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Up to 100 guests are expected to attend the annual Ipswich Dining in the Dark fundraiser, later this month, where they will get a taste of what it’s like to be blind or vision impaired.

Hosted by the Freemasons of Ipswich in support of Guide Dogs Queensland, guests will sit down to a hearty two-course meal while blindfolded, play sensory games, be part of a dynamic live auction and take home some incredible raffle prizes.

United Tradesmen’s Masonic Lodge representative Ian Brown said this year guests would also be able to put on their blindfolds and have a go at being guided through an obstacle course by a guide dog in training.

“While the event is good fun, we’re there to raise funds for a very important cause. The activities are designed to allow people to walk in the shoes of someone with low or no vision, to get an idea of the challenges they face,” Ian said.

“The funds we raise on the night will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and donated to Guide Dogs Queensland to help provide services like guide dog mobility, occupational therapy, orientation and mobility, and counselling to Queenslanders with low or no vision,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said empowering Queenslanders with low or no vision to lead more independent lives aligned with the organisation’s values and is the reason why they continue to support the event, which has gone from strength to strength, collectively raising over $38K in the last four years.

“We strive to support initiatives that alleviate suffering and empower people to lead better lives. We also look to provide a hand up for charitable organisations that have limited access to other avenues of funding, as is the case with Guide Dogs Queensland,” Gary said.

“By working closely with United Tradesmen’s Lodge, we will be increasing the impact of their charity work at a grassroots level,” he said.

The fifth annual Dining in the Dark event will be held at the Ipswich Reception Centre at the Ipswich Showgrounds on Saturday 13 October. Guest must be seated by 6:30pm for a 7pm start. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by contacting Ian Brown on 0431 034 852 or Jim Williams on 0428 874 911. Please note, only 20 spots are available for guests wanting to have a go at being guided by a guide dog in-training, so book now and be sure to arrive by 5pm.

Photo: Ian Brown and Jim Williams of United Tradesmen’s Lodge have been hard at work promoting the Ipswich Dining in the Dark fundraiser. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

The Kidney Support Network’s Op-Shop on the Sunshine Coast will save over a hundred dollars in commercial removalist costs each week, after being gifted a new tipping trailer to dispose of unwanted goods left at the store.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Landsborough Masonic Lodge, provided a Grassroots Community Grant for the initiative – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of its 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round.

Landsborough Masonic Lodge representative Des Rauber said they were thrilled that their submission had been successful.

“This will make such a difference for the Kidney Support Network. Trips to the dump or to the recyclers will now be carried out by the Op-Shop volunteers – providing a huge saving,” Des said.

“These savings will be passed down to customers who are often doing it tough,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support to charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding sources was part of their focus.

“It’s our pleasure to provide a hand up to the Kidney Support Network. We believe in empowering people to lead better lives and this funding will help the Kidney Support Network to achieve this,” Gary said.

“In addition to ensuring locals doing it tough can access second-hand goods for less, the grant will indirectly impact their core mission which is to support people with renal failure to lead better lives through a range of support services.”

“By working closely with Landsborough Masonic Lodge who identified this initiative, we’ve been able to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Landsborough Masonic Lodge’s Alan Holdsworth, Hand Heart Pocket Champion Colin Elrington, Kidney Support Network Sunshine Coast Branch Coordinator Kathy Rayner and Landsborough Masonic Lodge’s Rick Joyce. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Brisbane Freemasons and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), joined forces to celebrate Father’s Day at a special morning tea held this morning to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Freemason and Secretary of Stanley Masonic Lodge at Stones Corner Ron Anderson said it was beneficial for both organisations, who regularly support men at many levels, to join forces and shine a spotlight on men’s health.

“It’s no secret that we men are less likely to go to the doctor or to talk about how we feel. However, keeping a check of your physical and mental health and checking in with each other can go a long way,” he said.

“It is great that Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland can help us support such an important initiative as well as support Men’s Sheds at both a statewide and a local level,” said Ron.

