Shawn Nowlin firstname.lastname@example.org
It is the season of giving, and the Knights of Columbus are committed to making a difference for people during the holidays.
The world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization, the Knights of Columbus, named after the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, was founded on March 29, 1882, by Michael J. McGivney. Today, the institution has more than 1.7 million members nationwide and 14,000 councils. Only “practical Catholic” men who are 18 and older can become members.
The Salem Council 10015 was established in 1988 and has been serving the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help ever since.
“The first and most important principle of the order is charity. Our Salem Council Knights volunteer with the local food pantry, Roanoke area missions and other non-profit agencies pertaining to families needing assistance, regardless of what their religious affiliation is. We seek out needs pertaining to what the community needs and assist in ways where we can or refer them to agencies that can fulfil those needs,” said David Wyble, a trustee within the council.
Prior to receiving a heart transplant in 2011, Wyble had been confined to a wheelchair practically his whole life. A few years later, after he became a Knight, he wanted to offer the same resources that were given to him.
“I wanted to start last year but the pandemic delayed our drive. We have been in full swing since October. Our goal is 110 wheelchairs (standard shipment) at a cost of $150 per chair. The chairs are packaged, placed in a steel Conex box, and shipped to a designated place for a total cost of $16,500,” he said. “Currently, we have collected $13,423.98. That is still 21 chairs from our goal. We are hoping to complete this drive and place our order before Christmas.”
The Global Wheelchair Mission is an alliance of non-profit organizations, including the American Wheelchair Mission. Drives such as this one from the Knights of Columbus in Salem have gone on throughout the United States for several years.
“Prior to delivery, we will contact non-profit agencies to inform them that we have chairs available for those with no insurance, who are disabled, cannot afford or cannot obtain a wheelchair by other means,” Wyble said.
Individuals interested in learning more information can visit uknight.org.