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Charitable works are a constant in Whitestone. The local Knights of Columbus, the Monsignor Francis J. Dillon Council No. 5872, is constantly at work trying to help and assist those in need by sacrificing their own time to raise funds.
From April 14 through June 30 and from Sept. 8 to Oct. 27, several members dedicated a few hours each Saturday to stand in the middle of dangerous, busy intersections with buckets seeking donations from passing vehicles. Maybe you saw them? They were not hard to miss wearing their bright red vests that read, “Help us help others.”
The Knights of Columbus council members alternated locations each Saturday, standing at the intersection of Bell Boulevard near Fort Totten and the Cross Island Expressway entrance ramp, the intersection of 20th Avenue and the Whitestone Expressway on the northbound side and Willets Point Boulevard and the Clearview Expressway outside Clearview Golf Course and the Clearview Expressway exit ramp.
During these times, which ranged from 10 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m., members were outside in the brutal heat during the spring and summer months and the wind and cold in the fall. Through their hard work, sacrifice and dedication, and through the generosity of several passersby, the Knights of Columbus were able to raise $3,500, dividing it equally among four reputable charities by giving $875 each to Wounded Warriors, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Marty Lyons Foundation and the Whitestone Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
The Knights of Columbus are grateful for all the money given to them in order to help them help others. There were those who gave all they had on them or in their money trays in their cars. There were several people who had no money to donate at the time, but quickly went home and came back with money or received change from their weekend shopping.
In November, after Hurricane Sandy devastated so many New Yorkers, Monsignor Dillon Council members were at work with their families who helped them on a particular Saturday and Sunday morning, afternoon and evening to set up collection sites outside the Whitestone Key Food and Waldbaum’s.
Once again, due to the generosity of the Whitestone people, they were able to collect several hundred pounds of new and used clothing, blankets, food, water and baby items. These items were delivered, thanks to the generosity of Louis Zuccarello and the Queens Garden Nursery in Whitestone, to Long Beach, L.I.
Also, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society kindly picked up the remainder of the items, which were distributed to hurricane victims throughout several affected areas. In addition, they were able to raise $2,500 in funds, of which the members donated part to Hurricane Sandy relief, and used the larger portion to buy more items on an “urgent needs” list and transported it all to the hurricane relief center set up in St. Francis de Sales Parish in Rockaway.
Together, the Knights of Columbus and the Whitestone residents worked together to help those in need and less fortunate than themselves. They were able to show to those who were experiencing, possibly the worst time in their lives, hope when down and that they can count on their fellow New Yorkers in northern Queens.
Knights of Columbus Monsignor Francis J. Dillon Council No. 5872
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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