The Knights of Columbus has a long history of lending a helping hand in times of distress.
The Order was one of the first organizations to provide financial support to families of fallen first responders following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.
Understanding the dramatic impact on countless families, the Knights of Columbus established the Heroes Fund on Sept. 12, 2001 to provide immediate assistance to the families of emergency first responders who lost their lives in the rescue and recovery efforts. The fund was created with a $500,000 donation from the Supreme Council and was matched by another $500,000 donation raised by Knights of Columbus councils throughout the world.
But the Heroes Fund is just one of the disaster relief efforts the Order has undertaken.
The Knights of Columbus also led a multimillion-dollar recovery effort in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In addition, Knights were on the ground with supplies in a matter of hours after Superstorm Sandy devastated the Eastern seaboard.
In 2013, Knights responded to disasters in West, Texas; Moore, Okla.; and Alberta, Canada. When Typhoon Haiyan struck central Philippines in late 2013, the Supreme Council approved $860,000 for humanitarian relief.
After the historic forest fire in Fort Murray, Alberta, Canada, the Knights of Columbus helped raise CA$76,000 to benefit families affected by the devastation.
The Knights also raised $30,000 for families in Houston, Texas, to assist St. Vincent de Paul’s “House in a Box” program, which provides the bare essentials (bed, table, chairs, linens and other items) to families who have lost their homes in the area’s recent massive floods.
First and Second Responders fighting wild fires in Roundup, Mont., were served over 350 meals by local Knights, while people impacted by severe flooding in Charleston, W. Va., were provided with clean water, cleaning supplies, fans and dehumidifiers. The funds were raised through the Knights of Columbus Disaster Relief Fund, with $12,000 raised in one weekend alone to serve the local emergency.
“When Father McGivney founded this organization in 1882, he did so with the intention of helping those most in need,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Today we are happy to continue this legacy in numerous ways through our works of charity. But we honor this vision in a special way with our ministry to those affected by disaster. When our neighbors are left with nothing, Knights are among the first to rush in and help them get back on their feet.”
The Knights of Columbus Disaster Relief Fund is used to support the work of the local councils though their disaster response efforts, in coordination with emergency agencies and first responders. One hundred percent of the funds raised go directly to relief efforts.
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