The Knights of Columbus set a new all-time record for charitable donations and service hours in 2012, according to the results of an annual survey of activity by the New Haven, Conn.-based fraternal organization for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012.
The Knights’ financial contribution for the year grew by more than $9.4 million to $167,549,817. Contributions increased for the 13th consecutive year.
The number of volunteer service hours also rose by nearly 64,000 hours from the 2011 total to 70,113,207 hours. At an average value of $22.14 per service hour as estimated by Independent Sector, the value of the Knights’ service hours last year exceeded $1.55 billion.
“Throughout its 131 years, the Knights of Columbus has always practiced charity as its first principle,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “With so many people enduring great hardship, the Knights of Columbus is happy to help provide solutions to real people’s problems through this great outpouring of charity by our members over the past year.”
Cumulative figures show that during the past decade the Knights of Columbus has donated $1.475 billion to charity and provided more than 673 million hours of volunteer service in support of charitable initiatives.
Notable beneficiaries during the past year included Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, victims of natural disasters, local food banks, the economically disadvantaged and physically and intellectually disabled persons.
Educational scholarships and a variety of church and community projects were also prominent among the many initiatives sponsored by local K of C councils.
The survey found that there were more than 420,000 K of C blood donations during 2012. The Knights of Columbus was among the first groups to recruit blood donors, with formal efforts dating back to 1937.
The Knights of Columbus was founded by Father Michael J. McGivney, a New Haven parish priest, in 1882. It has grown into the world’s largest lay Catholic organization, with more than 1.8 million members throughout North and Central America, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Poland.