BECAUSE We Elks are a nationwide community-service organization of nearly a million American citizens. We love our Country and desire to preserve its cherished institutions, traditions and values. We respect our neighbors and constantly seek to promote their well-being. We love and enjoy life and believe this enjoyment is increased by sharing it with family, friends and all with whom we come in contact.
BECAUSE We seek to bring into our Order only those who delight in wholesome associations with congenial companions, men and women who possess a deep sense of patriotism, fair play and dedication to noble causes. Our Members find fulfillment in service to humanity, in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, aiding those in distress and proving themselves to be true friends to all in need.
BECAUSE We lead no one to our doors with any promised material benefits or fame. We pledge no advancement of personal or career ambitions; instead we vow to help each other become better and happier persons. We believe in not merely wishing others well but in manifesting this belief by deeds, seeking to serve rather than to be served. To Elks, laughter is better than tears, and a kind word is more powerful than a frown. The dream of a better world becomes reality when shaped by enough willing hearts and hands.
BECAUSE We question no one’s religion, nor do we exclude anyone because of creed, race, ethnic origin, educational attainment, vocation, material status or physical stature. We measure character by what one is and does, not by titles or position, We do not seek to impose different beliefs in place of personal commitments to God, Family and Country, nor do we ask anyone to act in any manner contrary to the dictates of conscience. We do not permit religious or political differences to intrude into organizational considerations at the local, district, state or national levels.
BECAUSE You can join with the millions of fine and noble American Elks who have helped better the destiny and way of life for countless generations in our country for more than 140 years. The generosity is without fanfare and often even without the recipient’s knowledge of the benefactor’s identity. You may even have been helped in the past. We have always been there, quietly providing help and encouragement. Now it’s your turn to get involved, to join America’s quiet humanitarians, and to give your life new purpose and fulfillment.
BECAUSE The value of cash, donated items, hours cf service and miles driven exceeds thirty-million dollars yearly, bringing comfort, cheer and necessities to Veterans and active-service personnel throughout the United States and abroad_ In so doing we fulfill our solemn pledge: “So long as there are Veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.”
BECAUSE Through the Elks National Foundation, a perpetual fund with assets of nearly four hundred million dollars, we provide more than seventeen million each year for college scholarships, grants for higher education to children of deceased Elks and other charitable, benevolent endeavors.
BECAUSE Through our local Lodge, district, state and national programs, we provide healthful activities, guidance and assistance to millions of boys and girls every year. We fund scholarships, athletic teams, summer camps, scouting and drug education programs. We encourage civic, environmental and patriotic involvement through essay contests, seminars and distribution of materials; as well as family-oriented activities in our Lodges.
BECAUSE Elks operate numerous camps, hospitals, clinics, training centers and in-home services for the care and treatment of children and adults with physical disabilities including vision and speech problems, all across the country.
BECAUSE In our many benevolences Elks and Lodges throughout the United States spend nearly seventy-million dollars annually for community betterment and charitable programs. This is in addition to yearly donated hours, transportation costs and non-cash contributions worth nearly two hundred and forty-million dollars.
BECAUSE In more than 2,000 Elks Lodges throughout the United States, civic leaders prominent in public, business and professional life can be found. In these Lodges, located in the principal cities and towns throughout America, smiling faces and a warm welcome await you as an Elk. You’ll never have to stand alone in an uncaring world around you, now that you’re a Member of the American Elks family.