Woodmen of the World Lodge #245
908 4th Street, Mena, AR 71953
|Meeting Day||4th Thursday|
|Meeting Time||7:00 pm|
Our Common Bond and Purpose
Woodmen of the World members share a commitment to family, community and country. Through a commitment to family values, they become more dedicated family members. Through volunteerism, members strive to be better friends and neighbors. Through a patriotic allegiance, members pledge to be better citizens.
Woodmen of the World's Mission Statement expresses the basic purpose of our organization and the reason for our existence:
Woodmen of the World exists to benefit our members through every stage of life.
We provide valued financial solutions.
Woodmen of the World's Vision Statement is a declaration of the organization's future direction and goals:
To be the most trusted financial services provider with valued member benefits and programs.
Woodmen of the World's Values express what we believe in and the qualities we hold most important:
The largest fraternal benefit society with open membership in the United States, Woodmen of the World was founded in Omaha, Neb., by Joseph Cullen Root on June 6, 1890. From its humble beginnings more than a century ago, Woodmen of the World has grown into a financial services organization large enough to offer security, but small enough to still care about each individual member.
In the beginning, there was no office space. The first Woodmen of the World certificates were issued from the home of Secretary John T. Yates. The organization opened its first office when space was donated rent-free for six months by the owner of the Sheeley Block at 15th and Howard Streets in Omaha.
The first certificate of membership was issued to William A. McCully of Independence, Kan., on December 29, 1890. Six months later, Woodmen of the World paid its first death claim on the life of teenager Willie O. Warner who drowned on June 14, 1891, in Niles, Mich.
Woodmen of the World's first financial statement, dated December 31, 1891, listed receipts of $59,753.31 and disbursements of $58,876.22, with a balance on hand of only $877.09. By 1900, the Society had $219 million of life insurance in force.
Helping those in need
In addition to providing life insurance protection to members, Root believed that Woodmen of the World members, through their local lodges, should be an active volunteer force within their communities, helping those in need.
The first test of Root's fraternal vision came in 1900 when a tidal wave devastated Galveston, Texas. Root, who was visiting the city along with Woodmen of the World Treasurer Morris Sheppard, led relief efforts. Within a short time Root also had Woodmen erect a memorial to the event.
Today, the organization continues to provide disaster relief efforts through the Woodmen of the World/American Red Cross partnership. More than 1,600 Woodmen of the World volunteers belong to 160 disaster action teams nationwide, providing relief efforts in their local communities.
Fraternalism gets a boost
In 1944, Woodmen of the World President Farrar Newberry formed a National Service Committee composed of 12 members from across the nation to suggest ways of encouraging the growth of Woodmen of the World lodges through community activities.
A Fraternal Service Fund, approved early in 1946, was established to provide matching funds to local lodges for the relief, health, recreation and entertainment of members, beneficiaries and their families. At that same time, renewed interest was shown in Woodmen of the World's youth program.
The first Boys of Woodcraft club was organized by Dr. J.N. Taylor in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1903. In 1947, however, a name change along with the addition of outdoor activities and summer camps led to growing popularity. The groups were called Sportsmen's Clubs, and youth members, now called Rangers, enjoyed a variety of volunteer and social activities, and summer camp.
Growth and mergers
Mergers with four other fraternal benefit societies played an important part of Woodmen's growth during the 1960s. Joining the Woodmen of the World organization were:
The acquisition of the Woodmen Circle, which served as the women's auxiliary of Woodmen of the World since it was founded by Root in Omaha in 1892, added more than 130,000 members to the organization.
Through the merger with the New England Order of Protection, which had earlier merged with lodges of the first fraternal benefit society started in 1868, Woodmen of the World can trace its history to the beginning of fraternalism in America.
It was more than 30 years before another organization merged with Woodmen of the World. That was:
Spanning three centuries, Woodmen of the World has evolved into a modern financial services organization, offering life and health insurance, annuities, investments and home mortgages. Today, Woodmen of the World is one of the largest fraternal benefit societies with more than 810,000 members who belong to more than 2,000 lodges across the United States and conduct volunteer projects that benefit individuals, families and communities.
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