I am excited at the opportunities that these programs offer your councils in fulfilling your council requirements for the Community programs portion of Faith in Action for this year. These programs can and will bring interest from everyone in your parish and your community provided you make sure that the parish and community is aware of when and where each of the programs is taking place. Ask for assistance from the parish men and also their families. Your council has access to a plethora of materials to use for this purpose. Don’t forget to advertise! Have fun and God Bless.
First Quarter of the fraternal year.
1. Disaster Preparedness; The details of this program are in Faith in Action booklet. This runs from August to November, so you have plenty of time to complete. Each council will need to identify all those individuals in the Parish who in the event of a disaster
( such as wheelchair bound, mobility issues, etc), that would require extra assistance whether it be evacuation or food, supplies or water. Contact your parish office to identify those individuals. Once the information is collected it needs to be passed on to your District Deputy, the State Community Director and the State Deputy. This should be completed by November. Please be aware that Provincial agencies and emergency personnel will direct you beyond those specific needs and are to be obeyed at all times. You will need to set up a committee in your council who in the event of a disaster can be mobilized into action. Any questions regarding this program, can be directed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Coats for Kids; While your Faith in Action booklets indicate this program starts in October, you should be ordering now so you have your coats ready for distribution in October. Please order the coats from Supreme ASAP, you will find the coats for “extreme weather” available through www.knightsgear.ca They will begin shipping on the 15th of September. Please order early so that you can have them distributed as early as possible (before the snow flies). All Knights participating in the distribution need to have done their training and have criminal records checks completed.
3. Soccer Challenge; This will be dependent on the schools schedules, contact your local schools, find out if they wish to participate and then schedule. Your Community Director will need to arrange for a few Knights to take the lead roles in implementing this program. Make sure that all Knights involved have done their training and had their criminal records checks done before starting this program. No Exceptions
4. Catholic Citizenship Essay; This is open to all eligible children of your parish. Please refer to your Faith in Action booklets for details. This is one of the easiest programs to run. If you have a Catholic School close by you can co-ordinate with the school regarding this program. Select a couple of members to act as judges as well as teachers from the catholic schools. Reminder that this can be done later than August as indicated.
Second Quarter Programs
1. Global Wheelchair Mission; This is primarily a fundraising program and can be done in a myriad of ways as there is no one way to do it, that means your imagination can run wild. It can be dinner, hold wheelchair races, whatever your council thinks will generate the best response. Even if you can only raise enough for one or two wheelchairs, you are helping not just a couple of people but entire families and communities. This is one of the most rewarding programs we as Knights can participate in. Don’t forget to elicit donations from local business’s.
Involve your parish and your communities. There are posters, forms, and brochures available directly from the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation. Contact them and they will send out all the materials you need. Let’s take this over the top this year.
2. Habitat for Humanity; This program is suggested for October, however this may not be the case in your area but if you contact your local Habitat for Humanity office they can advise as to when and where their builds will take place and how you can help. Remember as with all programs please take pictures of all participants.
3. Free Throw Championship; Check with your local schools to select dates and to see about their participation. Like the soccer challenge this program is open to all schools not just our catholic schools so make sure you contact them all in your area. The requirements for safe environment apply to this program, make sure your council participants are compliant before participating. Once the program is completed forward the winners names and contact information to your District Deputy for the District Level. Winners then are forwarded to State for the State Finals. Again your council Community Director will need to select a few men to help run this program.
4. Helping Hands; This is a new and mandatory program. The idea with this is to be actively involved in your community by helping at soup kitchens, holding and serving dinners for the disadvantaged, handing out clothing and blankets to the homeless, etc. There are many ways to help, but however you plan on doing it you must keep in mind that this program requires active participation from your councils. Simply sending a cheque to a charity will not count, and cannot be combined with the Food for Families program. I look forward to seeing what your councils have done with this program so don’t forget to forward your pictures and short write ups to myself and our State Program Director.
Third and Fourth Quarters
Coats for Kids should be wrapped up by now and all photos and write ups should be sent in. Global Wheelchair mission should also be complete by the end of March and all funds sent into either State or the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation for final tally for the year. All other uncompleted programs should be done and the necessary forms sent in as soon as possible. Have fun with these programs elicit help from your parish and communities and watch your councils grow like never before.
Vivat Jesus, Mike Jones
State Community Director BC & Yukon State Council
Please keep in mind that these programs are also to be used as recruitment opportunities, and as such keeping your parish informed of upcoming programs should garner interest, be prepared to answer questions regarding programs or membership and or direct them to the on-line membership portal. With all these projects and programs please take several photos, do a short write up about your council’s activities and send them into State and myself. I am here to assist you as needed so please don’t hesitate to ask for help should the need arise.