What We Do...
Have you and your family ever watched the telecast of Pope John Paul II's midnight Mass from St. Peter's Basilica in Rome on Christmas Eve? Well, the Knights of Columbus is the organization that underwrites the costs of beaming that telecast from the Vatican, and has done so since 1976. Our satellite uplink program covers the costs of uploading the transmission and pays for the downlink in mission countries as well.
Or perhaps you've seen us standing in front of your local shopping mall or grocery store raising funds for programs supporting people with mental retardation.
The Knights of Columbus uses its Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity to gather various facts on the work done by local units. Information collected through the survey includes the amount of money and volunteer hours donated by the Knights of Columbus to charitable and benevolent causes. In 1996, Knights Orderwide raised and distributed $105,976,102 to charitable and benevolent programs and volunteered 48,966,132 hours of time.
These totals - the highest in the Order's history - are based on reports received from most Knights of Columbus councils, Fourth Degree assemblies, Columbian Squires circles and other jurisdictional entities responding to the survey. Over the past 10 years, the Knights of Columbus has volunteered more than 397 million hours of service and donated over $945 million to charity.
On a local level, if your community has an active K of C council, you'll find many ways that Knights are involved: running youth religious education programs, delivering Communion to homebound and elderly shut-ins, painting classrooms in Catholic schools, volunteering at Special Olympics events or tending a community garden. We collect used eyeglasses for needy people at home and around the world. We put new roofs on senior citizens' homes and write letters to young men studying for the priesthood.
What we do at the local level is pretty much left up to the Knights in the local community. If they see a problem that they think they can muster the resources to solve, they attack it. No programs are mandated by the international headquarters, or Supreme Council office, in New Haven, Connecticut. No funds raised at the local level are sent to the Supreme Council, either. All funds raised stay at the local level, helping causes local Knights want to help. The principal areas of volunteer involvement through our "Surge...with Service" program can be broken down into the following categories: Church, Community, Council, Family and Youth.