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Knights of Columbus are “boots on the ground” in Ukraine relief effort


Courtesy of the Knights of Columbus

Zelda Caldwell - published on 03/04/22

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.

Knights in Poland are collecting supplies — including medicine, sleeping bags and other necessities — and have begun to deliver them to the Archdiocese of Lviv in western Ukraine.

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.

At the Polish-Ukrainian border, Knights have set up tents to distribute food and water to refugees. They have also established collection sites in Kraków, Radom and Tomaszów Lubelski, where they are gathering and packaging medical supplies, warm clothing, and necessities.

Aid has also gone directly to Ukraine. On Tuesday morning, March 1, warm clothing, and medical supplies arrived in Lviv, Ukraine, where it was met and unloaded by Ukrainian Knights.

Polish Knights hosting refugees

In Poland, Knights and their families have been welcoming refugees into their homes. The refugees, mainly wives and children who have left their husbands behind, have been sent by Ukrainian Knights to their Polish brother Knights.

A database of parishioner homes and parish centers that will host refugees has been created to facilitate their efforts. The information is being collected in anticipation of a request from the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

How to help the Knights help Ukrainians

To contribute to the Knights of Columbus Ukraine Solidarity Fund, click here:

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