NORWALK—Assisting those most in need is one of the ways the Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council 14360 give thanks to God for their many blessings.

Recently the council joined forces with six local councils from Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Westport and Wilton on Saturday, November 4, at the Family & Children’s Agency Ben Franklin Community Center in South Norwalk. More than 750 brand new coats, gloves, hats, and scarves 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 goal of the Coats for Kids program is to ensure that children in need across North America have a warm, winter coat.

Through the dedication of councils across the United States and Canada, hundreds of thousands of new winter coats have been distributed to children since the program’s inception. Over 11,000 brand new coats were distributed by Connecticut Knights Councils at eight separate locations over the last month.

“Inflation has created an even bigger need in our community, so we do what Knights do by assisting our brothers and sisters when times are rough,” said Project Chair and Council 14360 Past Grand Knight, George Ribellino. “My biggest joy is seeing the smiles of the kids’ faces as they try on a brand-new coat.”

The council has been assisting the Family & Children’s Agency in several ways since 2009 including being a sponsor of their annual Foster Care Holiday party.

“I am so grateful to the Knights of Columbus for providing brand new coats to our clients in need. As prices rise and children grow, winter clothing can be a financial burden for families, so this partnership with the Knights has been truly impactful in the community,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of FCA.

On Thanksgiving Day, Council 14360 members helped usher, read and clean for the 9 am Thanksgiving Mass at St. Matthew. In addition, the Council also provided a Knights of Columbus Honor Guard for the Mass. At the conclusion of the Mass, the council teamed up with Bishop Fenwick Assembly 100 and the Catholic Daughters of the America’s St. Matthew Court 2640 to provide and deliver a Thanksgiving meal for the residents of Homes for the Brave for the tenth consecutive year.

“Our men and women appreciative of the delicious 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 incredibly special for our residents,” said Homes for the Brave CEO/Executive Director, Vince Santilli.

On Black Friday, November 24, council members started off the day by going to Mass at St. Matthew. After Mass, three carloads of food collected at Thanksgiving Mass was delivered to Blessed Sacrament Parish’s pastor, Father Skip Karcsinski.

“Giving back to those in need during the Thanksgiving season is truly 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 Chris O’Connor.

The Council prepared for Advent by hosting the Annual Keep Christ in Christmas Creche Blessing and Christmas Tree Lighting at St. Matthew Church. The St Matthew Children’s choir sang Christmas Carols for all in attendance and council chaplain and St Matthew Pastor, Father Frank Hoffmann blessed the creche and Christmas Tree and the beautiful Norway Spruce dedicated in memory of former pastor Monsignor Walter Orlowski was lit. The St. Matthew Knights provided pizza and beverages in the parish center Great Room to end the festive event. All parishioners received a free Keep Christ in Christmas pin as a gift from the council.

“This is a great way to get ready for the Advent season in preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ,” said Council 14360 Grand Knight Chris O’Connor.

The council will continue to give back to the community this Advent season by assisting the Norwalk Toys for Tots organization with the picking up of all the Toys for Tots boxes in Norwalk, Westport and Fairfield to help distribute toys to those in need.

The goal of the Knights of Columbus Council at St. Matthew in Norwalk is 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.

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