On Saturday, June 16, Charity Lodge No. 18 in Jaffrey once again partnered with the Jaffrey Public Library to kick off their summer reading program. This is the second summer in a row that the Lodge has provided bikes to the children of Jaffrey through the “Bikes for Books” program. In just over two hours, 216 children signed up for the program Saturday morning; while enjoying ice cream donated by Hayward’s Ice Cream of Milford, meeting and reading with “Pete the Cat,” and learning about (and playing on) a great assortment of vehicles on display for the “Touch a Truck” event.
New this year, the Lodge and Library also came together to bring the Child Identification Program (ChIP) to area families. The library enthusiastically helped promoted the event through social media, press releases in local papers, and flyers that went home with every Jaffrey Grade School child before the last day of school. The Jaffrey Police also threw their support behind the program. Charity Lodge has held successful ChIP events in Jaffrey previously, but this was the first at this venue.
From 10 o’clock in the morning until shortly after noon, 33 children came through the space generously provided by the library. It was a truly family focused event, with several Brothers’ wives and adult daughters lending a smiling face and a friendly hand to guide children and parents through the ChIP registration process and where to go next, while the Brethren operated the equipment and conducted video interviews. At one point the Brethren even had to set up a third station to keep the line moving. Feedback from the community and event organizers was overwhelmingly positive and Charity Lodge hopes to be back again next year to continue bringing this important service to the community, with the assistance of the Grand Lodge.