The three principles upon which Freemasonry is founded are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. Masons worldwide are known for their charitable donations and links to hospitals, schools, and nursing homes. What is less well known is the private charity offered to poor and distressed Freemasons and their families, widows, and children. This type of charity is not trumpeted abroad, but undertaken quietly by each Lodge when needed, by the Almoner.
Each Lodge of the United Grand Lodge of England has an officer called the Charity Steward. His responsibility is to collect alms from the Brethren assembled in Lodge and at the Festive Board, accounting for them, and making periodic remittances to charity in the name of the Lodge and the Craft, as well as making reports to Grand Lodge and to Pyramid Lodge.
The main coordinator and repository of charity money from UGLE Freemasons is the Freemasons' Grand Charity.
Charities that benefit from Masonic donations are not limited to those that accept Freemasons as clients or disburse donations to Freemasons. Hospitals, nursing homes, and schools are among the recipients of our charity, as we are urged not to limit our charity to our Brethren and their dependents, but spread it to all who are in need.