The Knights of Columbus, a worldwide Catholic volunteer and charitable organization with several locations in Northeast Philadelphia, launched its No Neighbor Left Behind campaign in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign encourages Knights to reach out to help their neighbors, especially those such as the elderly or with underlying medical conditions who need help during this time.
Helping neighbors is a trend Ray McLaughlin, senior officer of the Knights in the Northeast Philadelphia area, has seen commonly in the area. With the median age of Knights being in the mid-60s in the city, McLaughlin said, Knights have stepped up to help one another in addition to those in need.
“Charity starts at home,” he said.
Knights have stepped up in ways such as going to food stores and pharmacies for those in need. They have also donated to parishes including St. Martha, 11321 Academy Road, and contributed money and volunteer hours to food banks during the pandemic.
Citywide, the Knights have been supporting food banks such as the St. Katharine Drexel Church Food Pantry with a $50,000 donation.
McLaughlin said he was astounded by the number of ways the Knights are getting involved. Younger Knights are stepping up to help physically, while the older Knights who may be more at risk to the virus are devoting their minds and finances to good causes.
“Physically they can’t help but mentally they can,” McLaughlin said.
Nationwide, the No Neighbor Left Behind campaign is intended to get the organization’s 1.9 million Knights involved to donate $1 million to communities across the country.
In Northeast Philadelphia, the Knights have locations at 9090 Bustleton Ave., 3405 Welsh Road, 3300 Knorr St. and 5323 Oxford Ave. The website is KOFC.org.