The million-plus women and men who carry out the mission of the Moose generate nearly $100 million in community service every year. The number of volunteer opportunities is rivaled only by the devotion of our members.
It’s up to you to determine your level of involvement. Fundraising for local families made homeless by fire; building entrance ramps for disabled neighbors; funding local youth sports teams; helping make a local park more beautiful…all are ways in which our members bring communities closer together. One shared commitment among all of our members: raising tens of millions of dollars a year for local and national organizations spanning from homeless shelters to the Salvation Army to the Special Olympics.
As a Moose member, you can:
- Serve small children facing traumatic situations by making sure local hospitals and emergency crews are supplied with plush Tommy Moose figures to give comfort to kids in rough times
- Share knowledge and skills with children and parents to educate them on Internet challenges and dangers through the Safe Surfin’ Foundation
- Support your local community by using our established network to raise money to aid families in need
Listen Closely: Serving our community
The men and women of the Moose find that their involvement in their community brings them closer together.
In Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, members came together when more than 500 businesses and thousands of homes were damaged in tornadoes that struck in April 2011. What started out as a small gesture by Lodge Governor Jeff Sullivan (“What would you think if we cook a few hamburgers and hot dogs for the people in the neighborhood?”) became a community-wide humanitarian effort to feed thousands of families devastated by the storms and left powerless for more than a week. The Lodge’s action served as a catalyst; after that initial purchase and outreach to a few hundred neighbors, the groundswell of support and gratitude grew exponentially. Word spread through local businesses, radio stations and Facebook. Members came together to cook meals and support those in the community who had nowhere else to turn.
Police Chief Chris Paitsel of Piedmont, West Virginia, understands firsthand the effectiveness of the Tommy Moose program. Police offers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and state highway patrol officers across the country carry the animals in their vehicles and use them to comfort children in trauma.
“Interviewing children is very difficult. Things have happened to them, and they think they did something wrong. With Tommy Moose, they hold onto him and almost immediately open up,” explains Chris.
Having used the program for more than 10 years, Chris recalls a crucial time when Tommy Moose helped children. “In one case, we had a criminal who was using his own children to lure others to his house. These seven to 12-year-olds were being abused for over two years. After interviewing some of the children, we discovered that there were others, but the difficulty was in getting them to talk,” shares Chris. “I remember giving one of these children a Tommy Moose, and their expression changed automatically – they opened up. From that point on, all the kids got a Tommy Moose. They started talking to Tommy, and told their story. So many details came out of these stories that the guy actually pleaded guilty – and he was sentenced to 25-40 years in prison.
“If it wasn’t for Tommy Moose, we wouldn’t have gotten the in-depth information that we obtained. The guy landed in jail for many years, and gave the kids and families some closure.”
For the New York Pediatrics Ward of Vassar Brothers Hospital, the squeezable plush Moose have proven invaluable. “To see the kids’ faces when they get the Tommy Moose just warms your heart,” said Theresa Palome, child play therapist. “We use the stuffed animals to comfort children in many situations from chemotherapy treatments to receiving an MRI,” she added.