First Donation to Nominated Charity
The new TLC Teddy Bear appeal by Grand Lodge of Ireland received its first donation of £250.00 from Sir George Clark Masonic Lodge 669.
The donation was announced at the Installation meeting in January 2014 of our W. Master W. Bro. Keith Johnston.
The W. Master said: “Our first, but certainly not our last donation to this wonderful charity which through the Teddy Bears, brings comfort and pleasure to sick and distressed children”
The Origins of the Appeal and the Compulsive Idea
The TLC Appeal originated after an allergic reaction suddenly caused the swelling and blocking of the windpipe of the wife of a Freemason. Her life was saved by the rapid action of the medical staff at an A&E unit, who were able to resuscitate and stabilise her. They are both eternally grateful for the swift and caring attention that she received, but found the experience the most frightening of their lives and speculated on the distress that children must face when visiting A&E units.
The idea of doing something useful for medical staff at A&E units was discussed with other local Freemasons, and from that point the compulsive idea of “Teddies for Loving Care” was born. The Appeal was launched in Essex in 2001 and has since been adopted by most of the Masonic provinces across the country. Prior to the launch, a great deal of research was carried out. Hospitals were asked how many teddies would be needed. We had to establish what style and size of teddy would be suitable in order to meet stringent toy safety regulations and be ‘cuddly’ enough to appeal to small children. We needed to find a distributor that could source and deliver the teddies for us at reasonable cost. By canvassing local Masonic lodges and explaining the concept, we gained confidence that support for the Appeal would be there. Thankfully, after 12 years, that support and enthusiasm for the Appeal still exists and well over 1,000,000 teddies have now been distributed nationwide. Most of the money raised to fund the Appeal comes from Freemasons themselves through lodge donations, but we also receive some donations from grateful individuals and the sale of TLC merchandise e.g. other teddies (not the ones supplied to hospitals) and lapel pins.
Please visit http://www.tlcappeal.org/ for more details.