In a year marked by traumas and humanitarian crises throughout the world, the Knights of Columbus continued to raise the bar for charitable giving and service hours performed.
During his address at the opening business session of the Organizational Meeting of State Deputies, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced that the Knights of Columbus set all-time records for charitable donations and service hours in 2013 by helping in communities worldwide and 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 the supreme knight after announcing the figures. “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, Okla., 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, Conn., 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, and by 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 Global 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’ volunteer service 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 is the world's largest Catholic lay organization. We are celebrated for standing in solidarity with our priests and bishops and for our unwavering support for life. We provide members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, their communities, families, and young people. With more than 1.8 million members in more than 14,000 Councils around the world, the Knights of Columbus annually donates more than $150 million and 70 million hours of service to charitable causes.