Salaam Shrine is a member of an international fraternity of approximately 411,000 members throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Panama. The Shrine’s official philanthropy is the Shriners Hospitals for Children®, a network of 22 hospitals that provide expert, pediatric orthopedic and burn care to children under 18, regardless of the family’s ability to pay. Salaam Shrine is perhaps best known for its colorful parades, distinctive red fez, and official philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Shriners believe in God and that He created man to serve His purposes, among which is service to others in His name. We believe that care for the less fortunate, especially children who suffer from burns and debilitating diseases, is our institutional calling. We are patriots, each willing to serve his country with fidelity and courage. We cherish independence under law and freedom with responsibility. We honor family. We respect our parents, wives and children. We should instill in our children the tenets of this creed, and the heritage from which it emanates. As individuals we pledge ourselves to integrity, virtue and nobility of character. Our intentions will be honorable, our relations will be trustworthy and our spirits forgiving of each other. As brothers we offer each other fraternal affection and respect. Together we will support each other in adherence to this creed, so that we and our communities will be the better because of our fraternity and its principles. As Shriners we look beyond ourselves to serve the needs of others, especially children who cannot help themselves. We believe Shriners Hospitals to be the world’s greatest philanthropy, and we covenant with each other to support its ‘temples of mercy’ with spirit, time, talent and means.
How did it all start? How does it work? What is a Shriner? What kind of organization attracts physicians, lawyers, truck drivers, dentists, contractors, heads of state, movie starts, generals, clergymen and accountants? Someone might answer, “Oh yeah, Shriners are those guys in parades with the wild costumes and funny little cars.” Another might think of circuses and clowns. The fellow next to him might interject, “No, Shriners are they guys who wear those funny hats that look like flowerpots and have those big conventions.” “I don’t know about all that,” a passerby might add, “But I do know my little girl was born with clubfeet and now they are straight, and she can walk like anyone else, thanks to Shriners Hospitals for Children.” “She can walk?” questions still another. “I thought the Shriners ran those fantastic burn hospitals. I’ve read stories about them saving kids with burns on 90 percent of their bodies.”
All those people are right. Each has experienced an aspect of Shrinedom. What they cannot experience, unless they are Shriners, is the camaraderie, deep friendships, good fellowship and great times shared by all Shriners. What they may not know is that all Shriners share a Masonic heritage: each is a Master Mason in the Freemasonry Fraternity.
There are more than 400,000 Shriners now, who gather in Shrine Centers, or chapters, throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Panama. there are 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children providing care for orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate. These hospitals have helped more than 800,000 children–at no cost to the parent or child–since the first Shriners Hospital opened in 1922.
To learn more of our fraternity and/or our hospitals please visit http://www.shrinershq.org