Assembly 2143

The Fraternal Survey

Each year reports of the annual survey of fraternal activity conducted for the National Fraternal Congress of America reveal an impressive Knights of Columbus donation of time, money and energy. In 2003, for example, with approximately 73% of all units reporting, the Order generated $131 million and over 61 million volunteer hours of service for charitable causes.

In the category of charitable or benevolent disbursements, including assistance to the sick, handicapped, disaster victims, hospitals and other institutions, civic and community projects, schools and libraries, the Knights contribute in the area of $80 million, in addition to substantial amounts from the Supreme Council. Another $48 million is spent on activities, in addition to $12 million for work with young people.

The Knights also average 4.3 million visits to the sick and bereaved, give 300,000 donations of blood, contribute 43.3 million volunteer hours of community service and 6.2 million hours of labor for sick or disabled members.

In a world where the golden rule - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" - sometimes becomes "Do unto others before they do unto you," the Knights of Columbus stands out as an organization that takes fraternity seriously.

The dictionary defines fraternity as "the state or quality of being brothers." It also describes it as a" group of men joined together by common interests" or "a group of people with the same beliefs, interest, work."

The Knights of Columbus form real fraternity in all three senses. As practical Catholics, Knights carry fraternity to the limits of love: unselfish service to their Church, country, community and council.

Faith, fellowship, philanthropy. These are the distinguishing marks of the Knights. This brief record of some of their achievements shows that they have remained true to their heritage and that they have continued to build on it for future generations.