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Knights in Action: N.C. Members Feed Communities, Prepare for ‘Long Game’

9/20/2018

Knights of Columbus donate, deliver and deploy hurricane relief effort

Cities isolated by water. Hundreds of thousands of people without power. Others with no idea when, if ever, they will return to their homes.

This is coastal North Carolina after being hit by Hurricane Florence.

Now, food, water and other supplies are coming from the Knights of Columbus. “We are loaded on the truck and I’m on my way to Columbia,” Georgia State Deputy Mark Corrigan Sr. said.

The Knights of Columbus has sent three 26-foot trucks to North Carolina to handle food deliveries. Corrigan is driving another from Georgia to transfer relief supplies.

The response is typical from the Knights of Columbus, which raised more than $4 million last year and donated countless volunteer hours to help hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. With Florence, one of the worst disasters in North Carolina history, Knights of Columbus disaster relief teams began meeting in the days leading up to landfall. Now, with supplies finally able to reach the most-affected regions, the preparation is paying off.

“Tomorrow I’m going to be going in and driving from North Carolina to South Carolina to pick up some food sources,” Daniel Lange, state secretary of North Carolina, said.

Lange said Knights around the country have been a major help in the recovery effort. Because food is shipped in institutional-sized bulk packaging, there were initial difficulties distributing it to individual families. The Knights had to come up with a solution.

“If we have soup kitchens we’re in good shape,” Lange said. “But in a lot of cases we don’t have soup kitchens.”

The state council took money out of its own disaster relief fund to pay for “beanies and weenies” as well as small fruit cups. These food items come in smaller portion sizes and can be eaten cold, a great advantage when there is no power or even clean water.

One of the many ways the Knights of Columbus is assisting with the relief efforts is by sending hundreds of $100 gift cards to the affected areas. Lange said he appreciated the gift cards donated to councils for food purchases, saying they were an “excellent, excellent idea.”

“The council in Jacksonville, N.C., has a kitchen up and running,” said Colin Jorsch, a supreme director from North Carolina. “We suggested that any of that stuff go towards them.”

The work is far from over. For the time being, the Knights’ goal is to support local residents until the power comes back on.

“Where we can get involved is helping out the families of the brother Knights in our parishes and the community at large,” Jorsch said. “Just returning back to normal — cleaning up yards, helping families get reestablished.”

The Knights of Columbus are committed to providing aid to those affected by Hurricane Florence. To donate to the Disaster Relief Fund, click HERE.