Who Are the Knights
From the moment of our founding in 1882, charity has been the first principle of the Knights of Columbus. We are men of faith and men of action.
During 2012, in addition to raising and donating more than $167.5 million to charitable needs and projects, Knights volunteered more than 70 million hours of their time to charitable causes. These figures represent an increase of 6% and .1% respectively over 2011 figures. We undertake these acts of charity because we see those in need through the eyes of faith. Moreover, in the Knights of Columbus, we approach these acts of charity together. Pope Benedict XVI calls this the “practice of love…as a community.”
Our charitable activities encompass an almost infinite variety of local, national and international projects. From international charitable partnerships with Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission and Habitat for Humanity to our own Food for Families and Coats for Kids projects and other purely local charities, the opportunity to work together with fellow Knights and their families is virtually endless.
If you’d like to be a part of an international organization of more than 1.8 million Catholic men whose principal work involves helping others in need, we'd like to meet you and invite you to join us.
The Knights’ annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012, indicated that, despite the economy remaining soft, total charitable contributions reached $167,549,817 – exceeding the previous year’s total by more than $9.4 million.
The figure includes $30,947,974 donated by the Supreme Council, and $136,601,843 in contributions from state and local councils, assemblies and Squires circles.
Forty-Five percent of the contributions were for projects at the community level, many involving youth activities. Large donations during the period included $250,000 by Supreme Council and $3,308,796 by state and local councils for Special Olympics as well as $1,593,000 by Supreme Council and $4,477,120 by state and local councils for the support and promotion of religious vocations.
The survey also indicated that the quantity of volunteer service hours to charitable causes by Knights grew to 70,113,207– an increase of 63,774 hours compared to 2011. There were 423,575 Knights of Columbus blood donations during the year.
Cumulative figures show that during the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated $1.5 billion to charity, and provided more than 673 million hours of volunteer service in support of charitable initiatives.
A Knights of Columbus council can work wonders; in fact, with its many programs, it can help change the community, town, city or neighborhood in which you live.
However, a successful Knights of Columbus program depends on people taking the initial idea, modifying it to suit specific situations and local needs, then implementing the program in the way it works.
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic, family, fraternal, service organization. This theme permeates the entire Service Program: all Church, community, council, family, culture of life, and youth activities.
The Service Program is designed to establish each council as an influential and important force within the community, elevate the status of the programming personnel, provide more meaningful and relevant programs of action, establish direct areas of responsibility, build leadership, and ensure the success of council programs.
To assist your council in obtaining volunteers for your activities, use this information at this link on volunteer recruitment and retention.
To further aid councils in implementing service programs, the Supreme Council annually sends out a Surge Kit to all financial secretaries of record. This is usually done by early to mid-June. Use this link to review the materials included in the Surge Kit.