“Dover Masons Support Baby Lenny”
Match Funded by the East Kent Cornwallis Charitable Foundation
It started with a request to me as a VV
a great weight lifted from her shoulders
This shows the power of fund raising
The Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity and Dover Masons Support for Baby Lenny Snell
As a Visiting Volunteer (VV) for the Masonic Charitable Foundation, (MCF) we come across certain cases which really tug on your heartstrings and Baby Lenny was one of those cases. It started with an approach to me in my role as a VV from Bro Keith May, the Great Grandfather of Baby Lenny to see what, if any assistance could be sought to help his Granddaughter with her new Baby who had been born with no Bowel or Lower Intestines. Despite the best efforts of the Provincial Grand Almoner and the VV, this case did not meet the required criteria for MCF support.
Undaunted by this slight setback, the Provincial Almoner and VV put their thinking caps on. We came up with the idea of looking to see if we could run an appeal with the Dover Masonic Lodges and enquire as to the possibility of a Match Funding application, to the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity.
The Secretary of the Septem Lodge, Bro Keith’s Mother Lodge, sent out an appeal to the Dover Lodges and Chapters. A total sum of £2,400 was needed to provide some essential equipment to help with Baby Lenny, who could not come home from the London Hospital, until the equipment could be put in place.
The challenge was set and the Dover Lodges and Chapters responded magnificently, a total of £1,100 was pledged in a very short space of time.
An application was made to the Cornwallis Charity and was successful. A small shortfall of £200 was given as an extra by the Cornwallis Charity, so that all of the required equipment could be bought and installed.
This was done and shortly after the equipment arrived, Baby Lenny followed and arrived home with his mum, to the relief of all of the rest of the Family.
Going up and down to London had begun to take its toll his mum Leah. WBro Kevin Kemp, the VV and Secretary of the Septem Lodge, visited Leah and Lenny shortly after they returned home. He states “Lenny is a very happy little boy, smiling and giggling away in the arms of his mum. He has been able to come home because the money that was given provided the Medical Fridges, storage required for his medications, a new pram to ensure that all of the required medical equipment can be carried around, as well as other essential baby equipment and clothing. for example a simple Babygro with the essential cut outs, allowing all of the tubes to be connected, costing £32 each.”
Leah, said “she was so grateful to the Freemasons of the Lodges in Dover and to the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity, it was overwhelming to know of the kindness and support that she had received from people whose story Lenny has touched even though they were not known to them. Without the essential financial support given, they would not have been able to bring Lenny home.”
Home Sweet Home
Leah, also went on to say; “there are very few if any other babies in the country that are like Lenny, the medical staff are learning new skills all of the time as they attempt to make Lenny’s life as normal as possible”.
She was so grateful for the time and support that the medical staff had given to her and Lenny and the efforts they have made on their behalf. She also sais that if any Lodge wanted her to come along and give a talk about the issues Lenny and her have and continue to face, she would be very happy to come and give that talk.
She went on to say “baby Lenny is still far from being out of the woods, the constant feeding through the tube in his stomach is slowly causing Liver damage, it will eventually cause irreparable damage and baby Lenny will require a Liver Transplant in the future.”
Finally Leah wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to all of the Lodges and Chapters who had donated, she was so grateful and she had had a great weight lifted from her shoulders as the donation had gone a long way to providing the support for the things Lenny needed and had eased the burden on her at the same time.
WBro Kevin said; “he was so proud to have been able to help in a small way, and that he was extremely grateful to the Dover Masonic Community and to the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity for the support that had been given”. He went on to say, “Leah is a remarkable young lady, she has an inner strength that you would not often see in a person so young, Lenny is a remarkable baby, so happy and contented even though he is extremely ill and could be rushed to hospital at any time, if he continues in the way he has, he will grow up to be a strong and resilient young boy”.
This shows the power of fund raising as a collective and the way a small sum from each Lodge / Chapter can grow in to such a large donation. I would like to thank our Secretary for his hard work and assistance with this.
We never know when we might fall on hard times, we never know when we need medical assistance or Counselling, we never know when our families might need some sort of help, help us to fulfil our potential as a Lodge to be able to help those that are less fortunate than ourselves, closest to a Freemasons heart is Charity.