NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the United States confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, the Knights of Columbus is asking its vast volunteer network of approximately 1.25 million U.S. members to help ensure that essential needs are met in communities from coast to coast.
For some individuals, buying essentials or leaving their homes to do so has become challenging. In addition, blood banks are in desperate need of donations. In response Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson has urged Knights of Columbus across the country to donate blood and to come to the aid of their neighbors in communities nationwide as part of its new "Leave No Neighbor Behind" initiative.
"During times of need from the 19th century to the present, the Knights of Columbus has been there in communities around the country to support one another, the Church and the evolving needs of their communities," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "From world wars, to influenza pandemics more than a century ago, to hurricanes and earthquakes, the Knights of Columbus has helped make the difference for many individuals and communities, and we will do so again during the present situation."
The Knights' approximately 1.25 million American members are organized into more than 10,000 local councils based in cities and towns around the country, and they have a long history of community outreach through innovative charitable programs nationally and at the grassroots level. The Knights also pioneered the first national blood drive in the United States in the 1930s.
Knights of Columbus are encouraged to assist:
- one another, especially the elderly and those living alone.
- their fellow parishioners and their pastors during a time when many churches are closed.
- their neighbors, who have particular needs at this time.
- the hungry, by donating to and volunteering at local food pantries and food banks.
- with blood donations, especially in response to current shortages.
The organization is also providing spiritual resources to its members and has urged them to offer prayers composed by Pope Francis and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during this period. In addition, the Knights are supporting Catholic dioceses in the United States with $100 million in low-interest financing to help them weather the economic impact of this period.
About the Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is one of the country's premiere volunteer and charitable organizations. In 2018, Knights worldwide donated 76 million service hours, and more than $185 million to charitable causes in communities throughout the Americas, as well in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. From helping children in need, to providing wheelchairs for the disabled, to helping stock food banks, to offering top-rated and affordable life insurance to its members, the Knights has been at the service of the community for more than 130 years.
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SOURCE Knights of Columbus