Disaster Preparedness

Helping Hands

Disaster Preparedness

A Higher Purpose
Put your faith into action and help those less fortunate in your community. In the model of Knights of Columbus founder, Venerable Michael McGivney, councils will lead efforts to assist those most in need. Guidelines for this program are broad and can include forming partnerships with local aid organizations or independently planning unique activities.

The Helping Hands program is designed to recognize the important work many councils already do to care for the most disadvantaged members of our communities – the homeless, the addicted, the elderly who may feel isolated and abandoned, and many others. Through this program, councils will aid the needy through the activities they feel best suit their community, such as serving at or running a soup kitchen, repairing the facilities of a local service organization or something entirely unique. The requirements for this program are very broad in order to allow councils to serve their community in whatever way is most needed.

Required Program
A council must conduct this required program in the Community category to be eligible to receive the Columbian Award.

Action Steps

  1. Contact leaders from local nonprofit organizations to discuss how the council and parish can best assist them in their work.
  2. As a council, generate program ideas that would benefit those less fortunate in the community. Efforts could include:
    • As a parish, cook and/or serve food at no charge at a local soup kitchen or parish hall. (This could be a good family activity.)
    • As a council, assist in cleaning and repairing the facilities of a local nonprofit organization (i.e., fixing broken tables, painting walls).
    • Hold classes to teach trade skills (electrical, plumbing, carpentry, etc.).
    • Organize collection drives for specific supplies such as blankets, backpacks, toiletries, and clothing.
    • Raise money for a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter or other nonprofit organization through various events. Money could go toward the purchase of specific supplies and appliances, such as a new large freezer or dishwasher, or it could be donated in bulk.
  3. Build public interest for the program! Promote your Helping Hands activities in your parish and larger community through a variety of efforts:
    • Prominently display promotional posters (which can be ordered through Supplies Online)
    • Bulletin announcements
    • Pulpit announcements
    • Posting on your council and parish website / social media pages
  4. Conduct your Helping Hands program.
  5. On the day of the event, wear Knights of Columbus-branded apparel and have the council membership director set up a table with brochures and membership documents (including Prospect Cards #921A). Do not forget that this event is a recruiting opportunity!
  6. Enlist a fellow Knight or community member to photograph the event.
  7. To gain credit for your program, complete the associated reporting forms and submit them to the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Mission. Remember to retain copies for your council records.

Please note:

  • Participating in Helping Hands does not satisfy the programming requirements for the Food for Families program. The two activities are separate and cannot be double-counted.
  • This program is intended to be broad reaching within your community and not specific to certain individuals. It should address the needs of whole groups.


Helping Hands Resources

All supplies and kits should be ordered by your council Grand Knight or Financial Secretary using the Supplies Online application available through Officers Online. Please note that Guide Sheets, Press Releases, etc. are available below as PDFs.

  1. #10635- Helping Hands - Brochure
  2. #10636- Helping Hands - Vertical Poster
  3. #10617- Helping Hands - Guide Sheet