“To Improve and Elevate the Character of Mankind”
Have you been searching for a way to help others and be a part of
something bigger than yourself?
Do you want to learn to be a better person and empower yourself to be more successful in all parts of your life?
Do you want to help make your community a better place and help those in need?
Do you feel lonely or crave quality social interactions and want to be part of something important?
By becoming an Odd Fellow you will learn to base your thoughts and actions on the philosophical principles of the Order.
We believe that life is a commitment to improve and elevate the character of mankind through service and example. Our legacy has been 200 years of helping each other and others without seeking anything in return. Odd Fellows are aware of the vanity of earthly things, the frailty and inevitable decay of human life and the fact that wealth has no power to stop the sureness of eventual death.
Now ask yourself, “How am I going to spend my life?”
WHO ARE WE?
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is one of the oldest and largest fraternities in the world. We are non-political and non-sectarian. Membership is open to all regardless of sex, race, religion, political affiliation and social status -all bound by the desire to improve ourselves and the calling to live and promote the principles of Friendship, Love, and Truth which transcends labels. We believe that by developing close friendships among each other and by working together in our communities, we can make a difference in the world and among ourselves! Discussing political, sectarian or any other debate is forbidden in the Lodge, so it breaks down the social walls and labels used to view others and opens hearts and minds to start seeing people as Brothers and Sisters.
WHAT DO WE OFFER?
A Philosophy for Life
We are a diverse group of people who want to make a difference in our communities and the world by turning the lessons taught in our Initiation and Degrees into direct action.
The degrees of initiation in our fraternity seek to improve and elevate the character of members by imparting moral principles exemplified through story, drama and symbols which we adapted from the Medieval Trade Guilds.
Our lessons aim to promote the lesson of tolerance which results to harmony and understanding between people from different walks of life. We endeavor to bridge the gap of differences and serve as venue where acquaintances and even enemies can become true friends using the purest and practical form of fraternity. We are simply about promoting the culture of caring and sharing, of not leaving each other behind, of thinking beyond self, and of helping others in need. The command of IOOF is to “visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan.”
The Original “Social Network”
The Lodge provides a place to foster new friendships with people you can depend on. The structure provides a way to learn valuable skills that carry over into all areas of life and the flexibility makes each Lodge have its own unique culture. Members also enjoy an international social network of many thousands that extends to more than 30 countries worldwide. If traveling is an interest, membership can provide a valuable network that will very much welcome an international visitor, and assist in their enterprises, and certainly their travels wherever possible. Members can attend a meeting at any IOOF Lodge in the world.
WHAT DO WE DO?
One of the primary purposes of IOOF is to develop life-lasting friendships among people. In connection to this, many lodges also organize social activities where members can enjoy each other’s company.
An ideal lodge is a place for fellowship in all its forms – from meetings, to Initiation ceremonies, to dinners, to hanging out and just having fun, to discussion and collaboration on creative and constructive projects, all with an eye not only on our own satisfaction but on what we might offer to the community at large. We aim to be a good venue for a lot of positive energy and all members are encouraged to contribute their ideas in harmony.
The first lodges were first set up to protect and care for their members and communities at a time when there was still no welfare state, trade unions or national health insurance. The aim was and still is to provide help to people and communities in times of need. The Odd Fellows are also large fundraisers for local, national and international charities. Today, the highlights of the fraternal organization’s Philanthropic works include:
- Educational Foundation provides low-interest student loans and scholarships.
- Living Legacy Program focuses on planting trees and enhancing the environment.
- Arthritis Advisory Board works in donating over $500,000 annually to support research by the Arthritis Foundation (USA) and Arthritis Society (Canada).
- Visual Research Foundation endowed $2.5 million and continues to donate over $500,000 annually to support vision care and research through the Wilmer Eye Institute.
- Pilgrimage for Youth sponsors a group of high school students for an educational trip in the U.S. and Canada.
- SOS Children’s Village provides a caring home for orphaned children in 132 countries around the world.
- Annual Patriotic Pilgrimages to the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, USA, Canadian War Memorial and others.
- Odd Fellow and Rebekah Homes provide a caring environment for the elderly.
- Odd Fellow and Rebekah camps and parks provide recreation for the youth and families.
- Each Lodge is also involved in various local or national community projects.
Want to be a part of the IOOF? Read more about how to JOIN US!
Any Odd Fellow who is a Third Degree member in good standing may join the Encampment and
Patriarchs Militant branches to continue their journey in the Order.