NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Knights of Columbus today announced it will donate $150,000 to the Catholic Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana, in the wake of Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm that caused widespread destruction across the state on Aug. 26.
Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said, "Our prayers are with the people of the Diocese of Lake Charles and with everyone impacted by this destructive storm. This donation is only the first step in our efforts to help with recovery."
Along with providing donations, Knights are often the first and last on the ground after disaster strikes. Louisiana Knights began recovery efforts immediately by assessing damage, determining pressing needs and identifying staging areas to receive critical supplies. The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council is procuring and shipping requested supplies, including gift cards, tools, roofing nails, tarps, bottled water, ready-made food and cleaning supplies.
Offers to assist are pouring in from Knights of Columbus members in other states and countries. Anderson said this is a typical reaction from fellow Knights. "It is fraternal charity and fraternal unity that distinguished the Knights of Columbus from other relief organizations. We stand shoulder to shoulder, supporting one another in faith and service across the world."
Last year, Knights of Columbus Charities Inc. and Knights of Columbus Canada Charities Inc. gave more than $1.3 million to disaster relief with an additional $3.5 million donated by local Knights councils and assemblies. Recent disaster recovery efforts by the Knights include:
- After the Bahamas was impacted by Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the worst storm in its history, the Knights coordinated relief efforts with the Archdiocese of Nassau and raised more than $620,000 through its Disaster Relief fund. The Supreme Council sent blankets, air mattresses, portable gas stoves, solar generators and other necessities. Knights from the Bahamas and Florida also helped to clean up debris and distribute water.
- After a series of earthquakes hit Puerto Rico in 2019—only two years after the devastation from Hurricane Maria--Knights provided canopies to displaced people and more than 300 Knights cooked 1,000 hot meals for those in need.
- In the Pensacola-Tallahassee area of Florida, the Knights helped rebuild or repair churches and schools and provided a 29-foot camper trailer for one pastor to live in as his parish recovered in the wake of 2018's Hurricane Michael.
- Knights provided food and assisted rescue operations in the wake of historic flooding in the Houston area in 2017 and in Nebraska in 2019.
- Cresting rivers in Ottawa prompted sandbagging and home repairs by Knights throughout that area in the spring of 2019.
- Knights responded to wildfires in 2018 in Paradise California by evacuating a school and erecting temporary housing.
- Knights joined in the clean-up efforts after tornados hit Alabama and Ohio in 2019.
To contribute to the Knights' disaster relief efforts, go to kofc.org/disaster or call 800-694-5713.
About the Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus is one of the world's leading fraternal and service organizations with
2 million members in more than 16,000 parish-based councils. During the past year, Knights around the world donated more than 77 million service hours and $187 million for worthy causes in their communities. The organization also provides financial services to groups and individuals, resulting in more than $112 billion of life insurance in force, and through its money management firm, Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, it invests in accord with Catholic social teachings. From helping children in need, to providing wheelchairs for the disabled, to helping stock food banks, to offering top-rated and affordable insurance products to its members, the Knights of Columbus has supported families and communities for more than 138 years.
There are nearly 34,000 Knights of Columbus members in Louisiana. The first council in Louisiana was chartered in 1902 in New Orleans.
SOURCE Knights of Columbus