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"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.


Bicycles are donated by various organizations, businesses and individuals. Council members refurbish the bicycles and donate them to charitable organizations. The program has been operational for since 2004 and has provided over 2950 bicycles to the needy.

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

Jessica Meredith Jacobsen 5K Memorial Race

A Higher Purpose

Provide an athletic outlet for youth, adults and families in your community. Designed for runners to demonstrate their skills at distance running. Members of the community can sponsor a race by donating to the Father O'Neill Charities, or volunteer to host and/or support the annual race.

The Jessica Meredith Jacobsen 5K is a fun way for Knights of Columbus councils to engage youth in their communities with an athletic event that encourages the values of sportsmanship and healthy competition. Children demonstrate the most important skills in running - self-motivation, determination, and never giving up -   and compete in age brackets to find success.  The program also offers an opportunity to introduce the Knights of Columbus to the community and recruit faithful family men of service.


In honor of Jessica Meredith Jacobsen’s memory, the Knights Of Columbus Council # 4011 (Father O’Neil Council) has organized the Jessica Meredith Jacobsen 5K Memorial Run. In addition to memorializing Jessica, an avid runner whose spirit and charitable works inspire us, the 5K Run will support the House of Ruth, Fr. O’Neil Charities and the ICS Tuition Assistance Fund. The race will starts and ends near Immaculate Conception Church in Towson, MD.   While there is also a walking course, roller-blades, skateboards, and other modes of transportation are prohibited. 

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"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.  Love leaves a memory no one can steal."

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Community Lecture Night

A Higher Purpose
Stimulate and support the development of strong and vibrant community ties through education.  Local councils, with guidance by the Worthy Lecturer, will establish a edification process enlightening the council and the community on religious, civic, and historical information.  Particularly good lecture programs can be recognized at the state level.

Each year, the Worth Grand Knight selects a Worthy Lecturer who will help to lead the edification process at both Council meetings, and during the Community Edification Night.  These meetings will help build up community and fraternalism through education and enlightenment. 


Every 3rd Wednesday, the Father O'Neill council plays host to a guest speaker from around the community.  The topics vary widely from month to month, but all are based in either religion, community, or serve as a PSA for some cause the Knights should consider.  These meetings are open to the public, and are a good opportunity to meet some the Knights without needing to commit to being  a Knight.  

Teacher / Firefigher of the Year

A Higher Purpose
Stimulate and support the development of strong and vibrant families. Local councils will establish a committee to recognize a deserving members of the community with potential for recognition on the state level.

Each year, the council Community committee receives the nomination from the school, emergency service, or civic organization employee/volunteer who models Christian family values and visibly lives them every day. The Knights of Columbus Teacher/Firefighter of the Year is chosen by the Supreme Council and recognized each year at the annual Supreme Convention.


Annually, the council works with local Catholic Schools, the Lutherville Volunteer Fire Department, and other civic organizations to honor those members who have best served the community.  With a certificate and financial award, the winners are then nominated for State level accolades.  

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In partnership with the Maryland State Council, Baltimore Chapter of Grand Knights, and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Father O'Neill Council donates annually to this cause. 


A Higher Purpose
Provide warmth for deserving children during cold winter months. Councils across North America can purchase new winter coats for children in need at a discount and distribute them in their local communities.

Families struggling to make ends meet use their scarce resources to meet the most basic needs and cannot always afford the vital essential of a new winter coat. The goal of the Coats for Kids program is to ensure that no child in North America goes without a coat during the winter season. Through the dedication of councils across the United States and Canada, hundreds of thousands of new winter coats have been distributed to children since program inception.


Featured Program Requirements
Councils are required to distribute a specific number of coats. The requirements for each coat type are different and outlined in the table below. Councils must distribute the amount of coats shown in one of the lines of the table. Shipping cost are not included in these numbers. 

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