.- The Knights of Columbus has announced that charitable donations and volunteer service hours by its members set new all-time records in 2010, with over $154.6 million and 70 million volunteer hours dedicated to serving the Church and communities in need.
“The Knights of Columbus significantly expanded its outreach to those in need last year, and will continue to do because of the economic problems facing so many people in our communities,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said. “Despite the fact that the economy has also created hardship for many of our own members, Knights have stepped up as never before to meet the needs of their neighbors. We have taken very seriously the fact that we are our brother’s keeper.”
Anderson announced the results of the Knights’ Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for 2010. The $154.6 million given exceeds the previous year’s total by more than $3 million. It includes over $29 million donated by the Supreme Council and $125.5 million in contributions from the organization’s state and local affiliates.
Sixty percent of the contributions went to community-level projects, including youth activities. Large donations included a $1 million distribution to Food for Families program and $1 million for a relief effort in cooperation with Project Medishare to give prosthetics to Haitian children who lost limbs in the devastating January 2010 earthquake.
Volunteer hours increased by almost 800,000 over the 2009 total. Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, and the Global Wheelchair mission particularly benefited from Knights of Columbus volunteers.
Members of the fraternal order also made 428,000 blood donations during 2010.
Over the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated $1.406 billion to charity and has provided more than 653 million hours of volunteer service.
The organization was founded by Fr. Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Conn. in 1882. It is now the world’s largest lay Catholic organization, with 1.8 million members throughout North and Central America, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Poland.