Knights of Columbus Second Responders Program

posted Sep 23, 2011, 11:55 AM by St. Joseph Cheyenne
One month before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Supreme Council introduced a new initiative called the Knights of Columbus Second Responders Program that will provide support to the victims of natural or manmade disasters. Announced Aug. 2 by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson at the 129th Supreme Convention in Denver, the Second Responders Program will help local councils prepare to serve as “second responders” by providing food, clothing and shelter to those affected by disasters. Retired New York Fire Department Capt. Alfredo Fuentes, a Knight who survived the 9/11 attacks in New York City, will serve as the program’s director. Though still in its early stages, response to the program so far has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Fuentes. For now, organizers are limiting the initiative to the United States, though Fuentes would like to see it expanded in the future to all the countries where the Order is present. In addition, there is virtually no limit to the amount of aid that the Knights can offer, from providing food and water to rescue workers, to granting use of council halls as forward operating bases, to keeping tool depots in each state that are accessible to first responders and volunteers. “I like to say that we’re building the bridges we walk on,” said Fuentes.