Odd Fellows have a mission to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan. This was given to us from the Odd Fellows lodge in England from which our Order was established. Because of this mission, hundreds (and perhaps thousands) of orphanages and cemeteries have sprung up across America as Odd Fellows grew from one lodge of five members in 1819 to over a million in less than 100 years.
That mission was essential 200 years ago because there was no social safety net as there is today. As society’s safety net become more established, orphanages and cemeteries that carried our name have changed hands or closed. Since those days of old; the mission of Odd Fellows has evolved. Today, we have more specific and delineated objectives:
- To improve and elevate the character of mankind by promoting the principles of friendship, love, truth, faith, hope, charity and universal justice.
- To help make the world a better place to live by aiding each other, the community, the less fortunate, the youth, the elderly, the environment and the community in every way possible.
- To promote good will and harmony amongst peoples and nations through the principle of universal fraternity, holding the belief that all men and women regardless of race, nationality, religion, social status, gender, rank and station are brothers and sisters.
That being said, each Odd Fellows (lodges, state grand lodges and the Sovereign Grand Lodge) is not known for having one particular goal as many other fraternal or business organizations are known to have. Odd Fellows have the freedom to choose what we feel best fulfills our mission. Odd Fellows have given several million dollars to the world-famous Wilmer Eye Institute at John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore where the IOOF began.
Odd Fellows have also given millions of dollars to the Arthritis Foundation since 1986.
Each year a new leader at the Sovereign Grand Lodge chooses a particular non-profit to promote and to gain the awareness and support of the body of Odd Fellows.
The number of charities with this level of support have included SOS Children’s Village Battambang, Cambodia, organizations devoted to planting trees and many other causes to give.
Lompoc Odd Fellows Giving
Local lodges are empowered to help locally wherever they can. While we help to fund state and national giving, we also have given hundreds and thousands to local causes over the years. Within the past five years, we have given hundreds to non-profits and causes such as to the Lompoc Valley Historical Society, Lompoc Parks and Recreation Fallen Warriors Project, fire disaster funds (including for the Montecito Disaster), Jim Mosby Enterprises for the donation of snow to the community, our local Boys Scouts of America and also to the Rose Parade Float which has promoted the mission of Odd Fellows for decades and won a trophy last year.
In 2017, we established an annual scholarship program which gives away thousands to college-bound seniors!
It is the hallmark of an Odd Fellow to be someone who gives of their time and money to help others. If that seems like it might be someone like you, then consider joining us!