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The Charitable Trust taking care of our own Unique to our District 3 is the Charitable Trust. Its existence parallels the origins of the Sons of Norway whose purposes and goals were to protect members of Sons of Norway and their families from the financial hardships experienced during times of sickness or death in the family. As reported in the Spring 1971 Sons of Norway Bulletin [1], a motion made at the 1936 District Convention to start an old age fund became a reality in 1938. Over time, the old age fund became known as the Benevolent Fund.

New York, and Brooklyn in particular, was the destination for many Norwegian immigrants. Our Norwegian brethren came with little but the clothes on the back, hearts filled with hope and strong backs ready to work. The newly arrived Norwegians, learning of the Sons of Norway, were drawn to the familiar sounds, tastes and companionship in the Third District lodges. It became apparent that some of the new immigrants needed help over the rough spots and the Benevolent Fund was the mechanism.

Eventually the Benevolent Fund was formalized in 1971 as the Charitable Trust. For over 40 years, the Charitable Trust has provided modest support to District 3 members with subsistence support critical to their physical, social and psychological well being.

The fraternal chain, a symbol of everlasting friendship, is exemplified by the work of the Charitable Trust which provides assistance to our fraternal brothers and sisters in time of need. The need could be as simple as helping with the very high cost of prescription drugs or it could be help getting back on your feet from a devastating loss. A member may need assistance only for a few months or a little longer. It is comforting to know that the Charitable Trust has assisted members for over 40 years.

To qualify, a recipient must be a District 3 SON member at least five years, be recommended for a helping hand by a member and complete the application. These criteria are then reviewed by the Trustees which include the District President, Vice President, Counselor, Secretary and Treasurer. The selection process and results are confidential.

The Counselor manages the day-to-day business of administering the Charitable Trust and communicates monthly with the beneficiaries who continuously express their gratitude and heartfelt appreciation. The Charitable Trust – taking care of our own for over 40 years!

 

[1] Sons of Norway Bulletin Spring 1971 Vol. 1 No. 4 was provided by Ed Trabulsy, who served many Board positions including 3D President and International Director.

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