120 Years of People Helping People
On February 6, The Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.) celebrates 120 years of community service.
The F.O.E. began in 1898, when six Seattle-area theater owners came together to share their passion for social progress and a dedication to philanthropy with the greater community.
120 years later, the F.O.E. continues to work hard to bring citizens together in the name of bettering communities and raising funds to assist friends and neighbors in need. From the creation of Mother’s Day, Social Security and Medicare to the hundreds of millions of dollars donated to various research and assistance organizations across North America, no life has been left untouched by the actions of an Eagle.
“The world has changed in many ways over the last 120 years, but the need to help those around us stands the test of time,” Grand Worthy President Thomas McGrath said. “The F.O.E. was built upon a strong passion for increasing quality of life for those in need and our desire to carry on that passion is what keeps us so strong more than a century later.”
For decades, Eagles’ Aeries have been at the epicenter of community life, serving as both a destination for social interaction and the heart of local fundraising efforts. Throughout 2018, the organization and its’ more than 650,000 members are dedicated to upholding a commitment to charitable giving and reinforcing the F.O.E. as a valuable resource in building communities. These efforts start with continuing a commitment to charity.
Each year, the organization gives approximately $10 million through the F.O.E. Charity Foundation and various fundraisers held at the more than 1,500 Aeries across the United States and Canada. With funds dedicated to research and prevention for issues including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, child abuse prevention and more, the Charity Foundation alone provides approximately $4 million in grants annually.
Since World War II, the Eagles’ Memorial Foundation has provided tuition assistance and medical care for the children of members who die while performing their job or serving their country. Currently, the organization offers all police, firefighters, EMTs, and inactive military a free year of membership with the F.O.E. through the Those Who Serve Program. Eagles also assist U.S. and Canadian troops annually through the Operation Eagle program, which provides nominated Eagles or children of Eagles serving overseas with much needed food and supplies during the holiday season.
“The men and women serving to protect our countries and our communities are the biggest reason we continue to thrive today with the right to speak up and make a difference,” Grand Madam President Helen Poehner said. “The F.O.E. remains committed to making the most of the freedoms given to us through their sacrifices.”
Most recently, the F.O.E. committed to making a difference in lives across the world through a $25-million pledge to the University of Iowa to create The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center. The center, which opened in 2014, occupies more than 30,000 square feet at the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building on the Iowa City campus and plays host to a team of over 100 researchers working daily to make breakthroughs in hopes of finding a cure for diabetes.