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Introduction Odd Fellows began with a number of independent groups that formed in the 1600’s and 1700’s throughout England. The members of these lodges were sometimes called “odd fellows” by their peers, because these working-class men banded together to help take care of one other. In those days, centuries before Social Security programs, people who fell upon hard times found very little help or resources available to them. Ideas such as assisting widows, taking care of sick persons who were not one’s own immediate relatives and banding together to form relief societies for the ill and unemployed were seen as ‘Odd’, and their societies became known as ‘Odd Fellows’. It was also uncommon in those days for working-class people to practice philanthropy, which was reserved for the aristocracy. To top it off, they also frequently met in taverns which were considered peculiar. They may have been odd, but they were also extremely charitable, and the effectiveness of the Odd Fellows’ kindness toward the less fortunate drew in thousands of members. Today, there are approximately 12,000 lodges in more than 26 countries.
Interests Fraternal studies, Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Fraternal Organization, Friendly society, Humanitarian activities, charity work, Fraternity, Sorority, Club