Norwalk’s Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council 14360 has many traditions including helping our Veterans and children in need.
First Knights of Columbus Saint Matthew Council 14360 and students at Fox Run, Wolfpit and All Saints Catholic Schools sponsored a donation drive for the veterans at the Homes for The Brave in Bridgeport in honor of Veterans Day. Homes for The Brave is a facility in Bridgeport that takes care of veterans who are working to get back to regular life after serving in the armed forces.
Fox Run School teachers Mary Janine Lane and Jane Jawlik as well as the Fox Run Student Council organized the drive. Council 14360 member Joe Giandurco and his wife, Alice, a retired Fox Run teacher, approached the school about organizing a collection for the fourth straight year. When Council 14360 approached All Saints about doing a drive, Principal Linda Dunn, Student Council advisor John Mezzacappa and the All Saints Student Council were immediately responsive and excited about the opportunity to help the home for the second straight year. In addition, Wolfpit School in Norwalk coordinated by teacher Melissa Giandurco joined the other schools for the first time. The three schools along with Council 14360 held drives and delivered 4 car loads of food and supplies to Homes for the Brave.
Joe Giandurco Council 14360 member and a former Marine who served in Vietnam. “Homes for the Brave is a top-notch organization. It is my pleasure and honor to help my fellow veterans in any way I can,” he says.
In addition, Council 14360 and Catholic Daughters of the America’s St. Matthew Court 2640 provided and delivered a full Thanksgiving meal for the residents of Homes for the Brave for the fourth consecutive year. “Time after time, we are deeply touched by the dedication the Saint Matthew Knights and Catholic Daughters. Once again, they gave up the time and financial resources that are so precious this time of year to coordinate three supply drives and deliver a traditional turkey dinner to our men and women on Thanksgiving. It means so much to our residents that they were able to take a break from their hard work and enjoy a traditional family-style meal, said Kaitlin Marinelli, Communications and Outreach Specialist at Homes for the Brave. Homes for the Brave CEO/Executive Director, Vince Santilli went on to say, “Our men and women both loved the food and we could not be more appreciative. What a blessing St. Matthew Council #14360 and Catholic Daughters Court 2640 have been to us. Your Thanksgiving visit and the meal you delivered was a wonderful blessing.”
The day after Thanksgiving has of course become known as “Black Friday”, with many shoppers rushing about in search of the best deals on everything from clothing to televisions. This Black Friday, some members Knights of Columbus Council 14360 spent part of their day helping those with limited funds to stay warm and happy this winter along with Brother Knights from Norwalk Council 46 and New Canaan Council 2287.
Brothers handed out coats for children in need at St. Joseph Church in South Norwalk as part of the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids initiative. The coats were purchased by the three K of C Councils with money generated from the council’s respective fundraising activities.
The Knights of Columbus launched the coats initiative (designed to keep kids warm in harsh winter climates) in 2009. With many families with young children struggling in tough economic times, there was a clear need to provide warm winter coats to children in their communities. And so, the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program was born.
Since the program’s inception, the Knights of Columbus in the United States and Canada has given away more than 200,000 coats to children in need. Approximately 2,000 local Knights of Columbus councils have participated in their communities around the world. “This is the second year that the 3 local Knights councils hooked up to give away coats. This year we gave around 100 coats in 90 minutes. It is an honor to help children keep warm this winter,” said Council 14360 member and District Deputy George Ribellino.
Finally, KofC St. Matthew Council 14360 sponsored the Third Annual Christmas Tree and Crèche lighting at St. Matthew Church on Sunday 11/27. The council provided refreshments and the St. Matthew Adult and Youth Choirs sang Christmas Carols. On top of that special guest Msgr. Tom Powers, the Vicar General from the Diocese of Bridgeport blessed the crèche and Christmas Tree. The Christmas tree and crèche lighting was started by Council 14360 as part of the Knights of Columbus Keep Christ in Christmas initiative of the real and true meaning of Christmas.
“This was truly a great way to kick off the Advent season as we prepare for the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day,” said Grand Knight Scott Criscuolo.