Elks Care - Elks Share

     Throughout its history, the Order of Elks has endeavored to maintain itself in readiness, as a national body, to extend its aid in cases of major catastrophe and misfortune. Through its official agencies in all parts of the country, it has been able to render such assistance with a promptness, effectiveness, and a lack of red tape, which have tremendously enhanced the practical helpfulness of its adopted measures.

     For many years the aggregate expendatures of the Subordinate Lodges for charitable purposes have run into millions of dollars each year, covering humanitarian services of infinate variety.

    Among the most usual of such activities may be mentioned the following: food to the hungary; shelter for the homeless; clothing and fuel for the needy; milk for the under-nourished babies; medical attention to the sick; baskets to the poor at Christmas and Thanksgiving; outings for underprivileged children; entertainment for shut-ins; education for young people; artificial limbs for the maimed; hospital beds; free clinics; night schools. And the list might be indefinately extended.

     All of the State Elk Associations have undertaken important and extensive charitable works within their own several jurisdictions, determined by the particular conditions therein existing and the preferences of their constituent members. They include rehabilitation of crippled children, treatment of indigent tubercular patients, provision for scholarships to worthy students, maintenance of orphans, boys' camps, training of the blind, eyeglasses for needy boys and girls, cerebral palsy clinics, cancer clinics, and other state wide projects of similar character and of equal worthiness, which are being carried on as continuing activities.

     No history of social service in the United States would be complete without an inspiring chapter devoted to the achievements of the Order of Elks in this field. In the field of patriotic service the Order of Elks has likewise proved itself an agency of singular force and effectiveness. Organized at a time when the bitterness and rancor of the Civil War had left their wounds on every heart on both sides of the Mason and Dixonline, the Order patiently taught its members through the years, drawn as they were from all sections of the country, that bitterness ought to be sweetened; that rancor ought to be assuaged; those wounds ought to be healed.

      Through the widening influence of its members, thus bound together by the ties of brotherhood, and thus fraternally schooled, the restoration of national accord was assuredly hastened, and a patriotic service of superlative importance was thus performed.

      Never an altar is erected in all its jurisdiction, but that the first emblem to be benevolently placed beside it is the American Flag. No man is permitted to stand in front of that flag and altar and assume the obligation of membership unless he be an American citizen.

     And at the close of every Lodge session he attends, he is required to renew his pledge of allegience to that flag and all for which it stands.

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