Volunteerism informed by Christian concern is the hallmark of the Knights of Columbus and results in outstanding contributions of time and talent to the Catholic Church, our communities, families, young people and brother Knights through the “Surge…with Service” program.

Much of the success for the Order’s volunteer record can be attributed to the fact that the Supreme Council does not mandate participation in any volunteer initiative. Fraternal and charitable programs arise at the grassroots level to meet the needs of local parishes and communities.

Pro-Life Activities

The Knights of Columbus champions life from conception to natural death. The Order supports the Church in its work to defend human life, conducts education programs for its members and the public, provides financial assistance to national and local right-to-life groups, and prays for the protection of life. The Order prints and distributes millions of pieces of pro-life literature at no charge. Its most recent publication is a study guide to Pope John Paul II’s pro-life encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), found in the Faith section of this site, along with Pope Paul VI’s important and prophetic encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Also, see these important pro-life links.

Special Olympics

The Knights of Columbus supports the New Haven World Games, Special Olympics and other programs for people with mental retardation. Individual Knights serve as trainers, coaches, officials and in any other capacity needed at international, state and local Special Olympics games. In 1999, the Order raised and donated more than $17.8 million to benefit people with mental retardation and programs supporting them.

Health Programs

Knights of Columbus members participate in a variety of health service programs. Councils regularly join in national programs to bring public attention to heart disease and the dangers of smoking and alcohol and drug abuse. Members help raise money for medical research in a variety of areas. In 1999, Knights at all levels of the organization reported raising nearly $4 million for health and service organziations and hospitals.

Knights throughout the world organize and conduct blood drives. In 1999 they reported nearly 370,000 blood donors at Knights of Columbus-sponsored blood drives. Knights and their families regularly volunteer at veterans’ hospitals, hospices and other health care facilities.

Civic Involvement

Members’ civic involvement comes in many forms. Councils and assemblies run campaigns urging citizens to vote. Knights take part in community recreation programs, patriotic observances, penal reform programs and cultural activities. K of C councils regularly recognize outstanding civil servants, police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and others in their communities by presenting them with certificates of merit.


The Knights of Columbus has been at the forefront of efforts to stem the flood of pornography engulfing our culture. Councils promote programs to inform people of the dangers of pornography and report violations of community standards to those responsible for enforcing existing laws.

Substance Abuse

Knights of Columbus members regularly participate in and sponsor programs aimed at combatting substance abuse. Councils work with local police, youth groups and other organizations to conduct educational programs on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. The Supreme Council also offers posters on alcohol abuse awareness to local councils for community projects. Members also participate in programs that publicize the dangers of drunk driving.