The delegates at its Supreme Council Session in June 1949 adopted a resolution to establish a national charitable program that was named the Humanitarian Foundation.
In 1951, their first project was “Aid for the Cerebral Palsy Child”. In 1953 they adopted the Enchanted Lantern to recognize contributions. For each $50 tax-deductible donation, the giver receives an Enchanted Lantern Certificate, and a Gold Enchanted Lantern pin to display proudly on his or her lapel.
In the Early days of Masonry and the Grotto, the owner of a local business would hang this type of lantern in front of his store to notify of a meeting that night. For the Grotto, the Enchanted Lantern signifies a “Beacon of Hope” for the Cerebral Palsy Child.
From 1953 to 1970 the main thrust of the charitable trust was the Cerebral Palsy child. Grotto members became involved with their local United Cerebral Palsy chapters and in 1957 the first annual $25,000 contribution was made to United Cerebral Palsy research.
In 1969 the Humanitarian Foundation Trustees, realizing that the momentum from the 1950’s to 1960’s expanded their scope by adopting the Dentistry for the Handicapped Child. In 1969 they met and agreed the Grotto would establish a dental clinic for the handicapped at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
In 1973, the Extension Program of the Dentistry for the Handicapped began, when the Trustees realized many children who did not live in the Chicago area could be treated locally and at less cost and without the burden of traveling and housing for the parent and child. In 1987 the Northeast Medical College of Ohio also became a national treatment center.
Today the Humanitarian Foundation, not only remembers the “forgotten child” suffering from cerebral palsy with the annual contribution to research, but also combines a unique partnership with qualified dentists throughout the United States and Canada. The program is designed to help special children, under the age of 18, receive the best dental care possible.
Those handicaps covered by the program are:
1 – Cerebral Palsy
2 – Muscular Dystrophy
3 – Mentally Challenged (covers from profound to 2 years delayed,
but must be clarified by the child’s physician
or a physician referred psychologist.)
4 – Myasthenia Gravis