Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly has announced the launch of a new Knights of Columbus campaign that greatly expands the organization’s already robust support for pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes to assist mothers and children. The new Aid and Support After Pregnancy (ASAP) initiative is a call to action for Knights across the United States and Canada to increase financial support to pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes and other organizations which give direct assistance to new mothers and/or babies.
The goal is for the Knights — through gifts from councils, as well as direct gifts from the Supreme Council — to donate at least $5 million through the fraternal year ending June 30, 2023. The Knights’ ASAP initiative will enhance the significant resources the Knights and local councils already provide to mothers and their children, both born and unborn.
“Mothers and children need our help now more than ever,” said Supreme Knight Kelly. “As Knights, we are called to courage and self-sacrifice. Standing for life means making personal sacrifices for women and children in need — being willing to give of our time, skills and financial resources, and accepting the fact that the fruits of our labors are often hidden.”
Knights of Columbus councils are already strong allies with the approximately 3,000 pregnancy resource centers in the United States. In addition to placing ultrasound machines in pregnancy resource centers through the organization’s Ultrasound Initiative — more than 1,550 since the flagship program launched in 2009 — Knights provided more than 1.7 million volunteer service hours and gave over $18 million in funds and supplies to pregnancy centers and maternity homes from 2018 to 2021 alone, supplying maternity and baby clothes, diapers, food and other items to women and children in need.
The Knights also has a long legacy of support for mothers and children through life. Aside from its foundational work for widows and orphans, in recent years the organization has distributed over 100,000 coats to kids in need through the Coats for Kids program and provided families with over 3.5 million pounds of food through its Food for Families Program.