A couple years ago, Denny and Holly McLanahan and their three children returned early from a family trip to find their home smoldering in ruins.
While they were gone, a lightbulb in a closet sparked, catching their coats on fire. The blaze spread quickly. If they had been home and asleep, it might have spread too fast for them to escape.
“We lost everything,” says Holly, a member from Canadian, Texas. “It was hardest on my children, because they stood there watching all their toys and possessions disappear. Eventually, we were all just grateful we were OK.”
After the fire, the McLanahans stayed in a hotel for two weeks – racking up a $3,000 bill – before staying in a bed and breakfast while a new house was built. The McLanahans had homeowner’s insurance, but had to wait to receive their reimbursement money.
The couple’s Modern Woodmen representative, Landon Landry, appeared at the house the day of the fire, asking the family what they needed. A few days later, he told them about Modern Woodmen’s Fraternal Aid Fund.
The Fraternal Aid Fund is designed to help members when tragedy strikes in the form of illness, accident, fire or natural disaster. Through the program, members who are unable to pay their life insurance premiums may qualify to have their premiums covered by Modern Woodmen for a limited time.
The McLanahans were hopeful that the program could help, but they weren’t convinced anything would come of Landon completing an application form.
“We didn’t believe a big organization would really be willing to do that for their members,” Holly says.
Landon showed up a short time later saying Modern Woodmen would cover the family’s premiums for three months.
“Life insurance is so important to us, and it was a blessing not to have to figure out where we were going to get the money to keep the certificates in force,” Holly says.
In September, the McLanahans moved into the house they built. It was a relief to have their own space – their own home – once again.
There are still reminders from the fire. Holly says she’ll still look for a photo or memento before remembering she lost it in the fire. Although they can’t replace the keepsakes they lost, the McLanahans were happy to discover the supportive network of people willing to help.
“Landon’s an amazing person,” Holly says. “We’re lucky to be part of an organization that is genuinely caring – not everyone can say that.”
Editor’s note: As a Modern Woodmen member, you gain many fraternal benefits beyond financial products. The Fraternal Aid Fund is just one example. Subject to change, fraternal member benefits are not part of the contract and may have specific eligibility requirements.