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Knights of Columbus to Distribute Wheelchairs to Veterans in Need

Distributions latest in long K of C tradition of helping military and vets since 1916

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- The Knights of Columbus will distribute $1 million worth of wheelchairs to veterans in need at four VA Hospital locations on Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 9 and 10, continuing a long history of K of C service to the men and women of the U.S. military.

The Knights of Columbus has purchased 2000 wheelchairs and partnered with the Wheelchair Foundation to distribute them. Five hundred wheel chairs will be distributed in Bonham, Texas (near Dallas) on Nov. 9, and additional distributions of 500 wheelchairs will take place in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles on Nov. 10.

"As our nation pauses to honor these men and women on Veterans Day, we are honored to be able to reach out to help veterans in need," said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. "This wheelchair distribution continues our long-standing tradition of service to our service men and women, both those who are on active duty and those who are retired."

The Knights of Columbus has long supported American troops and veterans. Beginning in 1916 - and continuing throughout World War I - the Knights sponsored Army Huts, a program of entertainment centers that ultimately became the model for the USO, earning high praise from Gen. John J. Pershing. The Knights also helped provide additional chaplains for the troops. After World War I, the Knights ran a series of night schools for returning veterans to help them reenter the job market.

In the months leading up to American entry into World War II, the Knights became the first national organization to conduct blood drives, an activity the KofC continued throughout the war. Additionally, many local KofC councils opened their doors to servicemen and Manila Council 1000 ran a center modeled on the Army Hut program in the Philippines before and after the Japanese occupation. The Knights also were an integral part of the United Service Organization, and Supreme Knight Francis Matthews served as the Catholic representative to the USO.

More recently, the Knights have continued to support the military, through the printing of more than 400,000 prayer books for troops and through extensive support of the Archdiocese for Military Services, USA, through support for the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., the "Serving Those Who Served" program and through the current program of wheelchair distributions for veterans.

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SOURCE Knights of Columbus
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