FLINT – Genesee County-area Knights of Columbus brought a lot of happiness, and warmth, to area youngsters with the distribution of more than 360 coats to children in need.
The distribution took place Saturday, Nov. 26, at the North End Soup Kitchen, 735 E. Stewart Avenue in Flint. The effort was supported by the Michigan Council of the Knights of Columbus in conjunction with councils 6694 of Swartz Creek, 6742 of Grand Blanc, 7418 of Fenton and 14031 of St. Michael in Flint.
The initiative here and in other Knights of Columbus jurisdictions builds on the Knights’ annual Black Friday distribution, which began in Connecticut in 2012. While the event is relatively new, the Knights of Columbus in the United States and Canada have given away more than 370,000 coats to children in a variety of settings since 2009.
“As our nation faces uncertain economic times for many, we believe it is very important to respond within our communities in concrete ways to help those most in need,” said Knight Michigan State Advocate Walter K. Winkle, Jr.
“Helping children in need was a fundamental reason for the formation of the Knights of Columbus in 1882, and continues to be a very important component of our work today.”
“In our area, we’ve had many businesses close or reduce their work force over the past few years,” said Kevin F. Rowley, state program director for the Michigan Knights of Columbus. “Too many people in the area are ‘under employed’ and struggling to make ends meet. This program will certainly help those families.”
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization with nearly 1.9 million members worldwide. It is also one of the most active charitable organizations in the United States. The Knights set a new record for charitable giving in 2015 with donations of more than $175 million and 73.5 million hours of service to charitable causes. – L.R.