HISTORY OF THE HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION
The Humanitarian Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the official charity of Grottoes International. Created in 1949 by the Supreme Council of the Grottoes International, the Humanitarian Foundation conducts the Dental Care for Children with Special Needs Program for Grottoes International. The delegates at the Supreme Council Session in June 1949 adopted a resolution to establish a national charitable program that was named the HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION.
Prophets (Grotto Members), family, and friends are encouraged to help continue the work of the Humanitarian Foundation by supporting the Enchanted Lantern Society, Fairchild Society, and Legacy Society. All money donated is deposited into the Humanitarian Foundation trust which only grants interest and the interest on investments is used each year. This ensures that every gift will continue to brighten children’s smiles forever.
In 1951, the Humanitarian Foundation’s first project was “Aid for the Cerebral Palsy Child”, the main thrust of the charitable trust from 1953 to 1970. In 1969 the Humanitarian Foundation Trustees, realizing the momentum from the 1950’s to 1960’s expanded their scope by adopting the Dentistry for the Handicapped Child. In 1969, the Humanitarian Foundation Trustees met and agreed the Grottoes International would establish a dental clinic for the handicapped child at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
In 1973, the Extension Program of the Dentistry for the Handicapped Child began, when the Humanitarian Foundation Trustees realized many children who did not live in the Chicago area could be treated locally and at less cost, without the burden of traveling and housing for the parent and child.
The program is now designed to help special children, under the age of 21, receive the best dental care possible. Today the Humanitarian Foundation, has a unique partnership with qualified dentists throughout the United States and Canada.
HISTORY OF THE ENCHANTED LANTERN
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 Children with Special Needs. The history of the lantern was not forgotten when, in 1953, the Grottoes adopted the “Enchanted Lantern” as their emblem to represent each contribution of $50 or more.
The annual sale of Enchanted Lanterns to Grotto members, family, and friends has become the backbone of the Humanitarian Foundation’s fund-raising efforts.
Members generate the money that is placed in the Humanitarian Foundation Trust, along with their family and friends through the Enchanted Lantern program and Gifts, Wills and Bequests Programs. The Gifts, Wills, and Bequests Program handles the gifts and estate contributions given by Grotto members, family, and friends who wish to continue helping these “special children” long after they are gone. With the Enchanted Lantern Program and the Gifts, Wills, and Bequests Program; it is our hope the Humanitarian Foundation will grow even larger, so we can continue to help put smiles on the faces of these “special children”.
Donations support the Dental Program through the Endowment Program.