Knights to the Rescue
Local Knights are working to provide food, shelter and other immediate relief, as well as helping with clean up and recovery to Hurricane Harvey and Irma victims.
Since these hurricanes, local Knights have been at the forefront or bringing assistance to victims of the disaster, especially those displaced by destructive winds and flooding.
Some of the extraordinary work councils there have been doing include:
Knights Raise Nearly $2 Million for Relief efforts
The Knights of Columbus has raised more than $1.9 million for victims of the recent hurricanes and natural disasters. The organization has taken a leadership role in assisting those affected by these storms, including the immediate distribution of more than $360,000 for food, water and other necessities.
Florida K of C Couple Prep for Hurricane Irma after Delivering Donations to Texas
Dave Kanaszka had only just unloaded a personal trailer full of Hurricane Harvey donations and relief supplies to storm-battered Texans this week when the news of Hurricane Irma took a serious turn for the worse as the record-breaking threatened his home state of Florida.
Kanaszka, a past grand knight and now trustee of St Jude Council 14178 in St. Petersburg, Fla., runs a wedding services related contracting business in Florida’s West Coast, and along with his wife, Carol, had solicited a large quantity of donations for Texas at their Cathedral parish of St. Jude.
Through a few personal connections, the couple chose to deliver their cargo to a Catholic Charities-affiliated drop-off point and distribution center in Beaumont, Texas, east of Houston. The couple chose to leave their donations with a smaller town rather than in Houston because they understood that Houston was receiving a larger response following Hurricane Harvey.
Now they likely have a new and formidable project on the horizon, thanks to Hurricane Irma.
“When we were in Texas we were planning on staying longer, but we have two sets of elderly parents and children and grandchildren in Florida, so we wanted to get back to them,” said Carol.
“We let people back in Florida know we are stopping at Home Depot along the way and bringing more plywood and water and supplies as we come, because apparently everybody has run out of supplies in St. Petersburg,” she said.
“Now we have 20 sheets of plywood, 30 jugs of water, propane supplies and everybody is coming to our house tonight to pick up our stuff.”
Both Dave and Carol said this kind of “roll-up-the-sleeves” response following a crisis is what Knights of Columbus do in the name of charity.
“I am a Columbiette, and as Christians or Catholics in general, we are supposed to help those in need as a call to be a Christian,” Carol said.
Both natives of Jacksonville, Fla., the couple was put in touch with the Beaumont, Texas, distribution center through a priest friend, Father David Keegan in the Diocese of St. Augustine, and a priest in Texas named Father Andy Moore from Beaumont.
“The entire hallway of our church was filled with donations last week, and it started spilling into the parish center, growing and growing with supplies as people were bringing things,” Carols said.
“We got new tires on our trailer and someone helped us fix the leaky roof before we departed.”
The donations for Texas included food, water, toiletries, diapers, utensils, beddings and finally clothing. Perhaps an indication of what might be in store for Florida: communications with the drop off center — the Southeast Texas Community Health Center — was nearly impossible by telephone following Hurricane Harvey, according to the couple.
“I knew where to go but we couldn’t get through to anybody. We drove there anyway and all those wonderful were people lined up around the block waiting to get stuff. I heard some lady asking for water, diapers and wipes just as they had run out of those items but we had all of that on our trailer. We had 15 people unload the entire trailer in 15 minutes. It was a blessing to see the joy on their faces as they saw the needed supplies,” Carol said.
Report from Tom Tracy
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In response to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, members of Father Roach Council 3217 in Dickinson, Texas, came to the aid of their brother Knight Lance Pawlik. Pawlik's home was severely flooded and he lost nearly everything he owned. Almost immediately after the Dickinson roads were reopened to traffic, the council members mobilized a group of Knights and other volunteers to assist in the removal of the water-soaked walls, flooring, furniture and other items.
Following Masses the weekend of Sept. 3-4, brother Knights of the Father Vincent M. Mulvin Council 12287 in Dallas, Ga., collected more than $2,100 to be sent to Knights of Columbus Charities for distribution to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Richmond (Texas) Council 7445 set up to assist displaced people at their local parish by providing meals and drinking water until they were flooded out of the facility.
Rev. John T. Weyer Council 11343 in Sugar Land helped home owners in Sienna make repairs to roofs damaged by tornadoes.
Father Roach Council 3217 in Dickinson used boats to help stranded individuals evacuate their homes and also helped evacuate a priest from Shrine of the True Cross in Dickinson.
Father Nemec Council 3793 in Wallis has been providing meals and shelter to storm victims.
Rev. Arthur N. Kaler Council 8142 in Carrizo Springs provided meals to 300 families.
Father James Charles Erving Council 2543 in Eagle Pass, Sacred Heart Council 13941 in Cotulla, Rev. Jose A. Prieto Council 8368 in Crystal City, and Antonio Martinez Council 8312 in Asherton are all providing meals to those displaced by the flooding.
Holy Family Council 7728 in Missouri City helped unload trucks of donated clothing and assisted senior citizens off buses at a parish in Sugar Land.
Members of St. Basil Council 4204 in Sugar Land served meals to 100 evacuees from the area at St. Theresa Parish.
Ingleside Council 11570 opened its facilities to house first responders. Emergency personnel camped at the council hall and utilized its bathrooms and kitchen, and utility crews used the parking lot as a staging area for their trucks and equipment. The council also fed about 1,000 people, including the first responders, Knights and their families, and other people involved in helping with the cleanup.
The New York State Council held a drive throughout the jurisdiction to collect money for the disaster victims in the parish.
San Juan Diego Primero Council 13563 in Lakeland (Florida) held a drive with other area councils to collect items for infants and toddlers (such as clothing, diapers, baby bottles, etc.).
These are just some of the many good works being done by Knights in response to the disaster in Texas. You can help these relief efforts. Please DONATE TODAY to help those suffering such devastation. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to relief efforts. This includes providing immediate needs such as food, clean water, shelter and other necessities.
For Donations by Check
Make Checks Payable To: "Knights of Columbus Charities"
Kindly specify "United Disaster Relief" on the memo line of your check.
For Donations by Check in USD:
Knights of Columbus Charities
One Columbus Plaza
PO Box 1966
New Haven, CT 06509-1966
A member of Council 10872 in Spring, Texas, found himself in the middle of the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey
Roy Rivers Jr., a member of Council 10872 in Spring, Texas, found himself in the middle of the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. Throughout that time he regularly volunteered to help those in need. Below is a series of Tweets from him (including his abbreviations) during and immediately after the storm:
Bummed out. Today was our turn to cook breakfast at the homeless shelter in downtown Houston. 24 hours heavy rain, freeways are closed. 🌪⛈☔️ pic.twitter.com/hTRZGvkma4— Roy Rivers Jr (@RoyRiversJr) August 27, 2017
Since my house didn't flood and I got power back. I spent the day @ the local high school turned shelter helping others who lost everything pic.twitter.com/P4oPBXFPOT— Roy Rivers Jr (@RoyRiversJr) August 29, 2017
I spent most the day blowing up mattresses and when I gave the 4 girls a mattress to sleep on & got them off the floor they were very happy— Roy Rivers Jr (@RoyRiversJr) August 30, 2017
Good Morning.Stopped raining but still flooded can't really go anywhere. Don't care I'm alive and dry. Thanks for all the kind words. 🤠👍 pic.twitter.com/QePzWYNCyB— Roy Rivers Jr (@RoyRiversJr) August 30, 2017