The giveaway also came just three days after the World Day for the Poor, which Pope Francis celebrated in Rome by having a meal with 1,500 homeless people.
"We're just bringing the World Day of the Poor to Denver three days later," O'Connor said. "So it's in line with the mission of the Catholic Church, and we believe that we need to take care of those in need."
O'Connor was one of several Knights who came from the organization's national office in New Haven, Connecticut for the event.
The Supreme Council paid for and shipped more than 600 new winter coats and other supplies to Denver for the event, where they coordinated with local Council #539, located roughly two blocks away from the park where the giveaway was held.
"We have a lot of history in Denver," O'Connor said. "The first council in the west was in Denver, it's over 119 years old, it's located 2 blocks from here. So for us, it seemed natural to have this event in conjunction with that council."
Denver is also rich in resources for the homeless. Organizers with the Knights told CNA that they coordinated with Christ in the City because of the mission's extensive experience working with the homeless and putting on events in the city park.
Sean Pott, a Denver native who now works in the national office in the department of Fraternal Mission, said he had the idea to do an event for the homeless in Denver because of the resources available there. Pott chatted with those in line for coats as they waited for the event to officially start.
"Sean had the idea to reach out on another level," Andy Wheaton, a managing general agent in the insurance program of the Knights of Columbus, told CNA.
"It's faith in action, and Christ in the City has been doing this a long time, and Sean (knows) the missionaries so he coordinated with them," Wheaton added. "We're using their rules and how they do everything."
Wheaton said the missionaries held a training for the Knights last night about best practices when working with the homeless, including safety tips and easy topics for conversation.
Wheaton, who is local to Denver, said he was excited to see the collaboration with Christ in the City, a mission familiar to his family, and to be able to partake in the charitable event.
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"Even though I work for them, I joined the Knights for this reason," Wheaton said.
Mary Farrow worked as a staff writer for Catholic News Agency until 2020. She has a degree in journalism and English education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.