.- The Knights of Columbus Catholic fraternal organization broke records in 2011 with over $158 million in donations to charity and over 70 million volunteer hours worked, the organization’s worldwide annual survey says.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson praised the achievement.
“At a time when many in our communities continue to experience economic hardship, the increasing charitable work of the Knights of Columbus is a testament to the power of love of neighbor and to the great things that can be done by those committed to the common good,” he said June 11.
Anderson presented the results to the Knights of Columbus board of directors and state leaders in their June 6-10 meeting at the organization’s international headquarters.
Charitable contributions in 2011 exceeded 2010 figures by over $3.4 million, while knights worked 3,716 more volunteer hours in 2011 than the previous year.
State and local affiliates of the organization donated $128.9 million, while the organization’s Supreme Council donated almost $29.2 million.
Large donations in 2011 included $7.5 million in support of priestly and religious vocations, $3.6 million for the Special Olympics, and $515,000 for the Knights of Columbus program Coats for Kids. The donations included continued support for a program with Project Medishare that provides prosthetic limbs to Haitian children who were injured during the January 2010 earthquake.
Knights of Columbus members also donated blood more than 418,000 times.
Over the past decade, the organization has donated $1.4 billion to charity and worked over 653 million volunteer hours in support of charitable initiatives.
Since parish priest Fr. Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Conn. in 1882, the organization has grown into the world’s largest lay Catholic organization. It has over 1.8 million members in North and Central America, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Poland.