Florida State Council

Knights of Columbus

Florida K of C Charities

Florida K of C Charities, Inc., Registration # CH18054, floridakofc.org
Florida KofC Charities Director
Dave Austin

"For everything is from you, and we only give you what we have received from you." (1 Chronicles 29:14)

On December 12, 2000 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a letter of determination stating that Florida K of C Charities, Inc. was recognized as a public charity exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

In 2006 Florida K of C Charities, Inc. was officially reorganized to include the three charitable funds supported by the Florida Jurisdiction: Campaign for Citizens with Disabilities Fund (formerly the Handicapped Fund), Vocations Fund and the Helping Life Fund. With these funds now under the Florida K of C Charities, Inc. umbrella, we as Knights of Columbus, other individual donors and businesses benefit from the tax exempt status granted to all donations, thus making it easier to solicits donations.

Mission Statement
To support Life, Vocations and the Disabled, keeping with the theme "I am my brother's keeper" and following the Catholic teaching "from conception to natural death," furthering the mission of Hope.

How do we accomplish the goals of our mission statement?
Florida K of C Charities, Inc. identifies and cultivates potential donors and solicits and administers gifts to agencies which support citizens with disabilities, families in need, unwed mother, senior citizens and life from conception to natural death. Additionally, we support those individuals who seek to serve their communities in the service of our Lord and God as priest and religious advocates. By its charter, this corporation exists solely to further the charitable mission of the Knights of Columbus of the Florida Jurisdiction.

When are you being an effective Steward?
It is no small thing that "Charity" is the first of the four principles of which our Order was built. A question every Knight must answer is how he can best share the blessing God has given him, for the Father will surely ask him to account for those blessing someday.

You being a good steward of those blessings, when you are willing to share your time, talent and treasure with your church and for the benefit of the less fortunate, you are than living the stewardship that Jesus Christ calls us to perform. By making sure your donations address important issues and are will used, you show yourself to be an efficient and effective steward of God's generosity. By giving to Florida KofC Charities, Inc. (or any charity) you will always know that the blessing you are returning to God will be will used to do "his work on earth." That is truly the mark of a good steward.

State Life Director
Ed Suazo

The Helping Life Fund was formed in 1991 as the charity of the Florida Knights of Columbus to support “All Life,” following the Catholic Church’s teaching of “from conception to natural death”.  Following the advent of Florida K of C Charities, Inc. in 2000 and the addition of the Vocation and Disabilities Funds this completed the trilogy of charitable funds completing the circle of Hope for all.

Donations to this fund are requested through an annual direct mailing in August from the Helping Life Fund Chairman to all members within the Florida Jurisdiction.  Each member is requested to make a minimum donate of $15.00.  An individual donation of $100 dollars or more earns the donor the designation of being a “Life Saver” and is recognized with a presentation of a Life Saver lapel pin.

If an individual, business, council or corporation makes a designated donation of $500 or more to Florida K of C Charities/ helping Life; they can designate which charitable agency their donation is to be presented to. Completing the Helping Life Designated Donation Fund Form (FSC13100, available in the K of C Charities Forms section or on the site Forms page) will provide the chairman with all the information that is needed to process the donation.

All individual, business or corporate donations are fully tax deductible as allowed by law.

Note: Donations into the Helping Life Designated Donation Fund do not qualify toward the council Helping Life Fund donation goals.

State Mobile Disabilities Chairman
Dick Anci

Statewide goals:
To raise enough money to purchase four Sea Containers of Wheelchairs.
To allocate three Sea Containers for Council and Assembly local use.
To allocate one Sea Container for sister dioceses in Haiti/Guatemala, etc.

How to achieve these goals:
    Councils and/or Districts holding a Wheelchair Sunday at their local Parish.
    Councils conducting a Wheelchair Fundraising Event.
    Districts donating $1000. to the fund.
    Individual donations of $150. (The cost of a Wheelchair)
    Councils donating $500.

Individual Donations:
    Anyone who wishes to donate $150. (The cost of a wheelchair) may do so by making a check payable to “Florida K of C Charities, Inc. Have them mark the check on the memo line “Wheelchair Fund” and place your Council Number on the check. All individual donations are tax deductable. Please send all donations to the Florida State Council Wheelchair Chairman.

Wheelchair Sunday:
    This is the one event that has been proven highly successful. Wheelchair Sunday information can be obtained from your District Deputy. He has been provided with the DVD explaining the Wheelchair Sunday program.

District Donations:
    District Deputies are urged to oversee the Wheelchair drives in his District.
If each District raises a minimum of $1,000. We would easily raise over $80,000.
Toward our State wide Goals.


To be presented at the State Convention;
    Each Council hosting a Wheelchair Sunday will receive an appreciation award.
    Council First Place award for most funds raised in each Division.
    District award for raising a minimum of $1000.
    First Place award to District raising the most funds in their Division.
    Each Assembly that purchases a minimum of three wheelchairs.

