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When families struggle to clothe their children with warm coats in the winter, Knights of Columbus councils help meet this basic need with the Coats for Kids program.

Since the start of the program in 2009, more than 310,000 coats have been distributed in 49 states and all 10 Canadian provinces. In winter 2016 alone, the Knights of Columbus distributed 78,576 coats in 1,600 communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including events at military bases, in Native American communities, at inner-city neighborhoods and through partnerships with local police departments.

At a Coats for Kids event in January 2016, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson joined Connecticut Knights, as well as firefighters and police from New Haven, Conn., to give out new winter coats to children in need at John S. Martinez Magnet School. The event served as a kickoff for an initiative by the Knights and the New Haven police and fire departments to supply safety personnel with children’s winter coats that they can distribute during their normal duties to kids in need. In Connecticut 4,680 coats were distributed during the 2015-16 fraternal in 35 communities, including distributions on Black Friday in New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, Hartford, Waterbury and Groton/New London.

At another Coats for Kids event, this time on the Monday prior to Super Bowl L, more than 270 students at Our Lady of the Visitation school in San Francisco received new coats. California Knights of Columbus and representatives from the Supreme Council headquarters joined Football Hall of Famers Anthony Muñoz (Cincinnati Bengals) and Dave Casper (Oakland Raiders), Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio and his wife Linda, and several current NFL players and coaches to distribute the coats to the students at the Catholic grammar school. The event was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Athletes for Christ, the Raiders Foundation, the Jack and Linda Del Rio Foundation and the Muñoz Foundation.

These are just some of the thousands of activities that the Knights of Columbus members regularly conduct in their communities to help those in need.

Top photo Coats for Kids donation to Kids ZONE with FDD David SpelayLois Okrainec and Field Agent Terry Ruff.