Knights of Columbus donating thousands of new winter coats to local school-aged children on Black Friday

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The Knights of Columbus (KofC) is set to donate thousands of new winter coats to thousands of school-aged kids across the state on Black Friday. These large acts of charity started by the recently-beatified Father Michael McGivney.

Today’s KofC carries on the legacy of Waterbury-native priest, Blessed Michael McGivney who founded the KofC in New Haven in 1882. He died in 1890. But, thanks to his spirit, thousands of Connecticut kids will be able to stay warm this winter.

On Black Friday, the KofC is giving away free winter coats for kids all over Connecticut.

Part of McGivney’s legacy was creating a Catholic fraternal charitable organization here in Connecticut that would balloon to become the largest organization of its kind in the world.

“Our main principle,” said KofC member, Brian Baker. “Our foundational principle is charity.”

“He went out of his way to spend his own money and to organize other people to cooperatively work together to protect families in Connecticut,” said KofC member, Emmett McSweeney.

And now, more than 100 years later, KofC members in CT are preparing close to 3,000 new winter coats they collected to be donated for free to families of school-aged children all around the state.

“It makes sure that I have contributed, in some meaningful way, to the warmth and happiness of a child in need,” said McSweeney.

“Especially when the winters here in CT get so cold, it’s such a wonderful feeling — a wonderful opportunity to help our neighbors and help those less fortunate,” Baker said.

The winter coats give away sites are listed below:

  • Bridgeport: The McGivney Community Center on  Stillman Street. This is a drive-thru location. Coats will be distributed Friday from 9 a.m. to noon
  • New Haven: St. Francis Church on Ferry Street. Coats will be distributed Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. This is a drive-thru AND walk-up location.
  • Stamford: Knights of Columbus Council Hall on Shippan Avenue. Coats will be distributed Friday from 9 a.m. to noon
  • Hartford: St. Joseph Cathedral on Farmington Ave. Coats will be distributed Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a walk-up location. 
  • Waterbury: Behind The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception across from The Green. Enter from the Prospect St. parking lot. Coats will be distributed Friday from 1 p.m to 4 p.m.

The KofC will also give out mittens and gloves. As far as the winter coats are concerned, they ask that you know the size you need upon arrival so they can grab the correct size for you. This is to ensure CDC COVID-19 social distancing safety guidelines. Also, everyone is required to wear a facemask.

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