So said a family being helped this Christmas by the Northampton Hope Centre, which is at the forefront of tackling poverty and exclusion in Northamptonshire.

In relating the anecdote, John Rice, the charity's warehouse manager, said:

...and without support from Freemasons, we at the Hope Centre would not have been able to make that family’s Christmas.

With the help of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, local Freemasons were able to make a pre-Christmas grant of £5,000 to the Hope Centre.

In the run-up to Christmas, Freemasons Steve Mills, Mark Capel, and Gerry Crawford (Provincial Grand Charity Steward) visited the charity's Northampton distribution-hub where they met John together with fundraising manager, Louise Danielczuk.

From left, John Rice, Gerry Crawford, Mark Capel & Steve Mills with Christmas package for needy family

With the help of a several volunteers, Louise and John were busy preparing packages of Christmas cheer including festive food, fresh fruit and vegetables, and other festive items for pre-Christmas distribution to families in need.

Louise Danielczuk said:

We are extremely grateful to Freemasons for their continuing support. It really does help us meet our commitment to relieving distress and hardship. Without such support, we would not be able to function as effectively as we do. It is heart-warming to hear the beneficial effects of our work. The stories of some of our clients have me in tears.

Gerry Crawford said:

As Freemasons, we are part of the community and strive to help the needy where we can. On this occasion, it was our pleasure to support the Hope Centre, which is doing a tremendous job making sure disadvantaged families have as enjoyable a Christmas as possible.

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