Photo: Brisbane Freemasons and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed came together to cast a spotlight on Men's Health as part of the Hand Heart Pocket 2018 Father's Day Appeal.

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Freemasons from around the state have rallied with their charity, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland to again support drought-affected families and communities.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said that the charity had previously worked with Freemasons throughout the state from 2015 to 2017 and was able to donate $1 million to drought-affected families and communities.

“With over half of the state drought-declared and some parts of Queensland not seeing rain for more than five years, some of our members recognised the urgency to support these communities again,” said Gary.

“We also wanted to show drought-affected Queenslanders that they were not forgotten and therefore have agreed to donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by our Freemason members and Masonic Lodges for an eight-week period until October 5 this year,” he said.

Already, from the support of Freemasons throughout the state and the charity pitching in double what they are donating, Hand Heart Pocket has almost $120,000 ready to distribute to drought-affected families and communities.

The organisation will provide Eftpos cards to be distributed through its partners on the ground such as The Western Drought Appeal and their associated distribution channels, the Rural Financial Counselling Service, Queensland Education and the School of Distant Education parent support group, to ensure they get quickly to where they are needed most.

“The cards are designed to be spent locally, to put food on the table and to pay essential bills such as electricity,” said Gary.

“We hope that by October 5 we will be able to make a greater impact on drought-affected families and communities.”

Donate to our Drought Appeal and support drought-affected families and communities in Queensland

Atherton Freemasons and Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), joined forces to celebrate Father’s Day at a special morning tea held this morning to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Freemasons District Grand Master Henry Condon said it was great that both organisations could work together to shine a spotlight on men’s health, considering they both regularly support men at many levels.

“It’s important for us men to make sure that we look after our physical and mental health, even though we don’t like going to the doctor or talking about how we are feeling. Regular check-ups and checking in with each other can help identify preventable illness early.”

“We are proud that we can focus on men’s health and have the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland at a local and statewide level,” said Henry.

Photo: Atherton Community Health Clinical Nurse Mal Fraser, AMSA Marty Leist alongside Atherton Freemasons Mil Clay and Barry Nichols.

 Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Cairns Freemasons and Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), joined forces to celebrate Father’s Day at a special morning tea held this morning to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Freemasons Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan said it was encouraging that both organisations, who support men at many levels on a regular basis, could join forces to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

“It’s no secret that we men are less likely to go to the doctor, to make healthy lifestyle choices and talk about our feelings. However, keeping a check of your physical and mental health can significantly reduce your chances of developing a preventable illness.”

“We are proud that Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland can help us support such an important initiative at both a statewide and a grassroots level,” said Raja.

Photo: Australian Men’s Shed Association representative Marty Leist, Cairns Hospital Cardiac Rehab Unit representative Megan Warncke, Cairns Men's Shed representative Clive Lee alongside the Carpentaria Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan and Past District Grand Master Phil Starr. 

 Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is gearing up to raise funds for Men’s Sheds across Queensland while increasing awareness for men’s physical and mental health through its 2018 Father’s Day Appeal.

Running throughout September and October 2018, the Hand Heart Pocket Father’s Day Appeal will see Masonic Lodge’s rally together to hold men’s health events at Masonic Centres across Queensland, while also raising funds for local Men’s Sheds.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health was part of the organisation’s long-term strategy.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” Gary said.

AMSA and local Men’s Sheds will team up to support events throughout the 2018 Appeal and in some locations will deliver free men’s health checks as part of AMSA’s Spanner in the Works? men’s health initiative.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

Events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

 “The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Donate to our Father's Day Appeals and help Australian Men's Shed Association to support Men's Shed activities and programs across Queensland throughout 2019.

A hand up has been provided to a family in Bundaberg, to help their Autistic son lead a more independent life, with the help of a Smart Pup Assistance Dog.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Continuity and Tyrian Masonic Lodges, provided a $10k Grassroots Community Grant towards the endeavour – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of its 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round. In addition, the fundraising efforts of the Lodges was matched, followed by a final top up to ensure the family reached its $20k target.

