FOND DU LAC — Early in December, more than 600 coats were distributed to Indigenous children in need through the Knights of Columbus’ Coats for Kids program.
Dec. 4 and 5, members of the Knights of Columbus travelled to Fond du Lac (northern Saskatchewan) and Tobique First Nation (New Brunswick) to deliver warm winter coats. The Coats for Kids charitable program has distributed more than one million coats since 2009.
“There’s a real need for winter clothing in our communities, just as there is for all kinds of support, and we’re happy to help where we can,” says Graydon Nicholas, a member of the Maliseet First Nation and former lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick and board member of Knights of Columbus, 2015-18.
“We have more than 200,000 Knights across Canada who want to help others and are modelling their lives on Jesus Christ. Charity and faith are what unite us to our neighbours and especially to those in need.”
Nicholas led a group of 12 Knights of Columbus who distributed more than 100 coats to Mah-Sos School in Tobique First Nation, some 180 kilometres northeast of Fredericton.
Larry Packet, state deputy for the Knights of Columbus in Saskatchewan, flew into Fond du Lac, with fellow Knights to deliver close to 500 coats to members of the Dene First Nations of Prince Albert Grand Council.
“There’s great joy in being a Knight because there’s joy in helping others who might have a need that we can assist with,” says Packet.
“Fr. Cornelius Ngurukwem from Our Lady of Seven Sorrows invited us to make the long journey so that we could help members of the local First Nations communities and encourage men from his parish to open a Knights of Columbus council. There was no way we’d say no and the support we’ve received from our fellow members across the province has been nothing short of remarkable.”
Last month, the Knights of Columbus celebrated its one millionth coat donation at a similar event in Denver, Col. Since the first Coats for Kids fundraiser in 2009, Knights have distributed coats in 49 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces — including on Native American and First Nation reserves throughout both countries. Knights of Columbus councils have distributed over 100,000 coats to children in need each year since 2017 and are on pace to distribute 200,000 coats in 2023. Canadian Knights donated more than 25,000 coats in the 2022-23 fraternal year.
SASKTODAY.ca is Saskatchewan's home page. Bookmark us at this link.