Reading, MA – Although we may be apart, charitable institutions across the country have made sure that we are never truly on our own by creating fundraisers and donation sites for those most affected by the virus and the economic hardship that has followed in its wake. The Reading Knights of Columbus Council 1031 is one such organization that has taken this time to act in favor of its neighbors, most recently by creating a GoFundMe page in order to raise money for the Reading Food Pantry, located at 6 Salem Street in Reading.
“We have a longstanding relationship with the Food Pantry. Every year, we do a couple of Tootsie Roll drives outside of Market Basket in the Fall. The spring [drive] is always 50% to our charity fund, and 50% to the Food Pantry. One of the things that was a driver [for this] was that we knew there would be people in need during this time who require additional food. The other [factor] is that the Reading Council of Knights of Columbus is part of larger, nationwide organization, the Knights of Columbus, and one of the things they are encouraging members and councils to do during this time is a ‘Leave No Neighbor Behind’ program, and one the components of that is feeding the hungry and support your community. So, we thought it’d be a good idea to raise money for the Reading Food Pantry for those reasons” said Grand Knight, Bob Baynes.
“Recently, Bob and I were also involved in a small group faith and fellowship, and one of our friends in that recently did a GoFundMe page for the Saint Vincent De Paul Society and that motivated me to say ‘well, why don’t we do a GoFundMe page for the Food Pantry.’ So, we did an internal drive with the Knights of Columbus, and then also an outside drive for the greater community and brought them together” said Knights of Columbus member Kevin McKenna.
The donation page was started on April 27 and currently has 29 donors so far, who’s donations total more than $3000. The total goal of the fundraiser to reach $10,000.
“We’re hopeful that we would be able to get this wrapped up in the next couple weeks. We started about three weeks ago getting donations from the Council and asking members for donations, but we went live with the GoFundMe page April 27, so we’re hopeful that we will be able to make the donation in the next few weeks” said Baynes.
The Knights of Columbus Council 1031 has long been a charitable organization and has been a part of the Reading community since 1905. Past recipients of donations from the Reading chapter of the Knights of Columbus include the Reading Scholarship Fund, My Brothers Table, and Saint Athanasius and Saint Agnes Parishes. In their description of the event on their GoFundMe page, the Knights of Columbus go on to state that they will match the amount of money raised up to the first $4000, and that they will be making the donation directly to the Reading Food Pantry.
“It’s a great cause, and there is a need for it, so we are glad to be able to meet that need,” said Baynes.