Did you know many children throughout the United States and Canada go without a coat each winter? Many low-income families use their scarce resources to meet the most basic essentials and they need help to provide this vital winter necessity.
That’s why the Knights of Columbus developed the Coats for Kids program, which allows councils across North America the opportunity to purchase new winter coats for children at a discount and to distribute them to children in need in their local communities.
Through our Coats for Kids program, 1,780 local councils distributed 87,906 coats to children in need throughout the United States and Canada in 2016. Since the program began in 2009, nearly 400,000 coats have been distributed.
The Knights of Columbus and the Global Wheelchair Mission have teamed up to help bring wheelchairs to those who lack freedom of mobility.
The Global Wheelchair Mission purchases wheelchairs in bulk and delivers them by sea containers around the world.
They are distributed with the help of numerous non-governmental organizations, Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis Clubs, and now the Knights of Columbus.
In 2003, the Knights of Columbus began participating in the Global Wheelchair Mission and sponsored 2,000 wheelchairs to be distributed in Afghanistan. Since then, Knights in the U.S. and Canada have sponsored the distribution of more than 57,000 wheelchairs in Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, the United States, Canada and Vietnam.
In February 2016, the Knights held a wheelchair distribution event outside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. That occasion marked a major milestone in Order's charitable giving: 50,000 wheelchairs distributed through the partnership with the Global Wheelchair Mission.
For every donation of $150 received by the Global Wheelchair Mission, it can deliver a brand new wheelchair which would cost over $500 in a medical supply store.
They are shipped in containers of 100 to 280 wheelchairs each directly from the factory to the destination countries at no cost to the recipients.
Councils, assemblies, and circles are encouraged to promote this program to their membership, inviting personal consideration, as well as implementing this as an ongoing charitable event.
The Knights of Columbus is one of the world’s largest forces for good. In the past decade alone, the Knights of Columbus has donated more than $1.55 billion to charitable causes, and has performed more than 700 million hours of volunteer service.
Knights have led major charitable initiatives including Coats for Kids, the Ultrasound Initiative, and Christians at Risk, and have also sponsored events and programs with organizations such as Special Olympics and the Global Wheelchair Mission.
The Knights of Columbus insurance program – coupled with the hard work and dedication of brother Knights anywhere – helps power the Knights of Columbus’ charitable giving.
“The insurance program is a powerful financial engine that supports much of the good works we do,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Through the insurance program, we are blessed with the opportunity to give generously and support numerous charitable and spiritual causes, building up society and the Church.”
“Of course, this is closely tied to our Catholic identity and the fact that charity is our first principle,” he continued. “We are called to be ‘our brother’s keeper,’ and to look after the physical and spiritual well-being of those around us. But the fact is that without the insurance program, much of what we do….would simply not be possible.”
Global Wheelchair Mission