NORWALK—More than 500 brand new coats, winter hats and gloves were distributed by the Greater Norwalk area Knights of Columbus Councils as part of the Order’s Coats for Kids Initiative with Family & Children’s Agency (FCA). This Initiative helps keep kids warm over the winter months by providing this necessity. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Knights had to do it slightly different this year. Normally, the families would come down to the distribution site and the Knights would assist with finding the correct size. To be safe during the pandemic, the Knights of Columbus and FCA decided to have the Knights set up the coats at FCA’s building on 140 Water Street on Saturday, October 30th. FCA will have social workers pick up the coats and distribute them to the families directly. “Even though we had to change how we do the event, the most important thing is that children will receive a warm coat for the upcoming winter season”, said Project Chairman George Ribellino. Knights of Columbus Councils from Norwalk, Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Wilton and 4th Degree Assembly 100 came together to purchase the brand new coats. The local event is part of the Knights of Columbus national Leave No Neighbor Behind initiative. Since the program launched in 2009, more than 500,000 coats have been distributed in 49 states and all 10 Canadian provinces. “The pandemic has created an even bigger need in our community so we do what Knights do and help our Brothers and Sisters when times are rough,” said Ribellino. “It’s great to see brother Knights come together from different councils to combine resources to help more people in need.” In addition the CT State Council contributed 10 cases of coats to assist with the effort. The CT State Council will be assisting 10 more local distributions throughout the state due to the massive need. “The Knights of Columbus Connecticut State Council was happy to partner with our councils in the greater Norwalk area. Together we were able to produce our largest donation to-date to Family and Children’s Agency of Norwalk. This event marks the beginning of our 2021 Coats for Kids campaign. This year Connecticut Knights of Columbus have plans to donate more than 3,000 coats at more than 10 sites throughout the state,” said Thomas Peretta, CT Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids Chairman. Before the coats were sorted, St Matthew Church (Norwalk) Pastor Father Jeffrey Couture blessed the coats. “I was so appreciative of Father Jeff for taking time out of his busy schedule to come down early on a Saturday morning to bless the coats,” said Ribellino Huge thanks go out to St Matthew Parishioners Karen Delvecchio, Terri Sargent and Peggy Bonhage for donated handmade winters hats and scarves. Local participating councils
Father John Stapleton Council #2287-New Canaan Church of the Assumption Council #3688-Westoport REVEREND James J MvGuane Council # 4460-Darien Our Lady of Fatima Council #12698-Wilton St Matthew Council #14360-Norwalk Bishop Fenwick Assembly 100 4th Degree “Everyone deserves to be warm over the winter, and I am grateful to the Knights of Columbus for this incredible effort and the impact it has on our clients and our community,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of Family & Children’s Agency.
About the K of C Coats for Kids Program The goal of the Coats for Kids program is to ensure that children in need across North America have a warm, winter coat. Launched in 2009, the K of C Coats for Kids program, through the efforts of Knights of Columbus councils in the United States and Canada, has provided more than 800,000 new coats to children in need. About the Knights of Columbus In 1882, Blessed Michael McGivney, then a young parish priest in New Haven, Conn., founded the Knights of Columbus to serve the needs of a largely immigrant Catholic community. What began as a small fraternal benefit society has since grown into one of the world’s leading international charitable organizations, with 2 million members in more than 16,000 local councils. During the past year, Knights around the world donated more than 47 million service hours and $150 million for worthy causes in their communities. The Knights of Columbus also offers extensive life insurance products to members and their families and currently has more than $116 billion of life insurance policies in force. In addition, the Knights provides investment services in accord with Catholic social teaching through Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, which holds nearly $30 billion in assets under management. Based on the founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity, the Order remains committed to strengthening Catholic families and parishes and to practicing faith in action through service to all in need. To learn more or to join the Knights of Columbus, please visit kofc.org/join. About the Family & Children’s Agency Family & Children’s Agency is a leading non-profit human services organization with programs for community members of all ages, including behavioral and mental health, addiction recovery services, after-school programs, parenting education, homeless services, family counseling, specialized foster care, home care for older adults, and more. www.FamilyandChildrensAgency.org