Washington, DC — Today, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Jason Smith (R-MO), Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Darin LaHood (R-IL) introduced bipartisan legislation to recognize the work of fraternal benefit societies and ensure they are able to continue providing community service and financial security to families across the nation.

“Here in Wisconsin, our fraternal organizations are over half of a million members strong. Their critical charity and volunteer work make our communities better places for all,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “Fraternal benefit organizations have done outstanding work providing important services to families and individuals in need, and I look forward to continuing to support them.”

“Fraternal Organizations have the simple purpose to serve each other and their surrounding communities,” said Rep. Jason Smith. “From disaster relief to financial literacy courses, fraternal organizations are actively meeting the needs of thousands of Americans every day in a way not easily replicated. The Promoting American Fraternalism Resolution recognizes and promotes the work that nearly 8 million Americans – and more than 168,000 Missourians – do on behalf of their communities.”

“548,000 Wisconsinites are proud members of fraternal organizations, who, through their membership, contribute millions of hours volunteering and make donations to charitable organizations. Fraternals are vital community organizations that meet important needs in our state. I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting this legislation, which will help fraternal benefit organizations continue providing financial security and service to their communities,” said Rep. Gwen Moore.

“Fraternal organizations are an important part of our communities in Illinois, supporting charitable organizations and bringing people together,” said Rep. Darin LaHood. “I am pleased to join this bipartisan group on legislation that will ensure fraternal organizations can continue supporting their communities for years to come.”

Fraternals provide critical benefits to communities across Wisconsin and the nation. Research has shown that the value of the work of fraternals is more than $3.8 billion per year, accounting for charitable giving, educational programs, and volunteer activity as well as social capital that strengthens the safety, quality, and fabric of our society.

Read the bipartisan legislation here.

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