NORWALK—Assisting Children and Veterans is one of the many goals of the Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council 14360. Going with tradition the council joined forces with six local councils from Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Wilton and Weston on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the Family & Children’s Agency Ben Franklin Center in South Norwalk.
More than 220 brand new and 75 gently used winter 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, and this year’s event had a record response with all coats claimed in just 45 minutes. In addition, handmade scarves and hats donated by St. Matthew Parishioners Terri Sargent and Karen DelVecchio were distributed along with toiletry items such as toothpaste and shampoo to those in need. The local event is part of the Knights of Columbus national Neighbors Helping Neighbors initiative and, since the program launched in 2009, more than 500,000 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.”
The Coats for Kids distribution took place at the same time as the Connecticut Food Bank’s mobile food pantry distributed fresh groceries outside in partnership with Filling in the Blanks and Family & Children’s Agency.
“By bringing the incredible generosity of the Knights of Columbus and the vital resource of the Connecticut food bank into our community, we make it easier for our neighbors in need to access the services they need,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of Family & Children’s Agency. “The incredible response to the coat drive demonstrates how great the need in our community is.”
On Thanksgiving Day, the Council and the 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 7th consecutive year. In addition, Grand Knight Anthony Armentano, Past Grand Knight’s George Ribellino and Scott Criscuolo helped serve the meal along with George’s daughter Mia. “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. 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.
The Council wrapped up the long weekend by delivering three loads of non-perishable food to Blessed Sacrament in Bridgeport. The food was collected at the St. Matthew Annual Thanksgiving Mass. “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 Arementano.
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, please go to www.saintmatthewknights.com.