The Independent Order of Odd Fellows:
Where Men and Women of Good Will Join Together to Improve and Elevate the Character of Mankind
As a fraternal society, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) aims to provide a framework for the mutual benefit of its members and promotes the personal and social development of each member. Lodge degrees and activities aim to improve and elevate every person to a higher, nobler plane; to extend sympathy and aid to those in need, making their burdens lighter, relieving the darkness of despair; to war against vice in every form, and to be a great moral power and influence for the good of humanity.
For members, the degrees in Odd Fellowship emphasize a leaving behind of the old life and the start of a better one, of welcoming travelers, and of helping those in need, and being one's best self.
The command of the I.O.O.F. is to “visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan.” Specifically, the I.O.O.F. today is dedicated to the following purposes:
To improve and elevate the character of mankind by promoting the principles of friendship, love, truth, faith, hope, charity and universal justice.
To help make the world a better place to live by aiding each other, the community, the less fortunate, the youth, the elderly, the environment and the community in a multitude of ways.
To promote good will and harmony among all peoples and nations through the principle of universal fraternity, holding the belief that all men and women regardless of race, nationality, religion, social status, gender, orientation, rank and station are brothers and sisters.
Ideally, an Odd Fellows lodge is a place for fellowship in all its forms, from hanging out and just having fun, to discussion, to networking, to collaboration on creative and constructive projects, all with an eye not only on our own satisfaction but on what we might offer to the community at large. An ideal lodge is a great venue for a lot of positive energy and all members are encouraged to contribute their share and be supportive of each member's journey of self-improvement.
Additionally, lodges provide an international social network of brothers and sisters that extends to 30 countries worldwide. If traveling is an interest, membership can provide a valuable network that will very much welcome an international visitor, and assist in their enterprises, and certainly their travels wherever possible.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability, age (other than that of minimum to join the Order (lodge, club or group), ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or other social identity. The I.O.O.F. will make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when such modifications are necessary to afford its services and facilities to individuals with disabilities, unless the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of its services. The I.O.O.F. will not exclude any individual based on disability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or other social identity from the full and equal enjoyment of its services and facilities, unless the individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or him/herself, that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices, or procedures or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services. The I.O.O.F. will not exclude any individual from the full and equal enjoyment of its services and facilities because of the individual’s association with a person of disability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or other social identity.