Tyrian Lodge Secretary John Richardson said the specially trained pup would make a significant difference to Mitchell’s quality of life.

“We’re very proud to have been able to help Mitchell and to have expedited this fundraising initiative with the help of Hand Heart Pocket. The Smart Pup will become part of the family and be by Mitchell’s side every day,” John said.

“Being so calm in nature, the pup will help to lower anxiety levels and help Mitchell adapt to different social settings. It might even give Mitchell the confidence to experience new things,” he said.

It will be a little while though before the family can take the Smart Pup home, as it typically takes up to a year to train the canine and ensure it completes the necessary home placement sessions.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it’s great to see Lodges working together to respond to need within the community.

“Continuity and Tyrian Masonic Lodges brought this worthy cause to our attention which we were able to support through our Grassroots Grants initiatives,” Gary said.

“Empowering people to lead more independent lives is what we’re known for. Our focus, as we have done in this instance, is to provide sustainable support for charitable causes that have limited access to other funding sources,” he said.

“It’s our pleasure to provide this life-changing support,” he said.

Photo: Bundaberg family welcomes Smart Pup Assistance Dog with the help of Hand Heart Pocket's Grassroots Community Grant. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

There was plenty to celebrate at Tynwald Masonic Lodge’s centenary celebrations, earlier this month, including the handover of $10k to empower disadvantaged locals to lead more independent lives.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland on behalf of Tynwald Masonic Lodge, provided the $10k grant to the Sandgate and Bracken Ridge Action Group (SANDBAG Inc) – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round.

The funds will allow SANDBAG to purchase vital office equipment such as laptops and furniture, to provide an enhanced learning environment for the upskilling of those doing it tough, in search of meaningful work.

Tynwald Masonic Lodge representative Peter Taylor said they were elated that their submission had been successful.

“This really was the perfect way to celebrate our 100 years in the local area. In all that time, Tynwald Lodge has been active in the community, supporting various causes that make a difference at a local level.” Peter said.

“In relation to SANDBAG, whether it’s a domestic violence victim looking to rebuild his or her life, a recently retrenched person needing to upskill, a disadvantaged person looking for a job or a senior citizen requiring some administrative assistance –every one of them can lead a better life with the support of this local organisation. Knowledge is power, and we are proud to champion that,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were all for supporting education initiatives that help to alleviate misfortune and empower people to lead more independent lives.

“Giving people a hand up to get back on their feet through education is what resonated with us,” Gary said.

“It’s our pleasure to have provided a hand up for SANDBAG, to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level together with Tynwald Masonic Lodge, as they celebrate such a significant milestone in their history,” he said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Domestic violence victims in the Moreton Bay region have been given a hand up by the local Freemasons, empowering them to start over.

The Centre Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) will be able to provide more care packages for victims, after Pine Rivers Masonic Lodge with the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket donated $1000 towards the emergency relief scheme.

Pine Rivers Lodge Secretary, Ross Patching OAM said when a victim makes the brave decision to leave an abusive relationship, packing essential items like food, toiletries, clothing and toys is the last thing on their mind.

“We want victims to know that they are not alone and with support, they can lead a better life,” Ross said.

“We hope our donation shows clients that despite their recent experiences there are good non-violent men in society.”

“As well as setting a good example, we might even inspire the next generation of Freemasons in the region,” he said.

Last financial year CADA received over 3000 DV referrals from police, provided close to 6000 adults with crisis and counselling support, helped close to 2000 children access their child and youth services, while more than 6500 individuals were given court assistance.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark gave Pine Rivers Lodge the credit for identifying a worthy local cause.

“Giving domestic violence victims a hand up when they most need it, lines up with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and misfortune to lead a better life,” Gary said.

“Hand Heart Pocket was delighted to match the Lodge’s fundraising to help vulnerable women rebuild their lives,” he said.

