• Charitable Activities
  • Volunteer Services

During the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated more than
$1.367 billion to charity.

From the moment of our founding in 1882, charity has been the first principle of the Knights of Columbus. We are men of faith and men of action. 

Last year alone, in addition to rasing and donating more than $151 million to charitable needs and projects, Knights volunteered more than 69 million hours of their time to charitable causes. We undertake these acts of charity because we see those in need through the eyes of faith. Moreover, in the Knights of Columbus, we approach these acts of charity together.  Pope Benedict XVI calls this the “practice of love...as a community.” 

Our charitable activities encompass an almost infinite variety of local, national and international projects. From international charitable partnerships with Special Olympics, the Global Wheelchair Mission and Habitat for Humanity to our own Food for Families and Coats for Kids projects and other purely local charities, the opportunity to work together with fellow Knights and their families is virtually endless.

If you’d like to be a part of an international organization of 1.8 million Catholic men whose principal work involves helping others in need, we'd like to meet you and invite you to join us. Click here to find out how to become a member of the Knights of Columbus.

The Knights’ annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for the year ending Dec. 31, 2009, indicated that, despite a soft economy, total charitable contributions reached $151,105,867 – exceeding the previous year’s total by more than $1 million.

The figure includes $34,627,530 donated by the Supreme Council, and $116,477,971 in contributions from state and local councils assemblies and Squires circles.

The survey also indicated that the quantity of volunteer service hours to charitable causes by Knights grew to 69,251,926 – an increase of 468,291 hours compared to 2009. There were more than 413,000 Knights of Columbus blood donations during the year and, among the most common service programs, Habitat for Humanity received 227,900 K of C volunteer hours.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors 

During 2009, the Knights of Columbus promoted the Year of the Volunteer and sponsored a summit on volunteerism, A Nation of Neighbors Helping Neighbors, in New York  to encourage increased participation and collaboration in volunteer efforts from individuals and organizations.

Cumulative figures show that during the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated more than $1.367 billion to charity, and provided nearly 640 million hours of volunteer service in support of charitable initiatives.

Marion Hour of Prayer
Our Lady of Charity Prayer Program

Action Steps
Support Materials

The current Marian Prayer Program in honor of Our Lady of Charity began Orderwide on September 8, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This program features an image of Our Lady of Charity, the patroness of Cuba.

Our Lady of Charity has special significance to the Knights of Columbus, given the Order's first principle of Charity, which was also the theme of Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est.  Therefore, although the Virgin of Charity has her origins in Cuba, devotion to her is altogether appropriate for Knights of Columbus everywhere.  As a sign of spiritual solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI, the Holy Father and his intentions will be remembered during the prayer services.

For more information on the Our Lady of Charity image and devotion, please see this letter from Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson.

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Service Programs

Knights of Columbus council can work wonders; in fact, with its many programs, it can help change the community, town, city or neighborhood in which you live. However, a successful Knights of Columbus program depends on people taking the initial idea, modifying it to suite specific situations and local needs, then implementing the program in the way it works.

The Knights of Columbus is a "Catholic, family, fraternal, service organization." This theme permeates the entire Service Program; all Church, community, council, family, pro-life, and youth activities. The Service Program is designed to establish each council as an influential and important force within the community, elevate the status of the programming personnel, provide more meaningful and relevant programs of action, establish direct areas of responsibility, build leadership, and ensure the success of council programs.

To further aid councils in implementing service programs, the Supreme Council annually sends out a Surge Kit to all financial secretaries of record. This is usually done by early to mid-June. Use this link to review the materials included in the Surge Kit.

No council needs to undertake all of the service programs listed through the links below. These activities are only suggested areas of involvement for your councils, its members and families. No council need undertake all of these programs or should they be limited by these suggestions. Evaluate the needs of your community and implement those programs and activities that are needed most.

Guides are available for many Knights of Columbus programs and activities. Please email us for more information.