The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council has announced the
largest disaster relief effort in its history. The Order has pledged a minimum of $2.5
million in financial assistance and will match any funds beyond that donated to the
Knights of Columbus Katrina Relief Fund over the next 60 days (matching ends Oct.30).
Donors in the United States should make checks payable to Knights
of Columbus Charities USA, Inc. Both your check and envelope should be clearly
marked: Attention: Hurricane KATRINA Relief. Donations should be sent to:
Knights of Columbus
Charities USA, Inc.
Gift Processing Center
PO Box 9028
Pittsfield, MA 01202-9028
Attention: Hurricane KATRINA Relief
Of that money, $250,000 will be immediately distributed to
Catholic Charities in affected areas, and $1.25 million will be used in the immediate
future to assist those displaced and made indefinitely homeless. An additional $1 million
will be set aside and used to rebuild the estimated 130 Catholic schools destroyed or
seriously damaged by the storm and its aftermath.
One hundred percent of contributions will go directly to
hurricane relief, and all donations to Knights of Columbus Charities
are tax-deductible (tax creditable in Canada).
The Knights have nearly 50,000 members in Louisiana,
Alabama and Mississippi. Of those about one-third have life insurance through the Order.
The Supreme Council on Aug. 31 provided initial relief
funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Initial contributions of $10,000 each were made available
to Knights of Columbus state councils in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The Knights of Columbus has provided significant relief for
other recent disasters, providing more than $500,000 to victims of the Asian tsunami and
$1 million for families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.