Photo: Pine Rivers Masonic Lodge hands overs a cheque for $1000 to Centre Against Domestic Abuse representative Estrella H. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Up to 100 guests are expected to attend the annual Ipswich Dining in the Dark fundraiser, later this month, where they will get a taste of what it’s like to be blind or vision impaired.

Hosted by the Freemasons of Ipswich in support of Guide Dogs Queensland, guests will sit down to a hearty two-course meal while blindfolded, play sensory games, be part of a dynamic live auction and take home some incredible raffle prizes.

United Tradesmen’s Masonic Lodge representative Ian Brown said this year guests would also be able to put on their blindfolds and have a go at being guided through an obstacle course by a guide dog in training.

“While the event is good fun, we’re there to raise funds for a very important cause. The activities are designed to allow people to walk in the shoes of someone with low or no vision, to get an idea of the challenges they face,” Ian said.

“The funds we raise on the night will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and donated to Guide Dogs Queensland to help provide services like guide dog mobility, occupational therapy, orientation and mobility, and counselling to Queenslanders with low or no vision,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said empowering Queenslanders with low or no vision to lead more independent lives aligned with the organisation’s values and is the reason why they continue to support the event, which has gone from strength to strength, collectively raising over $38K in the last four years.

“We strive to support initiatives that alleviate suffering and empower people to lead better lives. We also look to provide a hand up for charitable organisations that have limited access to other avenues of funding, as is the case with Guide Dogs Queensland,” Gary said.

“By working closely with United Tradesmen’s Lodge, we will be increasing the impact of their charity work at a grassroots level,” he said.

The fifth annual Dining in the Dark event will be held at the Ipswich Reception Centre at the Ipswich Showgrounds on Saturday 13 October. Guest must be seated by 6:30pm for a 7pm start. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by contacting Ian Brown on 0431 034 852 or Jim Williams on 0428 874 911. Please note, only 20 spots are available for guests wanting to have a go at being guided by a guide dog in-training, so book now and be sure to arrive by 5pm.

Photo: Ian Brown and Jim Williams of United Tradesmen’s Lodge have been hard at work promoting the Ipswich Dining in the Dark fundraiser. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

The Kidney Support Network’s Op-Shop on the Sunshine Coast will save over a hundred dollars in commercial removalist costs each week, after being gifted a new tipping trailer to dispose of unwanted goods left at the store.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Landsborough Masonic Lodge, provided a Grassroots Community Grant for the initiative – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of its 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round.

Landsborough Masonic Lodge representative Des Rauber said they were thrilled that their submission had been successful.

“This will make such a difference for the Kidney Support Network. Trips to the dump or to the recyclers will now be carried out by the Op-Shop volunteers – providing a huge saving,” Des said.

“These savings will be passed down to customers who are often doing it tough,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support to charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding sources was part of their focus.

“It’s our pleasure to provide a hand up to the Kidney Support Network. We believe in empowering people to lead better lives and this funding will help the Kidney Support Network to achieve this,” Gary said.

“In addition to ensuring locals doing it tough can access second-hand goods for less, the grant will indirectly impact their core mission which is to support people with renal failure to lead better lives through a range of support services.”

“By working closely with Landsborough Masonic Lodge who identified this initiative, we’ve been able to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Landsborough Masonic Lodge’s Alan Holdsworth, Hand Heart Pocket Champion Colin Elrington, Kidney Support Network Sunshine Coast Branch Coordinator Kathy Rayner and Landsborough Masonic Lodge’s Rick Joyce. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Brisbane Freemasons and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), joined forces to celebrate Father’s Day at a special morning tea held this morning to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Freemason and Secretary of Stanley Masonic Lodge at Stones Corner Ron Anderson said it was beneficial for both organisations, who regularly support men at many levels, to join forces and shine a spotlight on men’s health.

“It’s no secret that we men are less likely to go to the doctor or to talk about how we feel. However, keeping a check of your physical and mental health and checking in with each other can go a long way,” he said.

“It is great that Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland can help us support such an important initiative as well as support Men’s Sheds at both a statewide and a local level,” said Ron.