Wheelchair Foundation Video
Wheelchair Foundation
In Service to One
In Service to All

Action Steps

  1. Consider appointing a America Wheelchair Mission chairman or assigning the task to the community activities chairman for the council.
  2. Contact the State Council Chairman who is responsible for coordinating statewide activities, and determine how your council, assembly or circle can support these activities and initiatives.
  3. Arrange a goal for the council to raise annually as a contribution to the American Wheelchair Mission a specific dollar amount, a specific number of wheelchairs, etc. Schedule events to raise monies, and promote goal to members encouraging individual contributions.
  4. Work with other parish groups or civic organizations in your community to organize joint efforts to support the American Wheelchair Mission.
  5. Print and distribute copies of the donation form to council members and their families, encouraging personal donation to the Foundation. Donation forms should be collected by the council or state chairman, or make arrangements for individuals to note the council information on the form and send directly.
  6. Recognize donors of the council at a council meeting, or annual awards banquet.
State Citizens with Disabilities Chairman
Stephen Ring

Saint Paul teaches that when one member of the Body of Christ suffers, we all suffer. Perhaps the most visible annual event of the charitable activates of the Knights of Columbus is the Citizens with Disabilities Campaign. Affectionately known as the Tootsie Roll Drive for the Tootsie Rolls® it hands out. The Citizens with Disabilities Campaign aims to collect donation to help those individuals with intellectual disabilities amongst us. Conducted between the beginning of February and the last week of April, the donations collected during the Citizens with Disabilities Campaign support individuals and programs around the State of Florida, the Bahamas and St. Lucia. In 2005-2006 the Citizens with Disabilities Campaign collected and distributed $700,000 to hundreds of programs throughout the State of Florida.

State Vocations Chairman
michael Gizewski

From the Vocations Directors Desk

Helping young men and women discern God’s “mysterious plan” for them and then supporting them as they pursue it are the goals of the Knights of Columbus through the Florida K of C Charities, Inc. Vocations Fund program. An aim of the Knights of Columbus is to be the source for quality vocations promotional materials for all diocese, parishes, Catholic schools and religious orders. Remember, money will not solve the problem of too few priests, sisters and brothers. We call to mind Christ’s words, “the harvest is plentiful but the labors are few”. Pray therefore for the Lord of the harvest to send out labors into his harvest. Let us renew our pledge to pray for vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life.

We as Knights know that the challenges of the modern world that a Parish Priest enters, are great. We recognize that the training and preparation provided by our seminaries are more critical today than ever. The Vocations Fund and the RSVP program provide the eight dioceses that encompass the Florida Jurisdiction with more resources to guide and educate young men for the tasks that lie ahead of them.

The Vocations Fund endeavors to ask that all the Knights in the Florida Jurisdiction donate $12 or more annually to support vocations.

About Saint Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary

The primary purpose of the St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary is to provide a human, spiritual, academic and pastoral program to prepare candidates for the Roman Catholic Priesthood. In response to the increased Hispanic presence in the United States, the seminary fosters a bilingual and multi-cultural environment. The seminary is a major theologate and one of only two bilingual, multi-cultural major Catholic Seminaries in the United States.

State Memorial/Healing Cards Chairman
Carlos Ortiz

My Brothers All,

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Joseph DeStefano, I am the Memorial and Healing Prayer Card program chairman. I bring to this position 26 year plus of highly active dedication to the Knights of Columbus. Each time I take part in an admission degree, I am reminded that it is our duty as Brother Knights to always be faithful. It is also our duty to remember the perpetual watch word of the order “Tempus Fugit. Momento Mori”, “Time Flies, Remember Death”. Brothers life is short, but to him who observes and discharges his duties faithfully, a short life can be a happy one, with the promise of eternity in the kingdom of God.

My Brothers, available for your use at either the Council or Assembly level, we have Memorial and Healing Prayer Cards. It is our duty and obligation to remember our dearly departed Brothers with a condolence, and the Memorial Mass Card is the perfect way to let the family know we are truly “Brothers”. Also available are Healing Prayer Cards. These are an excellent way to show a Brother , who may have fallen ill, is under the weather or in distress, that we care. This card also reaffirms with our Brothers and Families that we are men of compassion and men of faith. And a mass will be said in there names.

Both the Memorial and Healing Mass Cards are available to you , Brother Knights, Friends, Family, at no charge. When you do use them, send back the enclosed return card with your donation. Each card that is returned will help further the mission of KofC Charities which in turn will provide much needed funds for the seminaries and vocations. And as a double bonus, this will count towards your vocation goal, and receive credit as a program.

Brothers, avail yourself of this program. Let us stand as one, not only for our Brothers and Families but for the good of our Holy Catholic Church.

Vivat Jesus

Brother Joseph DeStefano
Memorial and Healing Prayer Card Chairman

Phil 4:13 “ I can do all things through Christ who Stengtens me”

State Fund-raising Coordinator
Rich Dahn

Under Construction

State Special Olympics Chairman
Michael Costanza

Funds raised in the handicapped drive help to support the Special Olympics of Florida. The Knights of Columbus has always had a large involvement with those with intellectual disabilities. Whether it is working with a group home or Special Olympics at any level of games; one is sure to see a presence of Knights in some fashion. Among the top supports of the Florida Special Olympics, the Florida Knights of Columbus give generously of their time, talent and money to help these Athletes achieve their dreams.

The Knights support prompted Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, to say "I don't think there's any organization in the country that has given so much in personal help and in financial support to Special Olympics." Sargent Shriver and the Knights of Columbus continue to fight for life at every level and in every situation; and that spirit is alive in the Florida State Council.

There are other regional events taking place all over the State of Florida. If you can't make it to one of the Special Olympic State Games in the Summer or Fall, please volunteer to help at one of the Regional Games. You can find them by going the Special Olympics of Florida website and clicking on Calendar.