MAHASKA COUNTY — Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has disrupted the lives of many, and the Masons of Mahaska County with Mahaska Lodge 644 is extending a hand to help those that are most vulnerable to the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults 65 and up, pregnant women, people with HIV, asthma, heart disease, diabetes or lung disease are all most susceptible to the illness. If you fall into the category of any of these conditions, or you’re self-quarantining for personal reasons, Mahaska Lodge 644 wants to help you.
Mahaska Lodge 644 Master (President) Shawn Garrison said the fraternity is filled with young, healthy men that are ready and willing to assist with running general errands, like picking up groceries or prescriptions. Garrison said anyone that needs assistance can contact him directly at 641-660-1329 to schedule an appointment.
“If there are people that are quarantined, or elderly, that just does not feel comfortable getting out, we have enough younger brothers who aren’t as high risk that would be more than welcome to go pick groceries or prescriptions,” he said.
The Masons of Mahaska Lodge 644 are Freemasons under the Grand Lodge of Iowa. Masonry is a charitable, community service-based organization dedicated to truth, relief and brotherly love. The call to help that they are extending to the community now backs up two out of three of those factors, relief and brotherly love.
In late February of this year, Mahaska Lodge 644 was recognized alongside Campbell’s Drivers Education for donating funds to have a retractable American Flag installed in the gymnasium at Oskaloosa Middle School last year. The idea to donate came from Owner of Campbell’s Driver Education Rob Campbell, who is also a Freemason. Campbell said he chose to donate to the cause because he wanted to give the students at OMS something to be proud of, something that was unique to them.
“I mainly [chose] to donate to set our school off from something that everybody else had,” he said. “I wanted the kids to come to the school see them lower that flag and go, ‘oh wow.’ You know that wow factor was kind of neat and it says, kind of, a special thing to me. The Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem played to the flag is really kind of neat.”
Garrison said the organization hopes that when residents in the community see kind acts of service like these they are reminded that of the history that the organization has in the community, a principal foundation that they hope to return to.
“The Masons have been in Oskaloosa since the late 1860s,” Garrison said. “They were for the longest time a benevolence for the community and we hope to return to being a benevolence for the community.”