Dear Brothers of New York,
Fueled by drenching rainstorms, massive flooding in Louisiana has damaged and destroyed many homes and buildings, with approximately 100,000 persons reportedly displaced. Cities such as Baton Rouge received 19 inches of rain in just 15 hours. The damage due to flooding was described as “mammoth” and “catastrophic”.
The magnitude of the storm was described by the American Red Cross as the “worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Sandy” in 2012. Recovery is expected to take months, and the lack of good communications is still causing issues in finding information and victims.
The Grand Lodge of Louisiana reported that two Lodge buildings have been heavily flooded, and the building of the Scottish Rite Valley of Baton Rouge, which houses an additional three Lodges, incurred significant amounts of flooding and damage. Many Masons and Masonic families are among the 100,000 displaced.
My Brothers, it is important to remember the wonderful outpouring of Masonic Relief sent to New York Masons during and after Hurricane Sandy. As New York Freemasons, we can do no less than to reciprocate in like manner.
The Grand Lodge of F&AM of the State of New York is immediately sending Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana via the MSA to assist them during this great state of emergency. Over the next few weeks we are encouraging our Brethren and Lodges to consider making an additional 501 (c) 3 qualified charitable donation to the “Masonic Brotherhood Fund” annotated “Louisiana flooding” in order to provide additional flood relief. Please mail your donation to our Grand Lodge Office at the address listed above.
My Brothers, I am so proud and astonished by the generosity exhibited by the Brothers of New York. I am now asking you to join me in helping a sister jurisdiction as it deals with this serious natural disaster. Let us together pray that the Great Architect of the Universe watch over and protect the Brethren and citizens of Louisiana in their time of need.
With kindest fraternal regards,
Jeffrey M. Williamson
Grand Master NY