Among the virtues embraced by the Knights of Columbus is charity, a virtue which compels the Knights to undertake much needed social action in their communities, bringing about something that is often missing in the lives of so many – peace of mind, body and spirit.

Knights of Columbus live the Gospel through initiatives such as hosting blood drives; participating in food, clothing and toy drives; providing emotional, spiritual and physical support to mothers and babies through expansive pro-life work; helping persons with disabilities; donating money and time for playgrounds and summer camps; and supporting their parishes and communities whenever help is needed through fundraisers, service, and ministry.

This could mean participation in national programs like Coats for Kids, a program in which both St. Albans KOC Council #297 and Gibbon’s KOC Council #2285 in Newport — among others — participate. Since Coats for Kids launched in 2009, Knights have distributed more than 1 million coats in 49 U.S. states and all 10 Canadian provinces — including on U.S. military bases and Native American and First Nation reservations in the U.S. and Canada.

Local projects are geared to the unique needs of their communities, such as the Save Our Priests’ Home project of Gibbon’s Council. The council helped with renovations to St. Mary Star of the Sea Church and rectory in Newport, both of which are more than 120 years old. To get renovations started on the rectory, the Knight’s raised some $80,000 in 30 days for the first stage, now completed, of a four-year project.

Since 1984, the South Burlington Knights of Columbus Council #7525 began supporting Camp Ta-Kum-Ta in South Hero, a place where children with cancer and their families can find hope, healing, and reasons to smile. “Since then … the council has raised more than $1 million with their Super Bingo fund raiser,” said Father Timothy Naples, pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in South Burlington, and council chaplain.

Very often, KOC councils work as a team, as when members of five Knights of Columbus councils – Fairfax, Milton, Richford, St. Albans, and Swanton – worked together to help fundraise $7,650 for the Aspire-Now Save The Babies Campaign.

The Knights of Columbus regularly look to the Gospel mandate to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, shelter the homeless and bury the dead, putting compassion into action and help others carry their crosses.

To learn more about the Knights of Columbus visit

 Originally published in the Spring 2024 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.