NEW HAVEN, CONN. The Knights of Columbus announced today that it will distribute an additional $170,000 for relief efforts to assist families in the community of West, Texas — the town of 2,800 inhabitants was devastated by the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people, injured 160 and damaged or destroyed 150 local buildings.
The funds, raised from K of C members and the public from throughout the U.S. and abroad, are being distributed as follows:
--$50,000 to St. Mary’s Catholic School in West for tuition assistance and for subsidies to affected or displaced students;
--$50,000 to the West Independent School District for damage repair and the purchase of a truck for transport between its temporary campuses;
--$70,000 to purchase mattresses for 100 affected families as part of the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s “House in a Box” program, which provides essentials such as beds, linens and cooking/eating utensils to those affected by the blast.
The $170,000 disbursement follows an initial K of C donation of $10,000 that was made in the immediate wake of the blast for emergency relief. In addition, local Knights from K of C Council 2305 in West — and from surrounding councils — assisted in recovery efforts with local authorities and agencies. Knights are also volunteering in support of the House in a Box initiative.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who lost so much in this tragedy,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “It is heartening that in the face of this tragedy, so many good people stepped forward to help their neighbors in need, and we are grateful for the support of our Knights and all those who donated time or money to help the people of West to rebuild their lives.”
With more than 1.8 million members worldwide, the K of C is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization and one of the nation’s most active charitable organizations. Last year, Knights donated more than $167 million and 70 million hours to charitable causes.