As Knights of Columbus, we are called to serve our family and our God. Our first principle is Charity, at home with our families or in our communities. This is a critical part of our Knights of Columbus mission. Councils that conduct these programs are positively shaping their communities by addressing the needs of its citizens.
Leave No Neighbor Behind – (Featured Program)
Knights of Columbus are called to step into the breach and leave no neighbor behind – especially in times of crisis. The Knights are encouraged to meet the needs of their council, parish, and local community by supporting individuals in need, Food banks, blood centers, and other essential services that have been depleted of their vital supplies.
Councils are required to do an activity in all five service categories: Support your Brother Knights, Support your Parish, Support your Community, Feed the Hungry, and Participate in Blood Drives, to receive two credits. This is a special report specific for LNNB. Go to www.kofc.org, under “News Hub”, click on “Leave No Neighbor Behind.” There you will see a link for “Report Activity.” Click on this link and begin to fill in the blanks, then click submit.
Global Wheelchair Mission – *Featured Program
The Knights of Columbus has partnered with the Global Wheelchair Mission since 2003 with the goal of providing wheelchairs to all those who lack the freedom of mobility, changing the lives of people with disabilities worldwide. Councils are encouraged to raise funds and make donations to purchase deeply discounted wheelchairs. Through partnerships, councils can also purchase a large container of 110 to 280 wheelchairs at $150 per wheelchair for their own donation sites. For more information about this program, how to set up a Wheelchair Drive at your parish, and/or where to submit all donations, contact Bill Weber – Texas State Wheelchair Chairman (info found under Charities).
As a featured program, Global Wheelchair Mission counts for two credits toward the Columbian award if they meet the requirements; donate the equivalent of 10 wheelchairs at $150 each. However, Councils that are unable to meet the minimum amount can still conduct the program and count it for one credit toward the Columbian Award. For more information, go to www.kofc.org/wheelchair. The council must submit the Fraternal Program Report Form #10784 when completed.
Habitat for Humanity – *Featured Program
The purpose of this program is for Knights of Columbus councils to work closely with Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit Christian organization, to build homes for families in need at substantially reduced costs. Each year, councils throughout the order donate a considerable number of volunteer hours and dollars to this worthy cause. As a featured program, Habitat for Humanity counts for two credits toward the Columbian award. In order to satisfy program requirements, councils are asked to donate a minimum of $1,000 or 200 service hours to Habitat for Humanity projects in their community. However, Councils that are unable to donate the minimum dollars or service hours can still count this program for one credit toward the Columbian Award. The council must submit the Fraternal Program Report Form #10784 when completed. For more information, councils can order brochures, posters and participant certificates at www.kofc.org/habitat.
Coats for Kids – *Featured Program
This program provide warmth for deserving children during cold winter months. Councils can purchase new winter coats for children in need at a discount and distribute them in their local communities. Councils should order their coats through Supplies Online. As a featured program, Coats for Kids counts for two credits towards the Columbian Award. To satisfy the requirements, a council must distribute a specific number of coats. However, Councils that are unable to meet the minimum amount can still conduct the program and count it for one credit toward the Columbian Award. The council must submit the Fraternal Program Report Form #10784 when completed. Councils can order Coats for Kids guidebook, brochures, posters and additional resources at www.kofc.org/coats.
Helping Hands –
Councils can put their faith into action and help those less fortunate in your community. In the model of our founder, Father McGivney, councils will lead efforts to assist those most in need. The Helping Hands program is designed to recognize the important work many councils already do to care for the most disadvantaged members of our communities — the homeless, the addicted, the elderly who may feel isolated and abandoned, and many others. Through this program, councils will aid the needy through the activities they feel best suit their community, such as serving at or running a soup kitchen, repairing the facilities of a local service organization or something entirely unique.
The requirements for this program are very broad in order to allow councils to serve their community in whatever way is most needed. Councils can order the Helping Hand brochure and posters and find more information about this program at www.kofc.org/helpinghands. Remember to complete the Fraternal Programs Report Form (#10784) after completing any Helping Hands activities (there may be several).
Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest
The goal of the Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest is to give students the opportunity to define the role of a Catholic citizen in many different scenarios, and to strengthen the bond between the Knights of Columbus and local schools. This contest is open to all Catholic students (public, private, home, or parochial schools) in grades 8 to 12 during the current school year. This contest encourages today’s youth to be more connected to their community and their faith and instill in them religious and life-affirming values. The essay should be approximately 500-750 words on a specific subject, changing every other year. Entrants will be judged on grammar, style, and how clearly they present the theme, which should showcase creativity, imagination and overall development of the topic.
- The suggested timetable for this event are as follows:
- July/August – Order Kit – confirm current topic
- September / October – Student write essay
- November / December 2020 – Judge essays at Council / District / Diocese
- January 15, 2021 – Diocesan winner Essays sent to State.
- The State Free Throw Tournament will be held in San Antonio TX tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in March. (More information will be provided later)
- The Councils should order their Free Throw Kits (FT-KITS) in October under the “Form” tab. Additional information, posters, and certificates can be found at www.kofc.org/freethrow
- The proposed schedule for holding the Council, District and Diocesan tournaments are as follows:
- Council - January 2021
- District - February 2021
- Diocese - February 2021
- State - March 2021
- First, Second and Third Place Medals for the Diocesan winners will be provided by the State Council and given to the Diocesan Deputies.
- Ensure the contestants are between 9 – 14 years old as of January 1 – NO EXCEPTIONS.
- The Diocesan Deputy should report the winners to the State Youth Chairman and check that the State Per Capita for each Council with a participant has been paid or is current as soon as their tournament is over so the list of contestants for the State Tournament can be prepared. Include a copy of the Birth Certificate with the score sheets to the State Free Throw Chairman.
- State Winners will receive a trophy for First. Second and Third Place for each age group. First place winners will be submitted to Supreme for the National competition.
- The Diocesan Deputy should appoint a Free Throw Chairman and send his name and contact information to the Jesse Aguilar – State Free Throw Chairman.
- Remember to complete the Fraternal Programs Report Form (#10784) after completing this program.
- The proposed schedule for holding the Council, District and Diocesan tournaments are as follows:
- Council - September 2020
- District - October 2020
- Diocese – October / November 2020
The top essay will be forwarded to the next level by the due dates as set by the Council, District, and Diocese. The top essay from each Diocese is due to the State by January 15, 2021. Councils Per Capita must be paid for any winners to advance. Councils need to order the Catholic Citizenship Essay Kit (#EA-KIT) before school starts in order to be able to coordinate with any schools and to advertise the event. Make sure the correct current topic is being used. The Essay Kits, guidebook, posters, and certificates can be orders through the “Form” tab and additional information can be found at www.kofc.org/essay. Remember to complete the Fraternal Programs Report Form (#10784) after completing this program.
The purpose of this program is to prepare your community before disaster strikes. As community leaders, Knights of Columbus will ensure that their members, families and parish communities are prepared through a campaign that promotes planning and education. Councils will engage their parish and community in disaster preparedness exercises by organizing trainings, fundraisers and various awareness activities. For more information about this program got to www.kofc.org/prepare or contact Harry Storey - Texas Emergency Response Chairman (info found under Charities). Remember to complete the Fraternal Programs Report Form (#10784) after completing this program.
State Free Throw Championship
Jesse Aguilar, Chairman
Since 1972, councils have sponsored the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship for boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14. This program provides an athletic outlet and encourages the values of sportsmanship and healthy competition.
The Soccer Challenge is a great way for councils to engage in their communities with an athletic event for youth ages 9 – 14 that encourages the values of sportsmanship and healthy competition. It is designed for players to demonstrate their skills in the penalty kick. Councils can sponsor a competition by ordering a soccer Challenge Kit, or volunteer to host and/or support the district, regional and state championships.
Although the State does not hold a State Level Challenge, the local councils, District, and Diocese can still host and participate in this program.
All score sheets and documents need to be submitted to Supreme by December 15. The Soccer Challenge Kits can be ordered through the “Form” tab and additional information can be found at www.kofc.org/soccer. Remember to complete the Fraternal Programs Report Form (#10784) after completing this program.