Photo: Brisbane Freemasons and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed came together to cast a spotlight on Men's Health as part of the Hand Heart Pocket 2018 Father's Day Appeal.

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Freemasons from around the state have rallied with their charity, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland to again support drought-affected families and communities.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said that the charity had previously worked with Freemasons throughout the state from 2015 to 2017 and was able to donate $1 million to drought-affected families and communities.

“With over half of the state drought-declared and some parts of Queensland not seeing rain for more than five years, some of our members recognised the urgency to support these communities again,” said Gary.

“We also wanted to show drought-affected Queenslanders that they were not forgotten and therefore have agreed to donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by our Freemason members and Masonic Lodges for an eight-week period until October 5 this year,” he said.

Already, from the support of Freemasons throughout the state and the charity pitching in double what they are donating, Hand Heart Pocket has almost $120,000 ready to distribute to drought-affected families and communities.

The organisation will provide Eftpos cards to be distributed through its partners on the ground such as The Western Drought Appeal and their associated distribution channels, the Rural Financial Counselling Service, Queensland Education and the School of Distant Education parent support group, to ensure they get quickly to where they are needed most.

“The cards are designed to be spent locally, to put food on the table and to pay essential bills such as electricity,” said Gary.

“We hope that by October 5 we will be able to make a greater impact on drought-affected families and communities.”

Donate to our Drought Appeal and support drought-affected families and communities in Queensland

Atherton Freemasons and Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), joined forces to celebrate Father’s Day at a special morning tea held this morning to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Freemasons District Grand Master Henry Condon said it was great that both organisations could work together to shine a spotlight on men’s health, considering they both regularly support men at many levels.

“It’s important for us men to make sure that we look after our physical and mental health, even though we don’t like going to the doctor or talking about how we are feeling. Regular check-ups and checking in with each other can help identify preventable illness early.”

“We are proud that we can focus on men’s health and have the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland at a local and statewide level,” said Henry.

Photo: Atherton Community Health Clinical Nurse Mal Fraser, AMSA Marty Leist alongside Atherton Freemasons Mil Clay and Barry Nichols.

 Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Cairns Freemasons and Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), joined forces to celebrate Father’s Day at a special morning tea held this morning to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Freemasons Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan said it was encouraging that both organisations, who support men at many levels on a regular basis, could join forces to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

“It’s no secret that we men are less likely to go to the doctor, to make healthy lifestyle choices and talk about our feelings. However, keeping a check of your physical and mental health can significantly reduce your chances of developing a preventable illness.”

“We are proud that Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland can help us support such an important initiative at both a statewide and a grassroots level,” said Raja.

Photo: Australian Men’s Shed Association representative Marty Leist, Cairns Hospital Cardiac Rehab Unit representative Megan Warncke, Cairns Men's Shed representative Clive Lee alongside the Carpentaria Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan and Past District Grand Master Phil Starr. 

 Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is gearing up to raise funds for Men’s Sheds across Queensland while increasing awareness for men’s physical and mental health through its 2018 Father’s Day Appeal.

Running throughout September and October 2018, the Hand Heart Pocket Father’s Day Appeal will see Masonic Lodge’s rally together to hold men’s health events at Masonic Centres across Queensland, while also raising funds for local Men’s Sheds.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health was part of the organisation’s long-term strategy.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” Gary said.

AMSA and local Men’s Sheds will team up to support events throughout the 2018 Appeal and in some locations will deliver free men’s health checks as part of AMSA’s Spanner in the Works? men’s health initiative.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

Events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

 “The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Donate to our Father's Day Appeals and help Australian Men's Shed Association to support Men's Shed activities and programs across Queensland throughout 2019.

A hand up has been provided to a family in Bundaberg, to help their Autistic son lead a more independent life, with the help of a Smart Pup Assistance Dog.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Continuity and Tyrian Masonic Lodges, provided a $10k Grassroots Community Grant towards the endeavour – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of its 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round. In addition, the fundraising efforts of the Lodges was matched, followed by a final top up to ensure the family reached its $20k target.

