Nonprofit Spotlight: Eastern Star seeks better life for all

Farm Forum

Hazel Schaunaman is past Grand Matron and secretary of Minerva Chapter Order of Eastern Star.

The Order of the Eastern Star is a fraternal and social order comprised of persons with deep religious convictions and spiritual values.

Eastern Star is benevolent and charitable in its actions. It was established in 1850 by Boston lawyer and educator Rob Morris. There are approximately 10,000 chapters in 20 countries and approximately 500,000 members under the General Grand Chapter. We proudly sponsor the young women who are members of Rainbow for Girls and Job’s Daughters. We commend the Masons for their interest in sponsoring DeMolay for Boys.

Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both men and women may belong. This organization is composed of men who are Masons and women with specific Masonic affiliations. If you were a member of International Order of the Rainbow or the International Order of Job’s Daughters as a girl, when you reach age 18 you are eligible for Eastern Star membership.

The degrees of the Order of the Eastern Star teach lessons in fidelity, constancy, loyalty, faith and love. Eastern Star is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values who take part in character-building lessons. This is an order composed of people of deep spiritual convictions, and is open to all faiths.

The organization has raised millions of dollars within its membership to support different charitable acts. These include providing scholarships to help people attending seminaries preparing their way for our future ministers, general scholarships and supporting the Eastern Star Home in Redfield.

This is composed of apartments, assisted living facilities, and a nursing home, and is open to nonmembers. The Assisting Children to Smile program is a partnership between the Grand Chapter of South Dakota, Order of the Eastern Star, The South Dakota Orthodontic Society and the South Dakota Sunshine Smiles Dental Foundation. Special emphasis for 2013 will be to focus on scholarships for those entering the ministry, and ACTS and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. These are but a few of the charities we support.

The stated purposes of the organization are: charitable, educational, fraternal and scientific. But there is much more to it than that. The order was founded using the beautiful and inspiring Biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values. These portray the noble principles which should adorn the personal lives of Eastern Star members.

Eastern Star strives to take good people and — through uplifting and elevating associations of love and service and through precept and example — build an order which is truly dedicated to charity, truth, and loving kindness.

Being a member of the Order of the Eastern Star is a wonderful and fulfilling way of life. Through this fraternal service to humanity, we build a better life for all.