Knights of Columbus Assembly 1850 worked together with the students of Nativity Catholic Church to provide local veterans and their families Thanksgiving dinners.

A group of local veterans enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving thanks to some local Knights.

The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal organization founded on the mission to aid and protect widows and orphans. The organization was founded in 1882 by now-blessed Father Michael J. McGivney to provide financial assistance to widows and their children after the passing of the father.

Service and charity are at the heart of the Knights of Columbus. It was founded to meet the needs of immigrants, refugees and families suffering from the death of a breadwinner. The Knights began as a small service organization and it has grown into a worldwide financial and charitable organization.

“Locally, our Assembly 1850, named after Bishop Charles B. McLaughlin, is part of our patriotic degree,” said Marc Andersen of the Brandon Knights of Columbus. “Named after the first bishop of the St. Petersburg diocese, we donate our time to serving those who served our country. We are also partnered with Assembly 3418, Monsignor John F. Scully, to meet the growing need in our veteran community.”

Andersen and his fellow Knights worked with the students of Nativity Catholic Church in Valrico to provide Thanksgiving meals for local veterans.

“The idea for the Thanksgiving dinners truly came out of need in the community,” Andersen said. “About 15 years ago the members of Assembly 1850 wanted to do something during the holiday season to help out those who served our country. We were already partnered with Haley Cove and saw the need with veteran families trying to make ends meet. This year, we relied heavily on the generosity of our membership to help us make our budget for the Turkey Drive. Big help came from the kids at Nativity Catholic School donating $1,000 to the VA Turkey Drive.”

The Knights worked with the local Veteran Affairs Office to get the Thanksgiving meals and turkeys to the veterans and their families before Thanksgiving Day.

“We are truly honored to assist those in our community who have served our country,” Andersen said. “Many of our members are active or retired military personnel. They take great pride in doing their best to serve and honor their brothers and sisters in the armed forces.”

To learn more about The Knights of Columbus, visit www.kofc.org.