it’s easy to be a small part of something big

As I’m reading through the January 2010 monthly newsletter of the Knights of Columbus Abbot Pennings Council #3955, an overwhelming feeling hits me, and that’s the feeling of pride.

I’ve been a knight for six years. I remember back when a friend of mine recruited me to become a member of this group. Though he explained quite well all the good that these Catholic men were doing, my initial feeling was simple, no time. I’ve always been involved in many activities, and I just couldn’t see squeezing in one more. But my friend explained that this is a large council with many active men. There are a lot of activities, and all I have to do is pick the ones that interest me and that I have time for.

So, I’ve now been a 3rd Degree Knight since my birthday in 2004 and I’m so proud to be a member of this council. My involvement is small. I’ll participate in a few fundraisers from time to time, maybe hand out Tootsie Rolls at the local grocery store. Since I’m a professional web site developer, I developed a web-based program that allows a couple of guys to maintain our membership database. In short, I’ve simply given what I can, as I can. Ten years from now, who knows? But for now, this is what I do.

And this brings me to today. The January newsletter I’m reading includes this list of donations that our council approved at our December meeting:

Religious Retirement Fund $500
Paul’s Pantry $500
Jackie Nitschke Center $300
Golden House $500
House of Hope $500
Freedom House $500
Mount Tabor Youth Ministry $250
St. John’s Homeless Shelter $500
Bridge Between Retreat House $100
Norbertine Brothers $100

Just look at those numbers! Individually, my brother Knights and I could not do this. But together, we are greater than the sum of our parts. Together, we can touch the lives of people we couldn’t otherwise reach. I can’t attend regular meetings, but I’ve been to a few where these donation decisions are made. No red tape. Just honest discussion among guys with big hearts. And just like that, a few thousand more dollars are put into the pockets of folks who need it.

If you’re not from the De Pere area, perhaps you’re not familiar with some of the organizations listed above. These groups help the most vulnerable in our society. These groups help young adults finding their way, homeless folks, pregnant teens, unemployed parents, and even individuals who have given their lives to religious vocations. These are groups for which there is little support in municipal budgets.

Look around you. Times are tough. It’s hard to make ends meet at home, much less help out others these days. But if you feel a need to be there for your community, find your local Knights of Columbus council or any group like us, and ask them what they’re doing. You don’t have to contribute big, but you can indeed be a small part of something big.