The Masonic Service Association of North America has been around for centuries. It was formed in a cryptic nature; and many uncertainties still remain about its beginning stages. The organization began functioning in American during the colonial period. Today the Masonic Service Association of North American focuses on outreach and other services to the local community. The fraternal organization remains very active in society today.
In 1915 the Masonic organization known as the Scottish Rite opened the Scottish Rite Convalescent Hospital for Crippled Children. Their goal was to offer a place of refuge and recovery for poor children suffering from polio. Within four years, the heart behind the facility led to a new hospital that was focused on pediatric orthopedic surgery for the less fortunate. The humble beginning of the 18 bed convalescent home gained speed. With the support of followers, medical doctors trained in healing and leadership, and the core beliefs of the Masons, the small hospital has turned into a medical system that continues to focus on helping poor children with illness, disease, and birth defects.
The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is another example of how Masonic organizations benefit their communities through charitable service and community organization. Founded by the Grand Encampment of the Knights Templar of the United States in 1956, the mission of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation is to provide assistance to people with vision problems with corrective lenses, surgery, and other treatment options who are struggling to manage the costs of their vision care.
The Freemasons, or Masons, are the oldest and largest fraternal organization in not only the United States, but also the world. One of the cornerstones of Scottish Rite Masonry is the dedication to and commitment to volunteering. Like the Shriners Hospitals for Children, The Learning Centers for Children has become one of the Masons featured philanthropic charities aimed towards enriching and helping children and their families.