NORWALK—For the last 11 years the Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council #14360 have assisted or sponsored various events for Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) in Norwalk, which has included the agency’s annual foster care picnic and sponsored outings to Bluefish games, a day of painting with teens and seniors, and the child & family development picnic. The council rolled up their sleeves and got their mops and cleaning supplies to help with the semi-annual deep cleaning of Family & Children’s Agency’s Community Connections Center in South Norwalk.
“We are so grateful to the Knights of Columbus for spending time over the weekend cleaning the Community Connections Center and donating hygiene products for our clients experiencing homelessness. As clients work to regain self-sufficiency, having the support of the community and a clean and welcoming environment is vital. The Knights are a dedicated and hard-working group of volunteers and we appreciate their partnership in our work,” said director of community connections.
The council performed a deep cleaning on all of the chairs and tables as well as the baseboards, computer area and all the windows inside and out. Knights also mopped up the main area of the center. The council started the semi-annual cleanings of the center last year and plans to do this every year going forward. “Our Knights council truly loves to put faith in action. Although we do fundraisers to donate funds to various organizations, our brothers love to be hands-on with our outreach,” said George Ribellino, past Grand Knight and council liaison with FCA.
In addition, the council collected supplies and toiletries for the clients at a recent council meeting. All of the items collected will help the center assist the clients in need during the winter months. “Our council wanted to do something in addition to the cleaning so I reached out to FCA and they mentioned it would help if they could have some of the necessities for the clients over the winter months,” Ribellino said. “The council was very happy to assist.”
Family & Children’s Agency’s Community Connections Center in South Norwalk provides a safe and supportive environment for adults experiencing homelessness. Men and women connected with the center can also receive one-on-one case management and services to develop the skills they need to re-establish themselves, become self-sufficient and transition into stable, independent housing. The agency’s dedicated staff of social workers and case managers work with the men and women in the program to help them gain access to medical and behavioral health services that they may need, as well as community resources to assist them while transitioning from homelessness to independent living. The center offers a variety of classes and skill-building activities such as computer skills, laundry, and daily breakfast. In addition to these activities, the Community Connections Center offers case management and referrals and linkage to community-based services.
We are blessed to partner with such a great organization in FCA. I am proud of my brothers for not only showing up bright and early on a Saturday morning but to also help bring much-needed supplies for them to use as well,” said Council 14360 Grand Knight Anthony Armentano.
Lastly, Council 14360 will be partnering with FCA for the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids distribution on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at their offices at the Ben Franklin Center in Norwalk. The council, along with other local Knights of Columbus councils, will be distributing around 150-175 brand new coats, scarves and knitted hats and toiletries to those in need. 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 around 500,000 coats to children in need. Last year over 5,000 coats were distributed in various areas in Connecticut. Approximately 2,000 local Knights of Columbus councils have participated in their communities around the world.
The goals 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 & 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, visit saintmatthewknights.com.)