NEW HAVEN – As many headed out to shop on the day after Thanksgiving, hundreds of area children received a free and much-needed gift as the Knights of Columbus distributed new winter coats to children in need at seven sites throughout Connecticut on “Black Friday,” Nov. 28.
They gave out almost 1,000 coats in the Archdiocese of Hartford alone.
The K of C Coats for Kids distributions was held at sites in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, Brooklyn, Groton and Waterbury.
In the Archdiocese of Hartford, the Knights handed out 486 coats at St. Rose of Lima Parish in New Haven, 304 at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Hartford and 200 at St. Michael’s Parish in Waterbury.
The statewide initiative builds on a program held in Bridgeport over Thanksgiving weekend in 2012. Last year, 2,000 coats were distributed statewide by the Knights on Black Friday.
This year, Knights of Columbus Since 2009, in the United States and Canada, the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program has given away some 215,000 coats to children.
“On the first Christmas, Christ was born in a cold stable because there was no room in the inn,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Today, our members are making sure that children in our state can keep warm at Christmas and throughout the winter season.
“For three years running, Knights in Connecticut have embraced the ‘Black Friday’ Coats for Kids distribution as a statewide tradition that helps children in a very real way. Simultaneously, it serves as a reminder that Christmas is not simply a commercial holiday, but is about giving, and celebrating God’s love for us, and our love for our neighbor,” said Mr. Anderson, who noted that similar programs were scheduled by Knights in North Dakota, Arizona, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C.
One of the most active charitable organizations in the United States, the Knights of Columbus has deep roots in Connecticut. Established in New Haven in 1882 with charity as its first principle, the K of C has grown to include more than 1.8 million members worldwide. Last year, Knights donated more than $170 million and more than 70 million hours to charitable causes.