NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Knights of Columbus, the largest lay Catholic organization in the world, has announced that it set new records for charitable giving and volunteer service in 2006.
Data from the order’s annual survey of fraternal activity showed that total contributions to charities reached close to $144 million. The amount exceeded the previous year’s donations by more than $4 million.
Of this total, the supreme council donated about $35 million, and donations from state and local councils, fourth-degree assemblies and squire circles gave more than $108 million.
The number of volunteer hours performed by Knights for charitable causes surpassed the 2005 figure by more than 4 million hours, amounting to more than 68 million.
Many volunteer hours were spent serving the Gulf region after hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused devastation in the area in 2005. Soon after the hurricanes, the Knights donated more than $10 million to relief efforts and continued to make donations of time and money to those affected by the hurricanes through 2006.
The Knights also recorded more than 6 million visits to the sick and bereaved, and 393,807 Knights donated blood at some point last year.
During the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated nearly $1.25 billion to charity. Members have given more than 593 million volunteer service hours to support charitable causes.
The Knights have 1.7 million members in the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Central America and Poland.