Sir Winston Churchill once quoted “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” This is what the Masons in the Bootle Group along with their wives hope to achieve, when they recently gave another food donation to help the local community.
The group’s food bank appeal, which had been set up by the Bootle Group’s Chairman Ian Gee, has been running for the last three years and with the proceeds this year being donated to the St Leonards Food Bank based in Bootle.
In attendance for the presentation was the local Mayor of Sefton Cllr Stephen Kermode, The Assistant Provincial Grand Master Derek Parkinson, the Bootle Group Chairman Ian Gee, along with Debbie Shelley and Gayle Connor from St.Leonards Food Bank.
The presentation was started by Ian who stated that Freemasonry wanted to make good contribution to their local community. Ian’s choice of the food bank was a way to help the community in Sefton, the authority where the hall is located, as a way to help the local residents who are currently struggling to feed their families.
Along with the food presentation, a cheque for £250 was also presented to St Leonards Community Centre by the group, Ian handed the cheque over to the Mayor, who thanked the members of the Bootle Group for their hard work in raising the money and for their kind food donation before handing it over to Debbie from the food bank.
Debbie thanked the group again for their hard work and for the kind hearted donation. She said: “it is much needed not only for the food but essentials such as nappies and soap, some of the beneficiaries are very reluctant to ask for help. It is not just unemployed people, it is also people struggling on low incomes who will benefit from the donation the group has given and it will go a long way in supporting the food bank and its cause.”
St Leonard’s Youth and Community Centre had recently been selected as the Food Bank covering the South Sefton area of the local Council. All the food that has been given out to the local community has been donated by various charities or organisations. Before the food is given out it is sorted by their volunteers, with its best before date and its type, before being packed into boxes ready for use. This is then distributed to the food bank centres within the area, where it is made up into various food parcels before being given out to their clients.
The money raised for the purchase of food and for the food donation was achieved by the groups many actives over the year, including Tim Bailey Prince of Architects No 4188 who completed six open water swims at different events over the year, raising £325 from sponsorship and donations. The group’s collection tins which were present at many festive boards after our Masonic meetings and placed at the hall’s bar, where the brethren was asked to give any loose change which raised £185. The rest of the money was came from the many raffles and donations from various lodges and brethren within the group.
With the total of £1,100 worth of food and essentials being purchased equaling nearly two tons, with many of the items purchased including tinned and packet products. With the added donations of more food from many of the brethren in the group, which they brought to the hall when they attended their lodge meetings.
Ian finished the presentation thanking the Bootle Group Secretary, Ray Barrow and his wife Jackie, who are owed a lot, thanks from the group, for all their hard work in organising and purchasing of the food. This has meant many extra trips to the supermarket by them, filling their trolleys and their car and even storing them in their own home until the presentation.