The Catholic service organization committed $1 million for immediate distribution to displaced families and refugees, which is already being distributed thanks to local Knights.
The Knights of Columbus announced on Wednesday that they have pledged more than $1 million to help Ukrainians affected by the Russian invasion. Emergency assistance has already gotten to those who need it most, thanks to local Knights based in Ukraine and Poland who are the “boots on the ground” in the relief operation.
The organization said that it has also launched the Ukraine Solidarity Fund, and pledged to match all funds raised up to an additional $500,000. As of March 2, the fund has raised over $747,000, for a total of more than $2.2 million in assistance. According to the Knights, 100% of donations are being used to assist internally displaced persons and refugees from Ukraine.
In a February 25 video message, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly told more than 1,800 Knights of Columbus in Ukraine that the organization was honored to work on behalf of of their countrymen.
“Some of the proudest moments in the Order’s history have come amid the adversity of war. We are called ‘Knights’ for a reason. There is a reason we count Patriotism among our guiding principles. The hour is upon us.”
Supplies are already being distributed
According to a press release issued by the Knights, the relief funding is already getting to those who need it most. The organization credits “extensive local connections with churches and communities, as well as networks of local Knights and volunteers,” for the rapid relief effort.
The funding is being used to provide shelter, food, medical supplies, clothing and religious goods, as well as other humanitarian needs as identified, both directly in Ukraine and through refugee sites in Poland.
In addition, the Knights in Poland have been key players in collecting and delivering relief supplies into Ukraine. According to the press release, a number of organizations and companies in Poland have asked to partner with the Knights of Columbus going forward. The Knights are working with both the Latin and Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, with dioceses and councils in Poland, and with international humanitarian aid agencies to address needs quickly and effectively, the organization said.