NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 2, 2016 /CNW/ -- The Knights of Columbus set a new all-time record last year for charitable donations worldwide with $175,079,192 in donations and more than 73.5 million hours of service valued at $1.7 billion (U.S.).
Canadian Knights donated $22,241,473, and gave over 9 million hours of service.
The monetary value of the worldwide service hours is based on an estimate of Independent Sector, a network for nonprofit foundations, which listed the value of a 2015 volunteer hour as $23.56. On average, each Knight dedicated nearly an entire workweek of volunteer service to their neighbors.
In the past decade, Knights donated 700,765,880 hours of service for a total worth more than $15 billon in current dollars.
"These numbers are a clear indication that we are keeping faith with our founding principle of charity," said Knights CEO Carl Anderson. "The Knights of Columbus are men who, by their actions, witness to the love of neighbor that is central to our Catholic faith."
According to the K of C's annual Fraternal Survey for the year ending Dec. 31, 2015, donations grew by more than $1.5 million compared to 2014. The number of service hours donated grew by 2 million hours, marking an increase in giving in both categories for the 17th consecutive year.
"We are answering Pope Francis's call to go to the peripheries," said Anderson. "Those on the margins and in need can be halfway around the globe or right next door, and wherever the needs are greatest, you will find the Knights of Columbus."
The top 10 jurisdictions in charitable donations in order of giving were Texas, California, Florida, Quebec, Illinois, Michigan, Ontario, New York, Missouri and New Jersey. For volunteer hours, the top 10 were: Luzon North (the Philippines), Texas, Illinois, Florida, California, Luzon South (the Philippines), Ontario, Michigan, Visayas (the Philippines) and Pennsylvania.
The top 10 Canadian provinces in order of giving were Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland & Labrador Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The top 10 provinces in order of per capita giving include British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta, Quebec Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island
The Knights' Christian Refugee Relief Fund saw donations grow for humanitarian assistance to Christians and other religious minorities suffering persecution and dislocation in Iraq, Syria and the surrounding region.
The Knights also continued to support their local communities in 2015 through such programs as the Black Friday Coats for Kids program, Food for Families (food drives) and blood drives. Knights also gave assistance to such organizations as Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and the American Wheelchair Mission.
The K of C was founded by Venerable Father Michael McGivney, a New Haven parish priest, in 1882. The organization was formed to provide charitable outreach and care for the financial well-being of Catholic families, focusing on the protection of widows and orphans, and on strengthening the faith of its members. It has grown to include 1.9 million members throughout North and Central America, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Europe.
SOURCE Knights of Columbus