Project Delta - An amazing undertaking to help children by a group of brethren in Massachusetts

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners

Project Delta Kits assembled awaiting distribution to First Responders

Recently while honeymooning after my elopement to my beautiful bride, Lisa Goodpaster (now Goodpaster Lahners), we were in Salem, Massachusetts.  While in Salem, I endeavored to find the Masonic Lodge there.  I just happened to bump into Worshipful Brother Jon Hinthorne, who is a Past Master of Delta Lodge in Braintree, MA.  Jon was there to distribute kits for something he named Project Delta.  

WB Jon explained that Project Delta, named after the lodge to which he is a three-time Past Master, has an objective of providing comfort kits (small bags containing stuffed animals) to first responders to give to children who may be dealing with trauma stemming from the crisis situation to which the first responders are responding to.  All too often Police, Fire and EMS respond to calls where children are in the middle of an unpleasant situation. The program can allow these first responders to comfort the child or children involved in the incident and help to redirect their attention away from what they are going through at that moment by giving them a stuffed animal.  

WB Jon told Lisa and I that the kits were borne out of having an excess of stuffed animals due to his autistic son's uncanny ability to beat what is commonly known as the Crane (Claw) Game. The Crane game normally has stuffed animals of varying sizes and sometimes other prizes in which a contestant, pays a sum of money to play the game. Using a joystick to position the crane over a prize, the contestant will press a button to instruct the crane or claw to descend and grab the prize beneath it.  It requires a tremendous amount of skill to win at these games, because normally the animals are positioned in a such a way that they are stacked on top of each other or buried under each other. Having mastered the game, Jon's son soon found himself with an excess of these animals. Out this excess, Project Delta was born.  

So far Project Delta has been able to distribute just over 250 kits. I don't know about you, but it is my belief that the entire purpose of the kit and its objectives in providing relief to a child in distress aligns perfectly with what Masonic Lodges should be doing. Upon returning to my hotel room, I emailed our Grandmaster in Illinois, MWB Michael Jackson, regarding the project.  He stated that he would be discussing it with the director of The Illinois Masonic Children's Assistance Program, Gale Kilbury. It is my hope that it is something that they will adopt and help to make a reality here in my Grand Jurisdiction.  If not, then I will take up the torch to implement it. 

WB Jon was kind enough to send me a kit, and as you can see below, the bag is high quality, along with the animals inside of it. 

If you are interested in helping to bring Project Delta to your lodge or jurisdiction, you can reach out to WB Jon Hinthorne at or


WB Darin A. Lahners is our Managing Editor. He is a host and producer of the "Meet, Act and Part" podcast. He is currently serving the Grand Lodge of Illinois Ancient Free and Accepted Masons as the Area Education Officer for the Eastern Masonic Area. He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph. He is also a plural member of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL), where he is also a Past Master. He’s also a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, Salt Fork Shrine Club under the Ansar Shrine, and a grade one (Zelator) in the S.C.R.I.F. Prairieland College in Illinois. He is also a Fellow of the Illinois Lodge of Research. He was presented with the Torok Award from the Illinois Lodge of Research in 2021. You can reach him by email at

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