|Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus. Public domain image, taken prior to 1890. Can be found at http://www.kofc.org/about/history/founder/spirituality/page3.en.html (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Contact: Joseph Cullen, 203-800-4923, email@example.com; Andrew Walther, 203-824-5412, firstname.lastname@example.org; both with Knights of Columbus
NEW HAVEN, Conn., June 12, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Knights of Columbus set a new all-time record for charitable donations and service hours in 2013 while helping in communities worldwide, including by responding to a number of large-scale humanitarian crises.
The K of C's Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for the year ending Dec. 31, 2013, reports that Knights donated record amounts of money and hours of volunteer service -- more than $170 million and more than 70.5 million hours.
Contributions increased for the 14th consecutive year, growing by more than $2.3 million to $170,135,754.
"Charity has been at the heart of the Knights' mission for the past 132 years," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "Whether with funds or service, and whether quietly helping someone overcome a personal tragedy or assisting in the aftermath of a widely known humanitarian disaster, the outpouring of charity by our members produces meaningful results, especially by helping to bring peace of mind to those who find themselves in incredibly difficult situations."
In 2013, Anderson explained, "Knights were part of relief efforts for a number of tragic events, including two enormous natural disasters in the Philippines; tornados in Moore, Oklahoma; floods in Alberta, Canada; the factory explosion in West, Texas; and the Boston Marathon bombing. The year also saw the Knights continue their support for the victims of Superstorm Sandy, and for the people of Newtown, Connecticut, as they recovered from the school shooting that took the lives of 26 residents, most of whom were young children."
The response to unexpected tragedies was accomplished while the Knights continued their strong support within their communities through initiatives like the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids and Food for Families, programs supporting those with intellectual disabilities, organizing blood drives, and providing funding and volunteer time to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics and the American Wheelchair Mission.
The number of volunteer service hours rose in 2013 by 421,071 hours over the 2012 total. At an average value of $22.55 per service hour as estimated by Independent Sector, the value of the Knights' service hours last year was nearly $1.6 billion.
Cumulative figures show that during the past decade the Knights of Columbus has donated nearly $1.5 billion to charity and 683 million hours of volunteer service in support of charitable initiatives.
The Knights of Columbus was founded by Venerable Servant of God Father Michael McGivney, a New Haven parish priest, in 1882. The organization was formed to provide charitable outreach and care for the financial well being of Catholic families, focusing on the protection of widows and orphans, and on strengthening the faith of its members. 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 Europe.