The Altavista Moose Lodge recently hosted a craft and vendor fair, but that’s not all the group has been up to lately.

Altavista’s Moose Lodge members have spent the summer volunteering and raising money for charity. Moose Lodge Governor Jerry Motley says, “When COVID hit, we served lunches every day for anyone in the community in need. It was 50 plus kids a day over the summer.”

A lot of people have preconceived notions about the Moose Lodge, but they primarily focus on local families and the community. “We are not a bar, we are a family, a fraternity,” says Women’s Chapter Senior Regent Krystal Jennings. “We do a lot of charitable events. We are doing a kids identity kit event coming up, and free outdoor movies,” she said.

The Lodge also takes food to needy families at Christmas, participates in the local Be a Santa to a Senior program, and provides Christmas to local needy families.

“When the Moose Lodge first started in 1913 by James T. Davis, it was created for men, but later they added a chapter for the women,” Motley said.

Jennings said the lodge has grown since then.

“We are working hard to make sure people know it’s family-oriented.”

Motley agreed.

“We are really about the children and the seniors, we are really trying to give back the last few years and it’s really taken off,” added Motley.

The Moose Lodge has worked with other community groups too.

“We recently donated a thousand ice creams to the police department who were doing the Hyland Heights Night Out,” Motley said. “That’s what the Moose is all about, it’s a private organization, but we love doing work within the community, we like to give back.”

There are Moose Lodge’s all across the country, and they have a $30 yearly membership fee. The money they take in with member dues goes to support two main charities, Mooseheart and Moosehaven. Mooseheart is a residential children’s home in Chicago and Moosehaven is a senior retirement home in Florida. In addition to this, they donate to a local community charity or organization in need each month.

“We have recently built a ramp for someone, we have helped out by mowing grass, and we have helped someone pay their light bill,” Motley said.

Even the lodge’s proceeds from the craft fair go to charity.

“We charge $10 a spot, so that money goes to the Women of the Moose and we send a portion to Mooseheart and Moosehaven, and the rest goes in a general fund and we will find a local organization or event in the community to do a community service,” said Jennings.

In addition to working with local vendors, there is an upcoming child identity kit event coming up, as well as an outdoor movie night in October, all open to the community.

“One of the key points, it’s a family,” Jennings said. “You become family, and then make memories within the community and so many different aspects of life,” said Jennings.