Our History

Seventeen Masons from various Master Lodges who had affiliations in the Lingerie Industry formed Project Help Us Give on January 5, 1955. The club was established to unite members of the Masonic Fraternity of the lingerie and affiliated industries into a closer fellowship; promote within its membership a social program exemplifying the principles of brotherhood as taught in the Fraternity; and aid the less fortunate by contributions to recognized charities and causes.

In its early years the club supported a number of charities, most prominently organizations in aid of the Blind and Elderly. Although its membership was originally limited to men in the lingerie business, today the club welcomes men and women from the apparel and other non-affiliated industries.

In 1977 we were introduced to Dr. Howard Rusk, who founded the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in 2948, to help children with serious disabilities. Since that time, as a group we have taken a personal interest in these children and worked with them one on one. We have provided many things for them that would help in their rehabilitation, and other items that help make their lives a little better. From that earliest meeting, we also took an interest in the New York University Center for Students with Disabilities and funded scholarships.

In 1991 we expanded our support of Rusk to include funding for research, training and pediatric rehabilitation programs for children as well as the refurbishing of child care facilities. In 1998 we established and gave the first “Help Us Give” award at the club’s Annual Dinner Dance. Since that time, we have dedicated the proceeds from our annual H.U.G. award dinners to support the Rusk Kids.

In June of 2016, we changed our name to Project Help Us Give Inc.  We wanted the name of our club to be more inclusive of other industries and also to be formally known as HUG, since our annual HUG gala has been celebrated for more than 25 years and it is already how most people know us.

Club members maintain a personal connection with “The Kids” throughout the year by holding special events a Rusk. Food is served, generous gifts are given to each child, musical entertainment provided and our members delight in dressing us as the kids’ favorite characters including Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the Spring Bunny, etc. Interacting with the children, our members discover within themselves untapped talents, and it is the smiles and laughter from the children that make it all worthwhile.