For the 17th year, Knights’ charitable giving and volunteer hours grow
The Knights of Columbus set a new all-time record last year for charitable donations and service hours with $175,079,192 in donations and more than 73.4 million hours of service. The numbers were announced at the closing session of the annual Organizational Meeting of State Deputies in New Haven.
“We are very proud of these Fraternal Survey numbers,” Supreme Knight Anderson said. “These are a clear indication that we are keeping faith with Father McGivney’s principle of charity and also of unity, not only among ourselves, but with those in need. This is what we call a charity that evangelizes. This is what makes Knights of Columbus different.”
Supreme Knight Anderson went on to say that these records of giving perfectly illustrate the point made by Father Tomasz Kraj, Poland Associate State Chaplain and Theologian in Residence at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, in his homily during the Mass that preceded the closing session. Father Kraj said that the world needs more men who pay witness through their actions to what it means to be a Catholic.
“We are answering Pope Francis’ call to go to the peripheries,” the supreme knight said. “We can reach half way around the globe to help those in need and we can reach to our neighbor next door. And we do that every day. That makes us witnesses to the faith.”
The number of service hours rose by more than a million over the previous year’s total, according to the Knights of Columbus Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for the year ending Dec. 31, 2015. Donations grew by more than $1.5 million since 2014, achieving an increase in giving for the 17th consecutive year.
The top ten jurisdiction in charitable giving (from highest) were: Texas, California, Florida, Quebec, Illinois, Michigan, Ontario, New York, Missouri and New Jersey. For volunteer hours, the top ten were: Luzon North, Texas, Illinois, Florida, California, Luzon South, Ontario, Michigan, Visayas and Pennsylvania.
Supreme Knight Anderson pointed out that while these numbers are impressive, jurisdiction leaders need to focus now on ensuring that the Order grows in charitable giving and volunteer service during the coming 2016-17 fraternal year.
The Knights continued to support their local communities in 2015 through such programs as aid to Christians at Risk, Coats for Kids, the Food for Families initiative and blood drives. Knights also gave assistance to Habitat for Humanity, the Global Wheelchair Mission and other large-scale charitable organizations.