Bling and Volunteering – OES

Today I was privileged to participate in the initiation of a lovely young woman to a local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. She’s blonde, cute, a young mother, a caring person, as far as I can tell.  She walked tall and appeared to learn alot today.

I’ve been a member of the Order for 15 or so years. I’ve filled a variety of stations (offices) and performed a number of special duties in honor of women and men who have served faithfully and taught many behind them. I’ve been honored to teach a few who came in after me, and I’ve even led the funeral service for a dear saint, whom I will never forget.

In our Order, there are women we admire, heroines from the Bible, heroines of our Order. They represent the different stages of our lives and we learn from them, to be patient, courageous, kind, hard working, loyal and faithful.

I love the Order… it’s filled with opportunities to serve others. There are so many choices- you cannot do everything.  All that we, the members, do is surrounded by bling, pomp and circumstance, and joy of loyal friendship. We tend to lean toward projects that help women, but we don’t leave the men out.

One year 17 students in Texas received scholarships to allow them more freedom while they studied for the ministry. 15 more were awarded scholarships to continue their college education… or to complete a certificate course in their area of work. And that’s on a state level. Locally, many students in all the communities received smaller contributions toward their education.  Thousands were contributed to Breast Cancer research, the Galveston Burn Center and the multitude of projects sponsored by Worthy Matrons around the state. Recently, we focused on the service dogs that help save lives.

Our Chapter collected 300 pairs of flip flops to send to the Air Force kids who were volunteering (as part of their job) in an orphanage in Africa. There are so many rocks, the kids can’t keep shoes on that won’t tear up… so we helped our service kids, help the small children. The cost for mailing them was riduculous, but they couldn’t be bought in Africa, so, mailing was what was required.    One year, we made lap blankets for children at the hospital. Once, we collected stuffed toys and gave them to the law enforcement folks. When they have to arrest a mom and dad, these toys give the children something to hold onto during the terrible process.  Who else will do these things?

It’s been a fun-filled year. A year of service and friendships, new friends and new goals set for the future… all to start a new year with new officers, new plans… new folks to help, new students to help and new women to train to carry on our work.

Most of my female friends don’t understand this committment to the greater good.  Yep, we spend our money on bling… but we give and raise more for the good of others. Yes, we spend much of our free time with the members of our Order, and we miss new movies and don’t spend much time reading… but we are doing good. Whatever avenue a person can find to volunteer to help others is good. It’s good for the soul, good for those being helped, good for our country to help one another.   For me, it’s a matter of breathing… we should help, as we breathe. I just love dressing up to do it!

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