New Haven-based Knights of Columbus sets record for charitable donations, service
|Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson|
Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson released the results of the Roman Catholic fraternal organization’s annual survey in a presentation to its board of directors and state leaders, meeting June 6-10 at its international headquarters.
The results of the K of C’s Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for 2011 indicate that total charitable contributions reached $158,084,514 — exceeding the previous year’s total by more than $3.4 million. The figure includes $29,183,386 donated by the Supreme Council and $128,901,128 in contributions from the organization’s state and local affiliates. Overall contributions increased for the 12th consecutive year.
Large donations during the period included $7.5 million in support of priestly and religious vocations, $3.6 million for Special Olympics, $515,000 for the organization’s Coats for Kids program and continuing support of a joint program with Project Medishare to provide prosthetics to Haitian children who lost limbs during the January 2010 earthquake.
The survey also indicated that the quantity of volunteer service hours to charitable causes by Knights grew to 70,053,149 — an increase of 3,716 hours compared to the 2010 total. At a national average value of $21.79 per service hour, according to Independent Sector, the total value of the Knights’ service hours last year exceeds $1.5 billion.
Among the service programs receiving significant K of C volunteer hours were the Coats for Kids project, Special Olympics and the Global Wheelchair Mission.
There were also more than 418,000 K of C blood donations during the year.
Cumulative figures show that, during the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated $1.406 billion to charity, and provided more than 653 million hours of volunteer service in support of charitable initiatives.
“At a time when many in our communities continue to experience economic hardship, the increasing charitable work of the Knights of Columbus is a testament to the power of love of neighbor and to the great things that can be done by those committed to the common good,” Anderson said.
The Knights of Columbus was founded by Father Michael J. McGivney, a New Haven parish priest, in 1882. It has grown into the world’s largest lay Catholic organization, with more than 1.8 million members throughout North and Central America, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Poland.