If you’ve ever noshed on the sumptuous bao of Hong Kong Bakery or slurped down pho from Pho To Chau on downtown Mountain View’s Castro St, you have walked past Odd Fellows Lodge #244. Maybe you and your kids have seen inside this historic 1909 building during the Odd Fellows’ annual Spring Mad Hatters Tea Party, Treasure Hunt, or Haunted House. Maybe you visit the lodge every Wednesday night for the Odd Writers’ League, or on 2nd and 4th Sundays as a genderqueer or transgender member of the Oddizens DnD group. Maybe you’re a foster child whose Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is using the Odd Fellows’ kitchen to teach you how to cook. Maybe the Odd Fellows gave you a book scholarship for college or your grandfather was an Odd Fellow. Maybe you come to one of our Muslim immigrant women’s dinner groups to cook, dance, and sing in a private and welcoming space. Maybe you’ve bought art at our monthly pop-up charity galleries benefitting organizations doing good work for members of our shared community.
Our purpose as an organization is summarized using some very 19th century language as: “Visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan.” Practically, this means we:
- Help people who are sick, whether chronically or acutely
- Support people who are in crisis
- Help bury those whose families cannot afford a dignified burial
- Enable foster youth to survive and thrive, fully integrated into our community
- Build community to make the South Bay more creative, mutually-supportive, and wonderful
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