As promised at their annual meeting earlier this summer, the Knights of Columbus have begun support of immigrants arriving at the US border with Mexico.
An initial $150,000 was sent to the Dioceses of El Paso and Loredo, to provide basic necessities starting from food, and focusing especially on the needs of mothers and children.
“The Knights are working to help meet the needs of new arrivals along the border as we do in thousands of different ways for people in need throughout our country and the world,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in announcing the gifts to the Catholic communities in Laredo and El Paso. “The dire needs of individual people must be addressed.”
The donations are the first phase of Anderson’s pledge, made at the Knights’ international convention in August, to commit at least $250,000 in humanitarian aid for migrant shelters.
Speaking about the donation, El Paso Bishop Mark J. Seitz said, “This inspiring commitment from the Knights of Columbus demonstrates that the ideals of [the founder] Venerable Father McGivney, including serving Christ in the migrant and Christian solidarity with those in need, are precisely what our country needs right now in addressing the situation at the border.”
Bishop Seitz established the Border Refugee Assistance Fund, which provides direct assistance to migrant shelters on El Paso’s border with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Those who wish to donate to the Border Refugee Assistance Fund may do so at the website for the Diocese of El Paso: www.elpasodiocese.org.
When Anderson announced the initiative in August, he emphasized, “This is not a political statement. This is a statement of principle. This is about helping people who need our help right now.”
Knights of Columbus launch new initiative: Helping refugees at border
The Knights also are donating at least $250,000 to the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
K of C members have already begun to help the islands’ more than 70,000 residents who are coping with the massive destruction caused by the natural disaster. They are helping to coordinate relief efforts — along with the Archdiocese of Nassau, Catholic Charities, Crossroads Alliance, Aerobridge and Angel Flight — to fly and ship supplies into the various islands of the Bahamas.
“The funds we announce today complement the work that our members are carrying out on the ground,” said Anderson. “When disaster strikes, we strike back with service.”
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