Los Angeles Knights of Columbus councils are partnering with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and St. Vincent de Paul Society to provide a new service, “Hearts to Serve” — a hotline in support of those in need, especially the elderly, homebound and pregnant women. The new program is a response to assist the community during the spread of COVID-19.
“This was an opportunity that came to us from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” Isaac Cuevas, a Knight from Archbishop Cantwell Council 3073 in Arcadia, Calif., said. “They needed volunteers to help mobilize the efforts, boots on the ground, and they thought of the Knights to fill that need.”
With help from California State Deputy David Abbott, Knights put out a volunteer-registration announcement in order to join the “Hearts to Serve” effort. More than 100 people — Knights and non-Knights — signed up. The program officially launched on March 24.
Those in need of food or supplies can call the “Hearts to Serve” hotline at 855-423-6780 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Knights over 60 years-old man the phones, while those under 60 are part of the mobilizing network to provide services, which include grocery or medicine delivery to homes and provision of food and other necessities from local food pantries to those that might not be able to afford it at this time
“Once we have a need in a certain part of the city, we match them with someone who is in proximity and connect those two people together to then figure out logistically what’s the need,” Cuevas said.
He added that it’s “amazing to see” this combined effort from various Catholic organizations in “such a time of need.” The joint effort answers the call of Pope Francis and of Archbishop José H. Gomez to be missionary disciples.
“Hearts to Serve” is one of the many initiatives Knights of Columbus members are providing for their communities in spiritual and charitable ways. Around the world, Knights are supporting creative and safe ways to provide the sacraments or setting-up emergency blood drives. The Supreme Council also called for all Knights to pray a novena for protection in a time of pandemic.
Even though the outbreak of the coronavirus has hindered some of the ways Knights can serve the community, Cuevas sees a need for charity now more than ever.
“The people calling are truly the most vulnerable,” Cuevas said. “They are people who don’t have any support in their immediate network that can help them with something like this. Yet, as Knights, we’re not going to let them down. We’re not going to let our Church down. We’re not going to let the community down.”
Share your story of how your council is helping strengthen people’s faith and offering support during this time. Email email@example.com.
Originally published in a special bi-weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline’s monthly archives, click here.
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