At Witherington and Brooks, we believe that the community is the cornerstone of society. Therefore, we actively support and participate in many philanthropic organizations. One particular Philanthropic organization that is supported by Witherington and Brooks is Shriners International and the local Shriners at the Ali Ghan Temple in Western Maryland. This is one of the primary organizations that Witherington and Brooks supports. The purpose of this organization is to give health care to children regardless of their ability to pay. Shriners help children with orthopedic issues, severe burn care, cleft lip and plate problems, and spinal cord injuries.
Many years ago George Witherington discovered exactly what the Shriners did to help children in need of medical care. Witherington was so impressed by what he discovered, that he joined the Shriners in Maryland. He became an active member and participated in many fundraisers and parades that sought to gain awareness for the Shriners hospitals and their mission. Through the years, Witherington became an officer on the Board of Directors for the Ali Ghan Shriners where he still sits today.
Below is an excerpt from the Shriners Wikipedia Page that explains more about the shrine and their mission.
The Shrine's charitable arm is the Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of twenty-two hospitals in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. In June 1920, the Imperial Council Session voted to establish a "Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children." The purpose of this hospital was to treat orthopedic injuries, diseases, and birth defects in children. International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 69. St. James Press, 2005.
After much research and debate, the committee chosen to determine the site of the hospital decided there should be not just one hospital but a network of hospitals spread across North America. The first hospital was opened in 1922 in Shreveport, Louisiana, and by the end of the decade 13 more hospitals were in operation. Shriners Hospitals now provide orthopedic care, burn treatment, cleft lip and palate care, and spinal cord injury rehabilitation.
The rules for all of the Shriners Hospitals are simple and to the point: Any child under the age of 18 can be admitted to the hospital if, in the opinion of the doctors, the child can be treated. There is no requirement for religion, race, or relationship to a Shriner.
Until June 2012, all care at Shriners Hospitals was provided without charge to patients and their families. At that time, because the size of their endowment had decreased due to losses in the stock market, Shriners Hospitals started billing patients' insurance companies, but still offered free care to those that didn't have insurance.
In 2008, Shriners Hospitals had a total budget of $826 million. In 2007 they approved 39,454 new patient applications, and attended to the needs of 125,125 patients. "Shriners Hospitals for Children About Us". Shriners Hospitals. Retrieved2010-08-18.