The Knights, charity, and the State of TennesseeMost of the time, I blog about newsworthy items in the world of politics or sports. Occasionally, I will blog about an issue in which I have a vested personal interest and I know people of influence read my blog who might be able to act as agents of change, in however small a capacity as that might be. The next two entries fall into that category.
Most of my regular readers know that I am a Knight of Columbus, more specifically I am a member of Council 645 here in Knoxville. Council 645 has its problems, most of which relate to an aging membership, and this is a problem most fraternal organizations face today. Our council faces another issue, however: We have no money with which to carry on our charitable work. It wasn't long ago in the anals of recent history that Council 645 was able to save Knox Catholic High School from bankruptcy, and over the years has given countless hundreds of thousands of dollars (probably millions, if the truth were known) to local charities, worthy causes, the pro-life movement in East Tennessee, and just folks who needed help. That sort of thing is what the Knights do.
The problem came home to me in a very real way when the Council received a request from the state organization to help a brother in need who had been killed in the line of duty as a security guard in Nashville, and had left a young wife and two small children. Every Council in Tennessee was giving something, and you don't need to have much discussion when the widow and children of a departed brother are in need.
We, however, needed a debate, as we had no money to give. It was eventually decided we would give the profits from our monthly church pancake breakfast (a function designed to cover only our operating expenses-it makes no real profit) to the family of the murdered guard. At least we were able to give something.
The Knights could have a lot more money to give and be a real force for God and for good in our community, but the current laws in our state may not allow that to happen.
In tomorrow's post, I will explain why, and what could be done to change it-and it isn't a government subsidy.