Aerial views taken during a search and rescue mission by the New Jersey Army National Guard Oct. 30 show the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast. (CNS photo/Mark C. Olsen, U.S. Air Force handout via Reuters)
As Hurricane Sandy swept through the eastern United States in late October, it left scenes of destruction throughout the nation’s most densely populated region and more than 8 million people without power.
In response to the devastation caused by the storm, the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council, in conjunction with local and state councils across the country, joined relief efforts.
The Supreme Council announced Oct. 30 that it was making an immediate $100,000 donation, giving $50,000 each to the state councils of New York and New Jersey to assist with local relief efforts in those hardest-hit jurisdictions.
In addition, the Order launched an online donation drive at kofc.org, soliciting contributions from its members and the general public. All of the proceeds will go directly to relief efforts in local communities.
At the midyear meeting of state deputies and state chaplains in Dallas Nov. 15, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson announced that nearly $350,000 had already been received, and the Supreme Council donated $500,000 to provide aid to storm victims in the affected areas.
“Knights have a long tradition of providing disaster relief,” said the supreme knight, “and this is no exception. Our communities need our time, our help and our financial assistance, and we are going to do all that we can — working closely with our local and state councils — to help those most in need as a result of this storm.”
With Staten Island still reeling from the double impact of the hurricane and a blizzard that followed days later, Anderson and newly elected Supreme Warden George W. Hanna traveled to the hardest-hit areas of the island to encourage and assist local Knights with their relief efforts. Anderson and Hanna brought with them from New Haven a truck loaded with relief supplies and a check for $75,000. Joined by New York State Deputy Salvatore A. Restivo and dozens of others, the Knights worked together to unload the relief supplies at Father John C. Drumgoole Council 5917 before touring the devastation in the area surrounding Manresa Council 2147.
Likewise, Supreme Treasurer Logan T. Ludwig and other Supreme Council representatives traveled to New Jersey, bringing with them a truckload of supplies and a $75,000 check to support the New Jersey State Council’s relief efforts.
Knights at the grassroots level across the country have also volunteered resources, and K of C units are hosting drives to assist hurricane victims. Msgr. Joseph F. Dooley Council 4361 in Mingo Junction, Ohio, for instance, collected canned goods, water and clothing for families affected by the storm. In an interview with a local TV station, council member Lou Kakascik said, “The Knights of Columbus isn’t just about a banquet hall. It’s about giving to the community. We’re about charity, unity and fraternity.”