Through the good works of council members, whether it be bringing food to the hungry, warm coats to the cold, wheelchairs to those who can’t walk, or any of the many other programs conducted to help those in need, the Knights of Columbus practices a charity that evangelizes by being visible in their communities.
Coats for Kids
With many families with young children continuing to struggle in these challenging economic times, there has never been a better time for Knights of Columbus councils to help by providing warm winter coats to children in their communities through the Order’s Coats for Kids program.
The winter of 2013-14, one that will be remembered for its severe conditions, was also a record year for the Order’s Coats for Kids program. During that time, 1,195 councils and the Supreme Council purchased and donated 51,924 coats to children in need. That is 10,000 coats distributed over last winter’s total and 200 more councils participating than the previous year.
Coats can be purchased at a cost of $245 per case of 12 (including shipping) for orders shipped to Canada. Access the Coats for Kids order form at kofc.org/forms.
All cases will contain either boys’ coats or girls’ coats (never both). The size distribution in each case is: two Size S (8), four Size M (10-12), four Size L (14-16) and two Size XL (18). Smaller sizes are also available, and will automatically be included on orders of six cases or more. For orders of less than six cases in which small sizes are desired, please indicate that on the Coats for Kids order form.
Please direct any questions regarding Coats for Kids to the Department of Fraternal Services at 203-752-4625
Details at http://www.kofc.org/un/en/service/community/coats-for-kids/index.html
Food for Families
The need for food to feed hungry families is ongoing. Keep up the good work by helping others have enough to eat during these tough times. Hold a Knights of Columbus Food for Families program to obtain food for local soup kitchens or food pantries.
The Knights of Columbus offers financial rebates to councils that donate food or money. Supreme Council will refund $100 for every $500, or for every 1000 pounds of food, that a council contributes to a community food bank, or soup kitchen, up to a maximum refund of $500 per council per fraternal year. Indicated contributions of food and/or money should be cumulative for the fraternal year…there is no need to send in a refund request every time a contribution is made, however to qualify, total contributions have to be for at least $500 or 1000 pounds of food for the year.
As an incentive for councils conducting these types of outreach programs, the Supreme Council will again count a qualifying Food for Families program as fulfilling all four of the Family Activities requirements for the Columbian Award.
Also, remember that 40 Cans for Lent is an excellent opportunity to involve the entire parish in raising awareness during the Lent season.
Details at http://www.kofc.org/un/en/service/community/food_drive/index.html
The Knights’ commitment to Special Olympics and to hundreds of grassroots programs for people with intellectual and physical disabilities is an expression of its belief in the intrinsic worth of every human being.
In July 2015 the Special Olympics World games will be held in Los Angeles, California. The Knights of Columbus pledged $1.4 million to ensure that every qualified athlete from the United States and Canada are able to participate in the games. This event will require 30,000 volunteers to assist in making this a memorable moment for the 7,000 athletes coming from over 177 countries throughout the world.
The Knights of Columbus is one of the Honorary Chairs for this historic event which will feature 25 different athletic competitions in venues throughout the Los Angeles region. The Opening Ceremony for the games will take place in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, and is expected to attract more than 500,000 spectators.
This year, the Manitoba State Council has conducted a Knights of Columbus Bottle Drive for Special Olympics. This program offers you, and your Council members, the opportunity to help Special Olympics, by simply donating, through the Council, the proceeds of your empty beer bottles, beer cans to Special Olympics.
The funds raised from this Bottle Drive will go towards supporting the various programs and events that we, the Knights, are involved in with Special Olympics throughout Manitoba, along with assisting your Council with your own local Special Olympics program.
Blood Donations/ Partners for Life
Another project that hasn’t received a lot of attention lately is the Blood donations to the Canadian Blood Services. If you are not aware, we, the Knights of Columbus in Manitoba, participate in a program called Partners for Life in which all donations given by members of the Knights and their families are counted towards making our target goal of 60 donations each year. This year we have achieved 73% of our target and still require 16 donations to make our target.
I am sure that in Manitoba, there has to be more than 60 Brothers and /or their family members who have donated blood this year. But their donations won’t be counted in our goal totals unless they are registered in the Partners for Life Program. If, at the time of their donation, they mention Partners for Life and the Knights of Columbus, it will then be counted in our totals.
Councils and their members should be encouraged to enroll in the Partners for Life program with the Canadian Blood Service the next time they go for a donation and mention the Knights of Columbus or they can enroll online at www.blood.ca/partnerforlife . Our Partner ID is KNIG008716 - just follow the prompts online to register.
Encourage councils to organize a clinic or host an event to get people down to Canadian Blood Services on William Ave., a shuttle is available for this purpose supplied by Blood Services. It can carry about 10 people per trip. For further information or to plan a trip to Canadian Blood Services for a group donation you can contact Patricia Bal at 204-789-1195 or Jennefer Stewart-Larsen at 204-789-1044
And also remember to include your donations during the Annual Fraternal Survey, being conducted shortly.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, Christian organization founded in 1976 that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness one family at a time. The organization assists in providing quality-built, affordable homes to needy families by cooperatively involving the future homeowner with community volunteers and suppliers to build or renovate the home. To date, Habitat for Humanity has provided more than 4 million people with safe, personal shelter by completing 800,000 houses in more than 100 countries with a goal of a million homes around the world.
In addition to a down payment, recipients work alongside the construction crew and volunteers, and are then provided an affordable mortgage plan. The Knights of Columbus enthusiastically supports the mission of Habitat for Humanity, which not only helps people to become homeowners, but actively involves them in the houses’ preparation. This teaches valuable skills, develops confidence and provides experience.
Members can volunteer to help build either in Winnipeg or one of our chapter communities at: http://www.habitat.mb.ca/chapters-existing.cfm
Join Habitat on a Build site – help build a home in your community. Register individually or as a council team. In Winnipeg, contact Greg Mallett at (204) 233-5160. Chapter contact information is located on www.habitat.mb.ca, or call Steve Krahn at (855) 396-4224.
If you wish to develop a Chapter in your community or join an existing Chapter, please contact Steve Krahn at (855)396-4224 for more information.
Volunteer in the Habitat ReStore by contacting the ReStore Manager, Tim Frey at (204) 235-2183.
If your council donates both $1,000 and 200 man hours to Habitat for Humanity, it will fulfill all four requirements for the community activities category for the Columbian Award (SP-7).