Tyrian Lodge Secretary John Richardson said the specially trained pup would make a significant difference to Mitchell’s quality of life.

“We’re very proud to have been able to help Mitchell and to have expedited this fundraising initiative with the help of Hand Heart Pocket. The Smart Pup will become part of the family and be by Mitchell’s side every day,” John said.

“Being so calm in nature, the pup will help to lower anxiety levels and help Mitchell adapt to different social settings. It might even give Mitchell the confidence to experience new things,” he said.

It will be a little while though before the family can take the Smart Pup home, as it typically takes up to a year to train the canine and ensure it completes the necessary home placement sessions.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it’s great to see Lodges working together to respond to need within the community.

“Continuity and Tyrian Masonic Lodges brought this worthy cause to our attention which we were able to support through our Grassroots Grants initiatives,” Gary said.

“Empowering people to lead more independent lives is what we’re known for. Our focus, as we have done in this instance, is to provide sustainable support for charitable causes that have limited access to other funding sources,” he said.

“It’s our pleasure to provide this life-changing support,” he said.

Photo: Bundaberg family welcomes Smart Pup Assistance Dog with the help of Hand Heart Pocket's Grassroots Community Grant. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

There was plenty to celebrate at Tynwald Masonic Lodge’s centenary celebrations, earlier this month, including the handover of $10k to empower disadvantaged locals to lead more independent lives.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland on behalf of Tynwald Masonic Lodge, provided the $10k grant to the Sandgate and Bracken Ridge Action Group (SANDBAG Inc) – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round.

The funds will allow SANDBAG to purchase vital office equipment such as laptops and furniture, to provide an enhanced learning environment for the upskilling of those doing it tough, in search of meaningful work.

Tynwald Masonic Lodge representative Peter Taylor said they were elated that their submission had been successful.

“This really was the perfect way to celebrate our 100 years in the local area. In all that time, Tynwald Lodge has been active in the community, supporting various causes that make a difference at a local level.” Peter said.

“In relation to SANDBAG, whether it’s a domestic violence victim looking to rebuild his or her life, a recently retrenched person needing to upskill, a disadvantaged person looking for a job or a senior citizen requiring some administrative assistance –every one of them can lead a better life with the support of this local organisation. Knowledge is power, and we are proud to champion that,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were all for supporting education initiatives that help to alleviate misfortune and empower people to lead more independent lives.

“Giving people a hand up to get back on their feet through education is what resonated with us,” Gary said.

“It’s our pleasure to have provided a hand up for SANDBAG, to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level together with Tynwald Masonic Lodge, as they celebrate such a significant milestone in their history,” he said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Domestic violence victims in the Moreton Bay region have been given a hand up by the local Freemasons, empowering them to start over.

The Centre Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) will be able to provide more care packages for victims, after Pine Rivers Masonic Lodge with the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket donated $1000 towards the emergency relief scheme.

Pine Rivers Lodge Secretary, Ross Patching OAM said when a victim makes the brave decision to leave an abusive relationship, packing essential items like food, toiletries, clothing and toys is the last thing on their mind.

“We want victims to know that they are not alone and with support, they can lead a better life,” Ross said.

“We hope our donation shows clients that despite their recent experiences there are good non-violent men in society.”

“As well as setting a good example, we might even inspire the next generation of Freemasons in the region,” he said.

Last financial year CADA received over 3000 DV referrals from police, provided close to 6000 adults with crisis and counselling support, helped close to 2000 children access their child and youth services, while more than 6500 individuals were given court assistance.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark gave Pine Rivers Lodge the credit for identifying a worthy local cause.

“Giving domestic violence victims a hand up when they most need it, lines up with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and misfortune to lead a better life,” Gary said.

“Hand Heart Pocket was delighted to match the Lodge’s fundraising to help vulnerable women rebuild their lives,” he said.

Photo: Pine Rivers Masonic Lodge hands overs a cheque for $1000 to Centre Against Domestic Abuse representative Estrella H. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy