The Knights of Columbus Ambassadors of St. Paul Council # 11211 completed their second annual school supply drive benefiting the children of families who are clients of Catholic Charities’ refugee services and rapid rehousing programs.
In the second annual display of incredible generosity in partnership with Catholic Charities, the Knights of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Carrollwood collected over $1,700 in cash and nearly $5,000 in school supplies (including over 70 backpacks), uniform items and toiletries. This tremendous outpouring of charity from the parishioners of St. Paul’s was accomplished during only two days.
The Knights volunteered to man tables in the narthex of St. Paul’s during all the Masses over the weekend of July 30th and 31st. Affectionately called ‘Backpacks of Hope’, the school supply drive is a creation of Brother Knight, Todd Mitchell, a long-time St. Pal parishioner and a First Degree Knight. In fact, as the continued driving force behind the initiative, Todd is so invested into it, it’s become a family affair with son Gregory, daughter Maggie, and wife Beth, all participating as well!
Grand Knight Richard Hosein says of Todd, “He’s singlehandedly driven this initiative from the very first year. It’s a passion of love for Todd.” In fact, Todd’s family was names Knight Family of the Month for their work on this and other Knight’s endeavors. For his part, Todd sees this as a simple way to give back, saying “We have so much; it doesn’t seem like a lot to help families who need supplies for their kids to go to school. The basics that we take for granted. We’re happy we can help.”
The year’s drive concluded with a check presentation at the Knights’ business meeting on August 8th. Grand Knight Richard Hosein presented the check for $1,725 to Lou Ricardo, Marketing and Development Manager for Catholic Charities, substituting for Maggie Rogers, Director of Catholic Charities Family Housing and Special Projects. In summarizing her appreciation for the efforts of the Knights of Columbus Council #11211, Maggie simply stated “We are so grateful for the continued generosity of the Knights of Columbus of St. Paul Church. Their parishioners are incredible and we are thankful that they have partnered with us each of the last two years. We look forward to a wonderful relationship for many years to come.”