Shriners Run to the Rescue
Strong legs run – so weak legs may walk
Shriners International is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth with nearly 200 temples (chapters) in seven countries and thousands of clubs around the world. Our fraternity is open to men of integrity from all walks of life.
Shriners International is a spin-off from Freemasonry, the oldest, largest and most widely known fraternity in the world. Freemasonry dates back hundreds of years to when stonemasons and other craftsmen gathered after work in shelter houses, or lodges.
When Shriners International was first founded in 1872, the organization built on the principles that guided Freemasonry, while adding an element of fun and, ultimately, philanthropy, that set Shriners International apart. The two organizations are also structured similarly.
Shriners International also supports Shriners Hospitals for Children®, a health system of 22 facilities across North America dedicated to providing pediatric medical care, world-class research and educational opportunities for medical professionals. Children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care. They receive all services in a family-centered environment and are accepted regardless of their ability to pay. Patients must be under the age of 18 and are not required to have any familial affiliation with the Shriners.
From its earliest days the Shriners were known for their philanthropic efforts across the country. By the early 1900s the fraternity was growing quickly. And as the fraternity was growing, so was the support for establishing an official charity. Most temples had local philanthropies, and sometimes the Shriners' organization offered aid. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake Shriners sent $25,000 to help the fallen city. Shriners contributed $10,000 for the relief of European war victims. But neither of these efforts, nor the projects of individual temples, satisfied the membership.
The idea to establish hospitals for children was brought to the membership in 1919 by Freeland Kendrick (P.I.P., Lu Lu Shriners, Philadelphia) after he visited a Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Atlanta. This visit made Kendrick aware of the overwhelming need to care for children with orthopaedic disorders.