa/Sonoma Valley Wildfires: Following the massive wildfires in the Napa/Sonoma Valley area the Commandery donated $10,000 and raised an additional $15,000 from other Commanderies and individuals to the Wine Country Marines to support their fire relief efforts.
- “Under the Angels”: The Commandery organized their first fundraiser for a long time with “Under the Angels” a very successful trip on a boat on the San Francisco Bay during Fleet Week with an astonishing display by the Blue Angels.
- Service and Social Events: Members served Thanksgiving Dinner to many homeless individuals at Salute’s in Richmond. Additional social events included Pre-Valentines cocktails and dinner, a Commandery meeting, a Veterans Day service at the Presidio with lunch and other brunch and dinner events.
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 created in 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.
December 2017: Expansion and modernization of the building of the Medico-psycho-pedagogical center (CMPP) for child care of Brest.
In Brest (Brittany) there was in the sixties a therapeutic support structure to help children and adolescents with language, dyslexia and school problems. In 1971 the Knights of the Order of Saint John made the decision to support the association that managed this center and wanted to expand its skills. We then financed the purchase of a building to create the CMPP of Brest.
Today the center employs 25 people and provides 11,000 therapeutic acts per year to 700 children.
It was necessary to modernize and enlarge the premises. It took 3 years to find the funding of 600,000€. A small portion comes from donations, another from a long-term loan and another is funded by our Association of Social and Hospitaller Works witch insure the “pro utilitate hominum” of the Order since1971
The inauguration took place on December 21, 2017 in the presence of numerous personalities.
The new building
May 2017: The St Jean sur Couesnon ESAT of The Center store has been given a makeover!
This establishment exists since 1962 and was created by an association of “Friends and Parents of Unsuitable Children” from the region of Fougères in Brittany. On their personal resources, they financed a specialized teacher for a few years. Soon, other families joined this initiative for their own children. Ten years later, it was the meeting between the Chevalier Mazéas and the Abbot Jules Martinais of the parish of St Jean sur Couesnon (Brittany) that allowed the foundation of a larger establishment. The Abbot Martinais bequeathed a lot and a large house to the Corbinese, allowing the later creation of a Center and Service Assistance by Work for Disabilities in 1987.
Our Association of Social and Hospital Workers owns it in 1996.
The new standards of accessibility of the premises and a certain dilapidated led us to rebuild our store sales to the public that we also wanted more spacious and more enjoyable for customers.
The new store
Gardening equipment for our center Saint Jean for disabled
Workshop of the ESATt St Jean
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 > Commandery of Glasgow
- 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 > Commandery of London
- 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).