|Contact : Joseph Cullen, 203-800-4923, Joseph.Cullen@kofc.org or Andrew Walther, 203-824-5412, Andrew.Walther@kofc.org|
Charity by Knights of Columbus Continues to Grow
Two decades of record-setting growth in donations and service hours
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Knights of Columbus set a new all-time record last year for charitable donations worldwide with $177.5 million in donations and more than 75 million hours of service valued at $1.8 billion.
According to the K of C’s annual Fraternal Survey for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016, donations grew by almost $2.5 million compared to 2015. The number of service hours donated grew by 1.5 million. The numbers in both categories have increased each year over the last two decades.
“These numbers illustrate how our focus has remained on our first principle, charity, through actions large and small,” said Knights CEO Carl Anderson. “Today, as we always have, we witness to the love of God through love of neighbor that is central to the Catholic faith and to the ministry of Pope Francis.”
The monetary value of the service hours is based on an estimate by Independent Sector, a network for nonprofit foundations, which listed the value of a 2016 volunteer hour as $24.14. On average, each Knight dedicated nearly an entire workweek of volunteer service to their neighbors.
The top 10 jurisdictions in charitable giving for 2016 were Texas, with $9.2 million, followed by California, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Ontario, Missouri, New York, New Jersey and Wisconsin. The top 10 in volunteer hours were Texas, with 5.6 million hours, followed by Luzon North, Philippines; Florida; California; Illinois; Luzon South, Philippines; Ontario; Visayas, Philippines; Pennsylvania; and Quebec.
Since 2014, the Knights’ Christian Refugee Relief Fund has donated more than $13 million for humanitarian assistance to Christians and other religious minorities primarily in Iraq, Syria and the surrounding region.
The Knights also continued to support their local communities in 2016 through such programs as Coats for Kids, Food for Families (food drives) and blood drives. Knights also supported organizations such as Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and the American Wheelchair Mission. Works of spiritual formation and assisting vocations are also priorities carried out by Knights worldwide.
The K of C was founded by Venerable Father Michael McGivney, a New Haven parish priest, in 1882. The organization was formed to provide charitable outreach and care for the financial well-being of Catholic families. It has grown to include nearly 2 million members throughout North and Central America, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Europe.