Gift of Life is a community involvement program for Texas Masonic Lodges, that helps the children of Texas. Over the years, Freemasonry and Masons have been committed to providing relief for those in need, to Masons and non-masons alike, regardless of other circumstances that may be present. That has been especially true where children are involved. That commitment has been expressed in many ways, but it has been particularly meaningful in our fraternal hospitals, the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, the Shrine Burn Center in Galveston, and the Shrine Orthopedic Hospital in Houston.
Our fraternal hospitals require approximately 9,000 units of blood each year. Statistics show that the population of Texas used more blood and blood products than its citizens are donating; therefore we are importing blood into the state from other areas of the country. This places our hospitals in the position of bargaining for available blood with every other hospital in the state, in some cases walking the halls to secure blood donors for necessary surgeries. We believe you will agree that this is not a good situation.
The Gift of Life Program meets the blood requirements of our hospitals, and with an annual surplus to be used in emergencies, both public and fraternal. This not only meets an essential need for our hospitals but also helps our communities by making fresh blood available whenever it is needed, by providing an easy means of donation. It is important to understand that the gift of life is not designed to secure donations only from our members. All donations are important and welcome.
The strength of the “Gift of Life” effort is in providing an easy opportunity for the general public to donate through our Masonic Lodges. We do this semi-annually. In the spring and again in the fall. This provides fresh blood when the supplies are most critical and the demand is at its peak. The program also gives the public a sense of “what Masons do” and a project to involve the Masonic Lodges in the community; and to help “our kids”.