Contributed by the Auburn Opelika Elks Lodge
Local Elks Lodges throughout the United States and in Guam, Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal will be celebrating 153 years of community service on Feb. 16, 2021.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has made more than $12 billion in donations since it first started 153 years ago. Last year alone, the Elks donated approximately $350 million in cash, gifts and time to make their communities better places to live. The Elks are one of the premier patriotic and charitable organizations in the United States of America.
Elk volunteers will visit thousands of hospitalized veterans who have protected our freedoms. The Elks vow, “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.” The Elks support both active military forces and retired veterans. Elks furnish food, comfort care items, therapeutic items and gifts, host holiday celebrations and recreational activities at bases and hospitals and stand ready to fulfill any need when called upon. Last year alone, the value of Elks’ contributions to the nation’s heroes was more than $50 million to more than 300 Veterans Administration Medical Centers, clinics and state care facilities.
Annually, the Elks award college scholarships across the nation totaling more than $4.5 million.
The Elks Community Investment Program will award nearly $47 million towards enriching communities.
Locally, Auburn Opelika Lodge #1834 gave over $16,000 back to the community last year in the form of grants, equipment and scholarships
There are more than 1,900 Elks Lodges across the country with a total membership nearing 800,000. Elks’ members must be American citizens who are at least 21 years of age and must believe in God.
To learn more visit www.elks.org.