Why Be A Member of The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks?
...We Elks are a nation-wide fraternal organization of well over 1.2 million American citizens. We love our country and desire to preserve its cherished institutions, traditions and values. We respect our neighbors and constantly seek to promote their well being. We love and enjoy life and believe this enjoyment is increased by sharing it with family, friends and all with whom we come in contact.
BECAUSE We seek to bring into our fraternal family only those who delight in wholesome associations with congenial companions. Only persons who possess a deep sense of patriotism, fair play, chivalry and dedication to noble causes. Persons who find the fulfillment of their existence in service to humanity, desiring to join in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, aiding those in distress; proving themselves to be true friends to all in need.
BECAUSE We lead no one to our doors with any promised material benefits or fame. We pledge no advancement of personal or career ambitions; instead we want to help each other become better and happier persons. We believe in not merely wishing others well but in manifesting this belief by deeds, seeking to serve rather than to be served. To Elks, laughter is better than tears and a kind word is more powerful than a frown. The dream of a better world becomes reality when shaped by enough willing hearts and hands.
BECAUSE We neither question one's religion, nor do we exclude anyone because of creed, race, ethnic origin, educational attainment, vocation, material status or physical stature. We measure character by what one is and does, not by titles or position. We do not seek to impose different beliefs in place of personal commitments to God, Family and Country, nor do we ask anyone to act in any manner contrary to the dictates of conscience. We do not permit religious or political differences to intrude into or have any effect upon fraternal deliberations at the local, district, state or national levels.
BECAUSE You can join with the millions of fine and noble American citizens who have helped better the destiny and way of life for countless thousands in our country for over 135 years. The generosity is without fanfare and often even without the recipient's knowledge. You may even have been helped at some point along the way. We have always been there, quietly providing help and encouragement. Now it's your turn to get involved, to join America's quiet humanitarians, and begin giving your life new purpose and fulfillment. You'll never have to stand alone in an uncaring world around you. Now you'll have a nation-wide family of women and men.
BECAUSE We expend over two million dollars yearly to bring encouragement, cheer and comfort to hospitalized veterans throughout the United States in fulfillment of our solemn pledge: "So long as there are veterans in our hospitals, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them."
BECAUSE Through the Elks National Foundation, a perpetual fund with assets exceeding three hundred and twenty million dollars, we provide several million each year for college scholarships, grants for higher education to children of deceased Elks and other charitable, benevolent endeavors.
BECAUSE Through our local Lodge, district, state, and National programs, we provide healthful activities, guidance and assistance to over eight million boys and girls every year. We fund scholarships, athletic teams, summer camps, scouting and drug education programs. We encourage civic, environmental and patriotic involvement through essay contests, seminars and distribution of materials; as well as family oriented activities in our Lodges.
BECAUSE Elks operate numerous camps, hospitals, clinics, training centers and in-home services for the care and treatment of children and adults with physical disabilities including vision and speech problems, as well as mental impairment and emotional problems, all across the country.
BECAUSE In our many benevolences Elks and Lodges throughout the United States, spend over forty-five million dollars annually in our various works of community betterment and charitable programs. This does not take into consideration donated hours equivalent to over thirty-five million dollars.
BECAUSE In approximately 2,100 Elks Lodges throughout the United States, individuals prominent in public, business and professional life can be found. In these Lodges, located in the principle cities and towns throughout America, the handclasp of fraternity and a warm welcome as a visiting member await you.
BECAUSE The Elks Lodge in your community affords you the opportunity to join your neighbors and friends, and take a prominent role in the improvement of community life.
BECAUSE The cardinal principles of the B.P.O. Elks are Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity. With the practice of these virtues your community will be a better place in which to live.
To be eligible for membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, you must be a citizen of the United States over the age of 21 who believes in God.
You must be sponsored by a member of the Elks Lodge and reside in the jurisdiction of the Lodge you wish to join. You also need two other Elks who will be your co-sponsors. The Elk who proposes you for membership must obtain a Membership Application from the Lodge Secretary.
After your proposer fills in the required portion, you will be given the Application for Membership. Fill it in, following the instructions and answering all questions. Return the completed application to the Lodge Secretary with the prescribed fees.
Your application will be read at a regular Lodge meeting. It will then be forwarded to the Investigating Committee. The committee will report to the Lodge concerning your membership. The members will be given a notice not less than 10 days nor more than two months before the vote will be taken.
When the vote is concluded, you will be notified and asked to present yourself. During indoctrination, you will learn more about the Order's programs and charities.
After initiation as an Elk, you can take part in all meetings and social functions of the Lodge.
If for any reason your application is rejected, you cannot make an application for membership for six months from the date of rejection.
It is really quite simple to reinstate your membership in the Elks.
Go back to your old Lodge and ask the Secretary for an Application for Reinstatement. Fill out the form. Pay the prescribed fees.
Your application will be forwarded to the Investigating Committee. The committee will report to the Lodge concerning your membership. The members will be given a notice not less than 10 days nor more than two months before the vote will be taken.
After the Lodge vote, you will be notified by the Secretary. You will then be required to pay the annual Lodge dues. Then you will be issued your membership card.
Should you wish to reinstate your membership in Elkdom with a Lodge other than the one in which you were initiated, you must reside in the jurisdiction of that Lodge. Before you reinstate you have to obtain a Certificate of Release from your old Lodge. Write a check payable to the old Lodge in the amount of $10 and ask the Lodge Secretary to forward a Certificate of Release.
When you receive your Certificate of Release present it to the Secretary of the Lodge you want to reinstate your membership with. Then you would go through the steps described earlier.
If a Lodge has no proof of prior membership, the burden of proof falls on you. Proof of prior membership can be:
An old membership card
A canceled check
An affidavit signed by two members attesting to prior membership (It must be notarized)
If you cannot provide proof of prior membership, it will be necessary to apply for membership as a new member.
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