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.
Coats for Kids (*Featured Program)
This program provides 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. 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. As a featured program, Coats for Kids counts for two credits toward the Columbian Award when the minimum requirements (total of 6 cases) have been met.
Global Wheelchair Mission (*Featured Program)
The Knights of Columbus has partnered with the Global Wheelchair Mission 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. 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.
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 go 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
The Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship is 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 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 2022
- District - February 2022
- Diocese - February 2022
- State - March 2022
- 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 Programs Director 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 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 2021
- District – September / October 2021
- Diocese – October 2021
- State – November 2021
- The suggested timetable for this event are as follows:
- July/August – Order Kit – confirm current topic
- September / October – Student write essay
- November / December 2021 – Judge essays at Council / District / Diocese
- January 15, 2022 – Diocesan winner Essays sent to State.
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/province championships.
The State is looking into hosting a State Level Challenge. If that is made possible, more details and a date will be announced. 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 orders 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.
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 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, 2022. 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.
Councils can put their faith into action and help those less fortunate in your community. 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).
Shield a Badge with a Prayer
Pat Henz - Chairman
Another community program is the “Shield a Badge with a Prayer” program. This program is designed to show support to local Law Enforcement Officers through daily prayer. The Texas State Council is promoting this program as a “Community” Activity” and encourages your Council or Assembly to start a “Shield a Badge with a Prayer” program. The goal of “Shield a Badge” is to have every officer “adopted” and to have a daily prayer said for that officer’s Safety, Good Judgment, and a Safe Return Home. The commitment is for ONE year. The officer’s name and badge number is given to the prayer sponsor. There are NO promises beyond a prayer every day (no personal contact, no phone calls, and no gifts.) Remember to complete the Fraternal Programs Report Form (#10784) for conducting this program.