For more than 11 years, the Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council 14360 has been supporting Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) by giving their time, talents, and treasure. Connected through George Ribellino, past Grand Knight of the Council and current District Deputy for Connecticut, this ongoing relationship has been incredibly important to FCA’s programs.
George got involved the Knights of Columbus one year after the St. Matthew Council was founded. To fulfill the organization’s goal of “putting faith into action,” the first organization George partnered with outside the parish was FCA. George said he has clear memories of that first event, a picnic for children in FCA’s Foster Care program. When the Knights of Columbus pulled winners in their raffle, a young boy won tickets to the aquarium.
“He was just so excited, jumping up and down, and wanted to give me a high-five. I’ll never forget that – he was so excited for something we take for granted,” said George.
Seeing that joy motivated George to continue organizing events and projects. “It was one of the greatest experiences. That kid really sparked my desire to continue doing this in the future,” he said.
In the past 11 years, the St. Matthew Council has sponsored that foster care event seven times. They brought children in the Foster Care program and seniors in our Home Care program together for a painting event. They sponsored and volunteered at FCA’s Child & Family Development summer party, where they cooked food and served ice cream to children and their families. Volunteers from the Council have come to FCA’s Community Connections Center for adults experiencing homelessness where they arrived early in the morning and scrubbed the Center from top to bottom twice a year.
Last Fall, George rallied other Knights of Columbus Councils together to join forces and hold their annual Coats for Kids event at FCA. All the coats were given out in less than 30 minutes, underscoring the need in our community, and the success energized the Councils to partner for the event again in the future.
“Our members enjoy doing outreach in the community and interacting with FCA clients. There’s nothing better than when you see a smile on a kids’ face. It makes your heart melt and you see that what you’re doing is making a difference,” said George.
Thank you to George and the Knights of Columbus St. Matthew Council 14360 for your ongoing support, passion for our mission, and dedication to our community!