By Jennifer L. Warren
BEACON – Ken Munoz knows first-hand how incredibly tough times have been this year, but the City of Beacon resident also profoundly realizes how huge people’s hearts can be and just how blessed he is.
Munoz, along with his mother Maria Molina, was one of the families inside of the City of Beacon’s Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church Saturday afternoon. Wearing huge smiles, while holding bags of toys and food for a holiday meal for their entire family, the two could not have felt more fortunate. They represented one of six families that was recognized by the City of Beacon’s Hebron Lodge 48 Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masons and provided with the essential items bound to make their upcoming holiday extra special.
“My family and I found out about this event from Kenya Gadsden of the Beacon Food Pantry, who told us Hebron Lodge was looking to help local families in need during the holiday,” said Munoz. “We called up right away, and were selected, making us feel so blessed and grateful, especially during these rough times, as I’ve been out of work due to the Pandemic, but this really helps make up for a lot, allowing us to still have a nice, memorable holiday.”
In the past, the local Hebron Lodge Chapter has held a toy giveaway event for the children.
However, this year, they wanted to enhance their outreach efforts, providing for the adults as well. So, not only will children of the six selected family recipients have an assortment of toys under their Christmas Trees, so too, both they and the adults will have a bundle of groceries, enabling the entire family to enjoy the culinary delights of a holiday dinner to cook. It’s that kind of much needed, lasting impact that is at the epicenter of everything the Hebron Lodge, whose members personally donated the monies for the toys and food as well as time to buy them, does.
“Today is very special because we can really make a difference in the Beacon Community, while helping others have a Merry Christmas despite everything that is happening in the world,” explained Worshipful Master, Aubrey Mitchell, one of four brothers on hand at the Church, handing out the bags of toys and food. “It truly makes us all very happy to see the looks of joy on the people’s faces who receive these items; really what this time of the year is all about.”
For all of the Hebron Lodge members that generosity is not limited to the Christmas holiday season, as the need runs so deep, and the desire to give back extends throughout the entire year.
“As a community organization, we need to continue to support those in need, and not only during the holidays or a Pandemic, but always,” said Junior Warden Herbert Bullock, who along with his Lodge members, is considering making this holiday toy and food giveaway an annual event. “As we ourselves continue to be blessed, so too, we want to continue to bless others as much as we possibly can.”