As we approach the 5th year anniversary of the beginning of Knight Hands, I would like to summarize what has transpired these past five years. First of all, I would like to thank those who participated in the various projects over the years. Since our first project, which we completed for James and Judy Smith on May 25th of 2010, we have gone on to complete 124 projects ranging from 1 man/hour of work to 280 man/hours. In total, Knights have contributed approximately 1,804 volunteer hours to complete these projects. Of these 124 projects, 92 required no expenditure for the Knights of Columbus. For the 32 projects that did require the cost of materials, we spent approximately $5,060 over the 5 year period. We have received numerous contributions from those we served.
While many Knights gave of their time to complete these projects, there were “heavy lifters” who deserve special recognition for their commitment to help others – not by words but by actions. Ken Rarick participated in 29 of the projects and has called me a number of times asking “do you have any Knight Hand work for me?”. Ray Rivera has helped on 21 jobs to date, most of them within in last two years. He can be relied on to answer the call to service on a minutes notice. David Dybala has helped on 15 projects and his engineering expertise has been invaluable. Now that he is retired he will be helping even more often. Dan Murphy has assisted on 13 projects and he too has said he can give more of his time now that he is retired. Jim Russell has completed 10 projects on his own – he provides transportation services. In years one and two of Knight Hands Bob Lamb helped out on 8 projects – only his illness stopped him from helping more often. Dick Bates helped out on 8 projects as well before he “ran off” to Virginia. Many other Knights worked multiple projects and some only once; but thanks again to everyone who helped
The mission of Knight Hands is to “assist those in the Holy Spirit parish area live a more peaceful and stress free life by providing minor home repairs, household chores, and transportation services to those who qualify”. Only projects that are referred by a Knight are considered. Knight Hands was to be administered by an Advisory Board; but since no Knight stepped forward to take on that responsibility, I have been overseeing the operation of Knight Hands. Since its’ inception, Knight Hands has been operating with a budget set each year by the Council. Starting in year two of Knights Hands, however, any funds required to complete a project must have prior approval of the Grand Knight and one Trustee. Over the past 5 years, we have declined only three requests for assistance and only once was my request for funds declined.
It is such a wonderful feeling knowing that the work Knight Hands perform is helping someone in need. You can look the person in the eye at the completion of the project and see the gratefulness and relief. While many of the projects may seem minor to us, they are crucial and critical to those requesting assistance. I feel proud to have been able to work with all Knight Hands and my hope is that we can continue to serve those in need as time goes on. I am Allen Reitmeier, and if you wish to become more involved with Knight Hands – either in administering Knight Hands or doing the work- you can contact me at 214-850-3602 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org