NORWALK—Assisting those most in need is one of the many goals of the Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council 14360. As part of tradition, the council recently joined forces with six local councils from Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Westport and Weston on Saturday, October 24, at the Family & Children’s Agency Community Connections Center in South Norwalk.
More than 300 brand new coats were distributed during the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids event. This event helps keep kids warm over the winter months by providing this necessity. The local event is part of the Knights of Columbus national Neighbors Helping Neighbors initiative and, since the program launched in 2009, more than 600,000 coats have been distributed in 49 states and all 10 Canadian provinces.
“While our society is pushing us to purchase items for the Christmas season, we don’t want to forget those that need basic necessities for the upcoming cold winter season,” said Project Chairman and District Deputy George Ribellino, Jr. “It’s great to see brother Knights come together from different councils to combine resources to help more people in need. I started this collaboration within my district back in 2015.”
FCA’s president & CEO, Rob Cashel adds, “Personally, and on behalf of Family & Children’s Agency, I cannot thank the Knights of Columbus enough for their generous efforts to secure 300 new coats for our clients through their Coats for Kids Initiative. During these challenging times, I am truly grateful that there are groups like the Knights of Columbus that dedicate their time and efforts to meeting critical needs in our community.”
On the weekend on November 21 and 22, Council 14360 held a Food for Families Food Drive with students from The Society of St. Theresa at Cardinal Kung Academy. The food drive was held at St. Mary’s Church in Norwalk and the response was incredible. More than 3,000 pounds of food and $400 in donations/gift cards was collected for Catholic Charities’ Room to Grow preschool and their families. The food collected will help feed 35-40 families over the holiday season.
“While food insecurity has become an ever-increasing issue in the area due to the impact of the pandemic, it is our responsibility to help lessen that burden. This is what Knights do—where there is a need, there are Knights close-by ready to jump in and do what we can,” said Council 14360 Grand Knight Anthony Armentano.
On Thanksgiving Day, after Council 14360 members helped usher, read and clean after Thanksgiving Masses, they teamed up with Bishop Fenwick Assembly 100 and the Catholic Daughters of the America’s St. Matthew Court 2640 to provide and deliver individually packaged Thanksgiving meals for the residents of Homes for the Brave for the eighth consecutive year.
“Our men and women both loved the food and we could not be more appreciative. What a blessing St. Matthew Council #14360, Bishop Fenwick Assembly 100 and Catholic Daughters Court 2640 have been to us. All of us at Homes for the Brave are extremely grateful as you made the day very special for our residents” said Homes for the Brave CEO/Executive Director, Vince Santilli.
In addition, District Deputy Ribellino’s daughter Mia made cards for the veterans and asked students at Notre Dame Fairfield High School to write notes thanking them for their service.
The Council wrapped up the long weekend by delivering several bins of non-perishable food to Blessed Sacrament in Bridgeport. The food was collected at the St. Matthew Annual Thanksgiving Masses. Four carloads were organized by the council and given to Blessed Sacrament Pastor Father Skip Karcsinski “Giving back to those in need during the Thanksgiving season is a blessing for our council. One of the most profound ways we can truly give thanksgiving to God is through serving others,” said Grand Knight Anthony Armentano.
The Council has hosted and assisted with many food drives since the start of the pandemic and will continue to do this indefinitely. In addition, the council has assisted with providing food for those on the frontlines, getting masks to Notre Health and Rehab Center, donating funds and supplies for our veterans at Homes for the Brave and distributing brand new coats for children in need. The Knights of Columbus are called to step into the breach and leave no neighbor behind—especially in this time of crisis. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, it is our duty and responsibility to lead our families, protect our parishes and serve our communities, remembering always that where there’s a need, there’s a Knight. Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson has challenged Knights to take this moment as an opportunity to deepen the commitment to the very principles which define the Order: charity, unity and fraternity.
The goal of the Knights of Columbus Council at Saint Matthew Church in Norwalk are to perform acts of charity. Providing those in need with a range of support from financial to tactical help in dealing with a wide variety of challenges. Council members work together to foster the founding principles of our order: charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. Our goal as a council is to continue to identify specific needs in our community and muster support and help to alleviate these challenges and hardships to the best of our abilities and resources.
(For more information, please go to kofc14360.net. If you are Catholic man interested in putting your faith in action, join the Knights of Columbus online for free at kofc.org/joinus and use promo code MCGIVNEY2020.)