The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (IORG) is a Masonic youth service organization which teaches leadership training through community service. Cindy (my twin sister) and myself were Rainbow Girls as children and, learned the value of charity and service through our work and involvement with annual local and Grand (state or country) service projects.

Girls can hold many different offices (or, Stations) in the local assembly. Each requires some memory work but and all but two serve for one term (4-6 months out of the year.) Some offices are elected by other girls in the assembly. These offices include Faith, Hope, Charity, Worthy Associate Advisor, and Worthy Advisor. There are also two offices that are elected in January but serve a full year which are Treasurer and Recorder. The other offices are appointed by the Worthy Advisor (President) and Mother Advisor.

The Mother Advisor is the primary adult working with the girls. An Advisory Board of seven to fifteen adults consisting of at least two Master Masons and two members of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Being related to a Master Mason is not a requirement for Rainbow membership. Interested girls must submit an application to an Assembly and members of that Assembly will meet with the girl to answer any questions the girl may have an make sure that she is a proper candidate to receive the degrees. Once the application is accepted, the assembly will vote on accepting the candidate and upon acceptance, Membership then starts with an Initiation Ceremony.

My twin sister and myself were both proud to be Rainbow Girls. This group instilled the values of service, honesty, leadership and character. We have carried these values from adolescence into adulthood throughout our lives. My father, Jerry Thomas was a Master Mason and Shriner and many members of our family continue to he involved with various charitable organizations and sponsorships for Shrine Hospitals and community services.

Shriners Hospitals, located in the United States, Canada and Mexico, are maintained and operated by the Shrine of North America. Patients are never charged for any care or service received at the hospitals; including all inpatient and outpatient care: diagnostic services, surgery, medical care, casts, braces, rehab programs, recreation, clothing and continuation of their education.

This philanthropy is supported by each Shriners annual hospital assessment, fund raising events and by contributions and bequests of our many friends who wish to make an investment in humanity; to help improve the quality of life for crippled and burned children.

Tax deductible contributions can be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children through gifts of cash, securities, real estate, life insurance and through provisions in wills or trusts.

While I support many various causes and charitable organizations, the Masonic Lodge, Rainbow Girls, Eastern Star and Shriners Hospitals are on the top of my list for many reasons with the first of which being that I learned many things as a Rainbow Girl that have carried me through life and, created a foundation of empathy and compassion for others.

Wendy M Wortham
Texas Twins Events/The Pawning Planners