Saturday, September 12, 2009

Knights of Columbus to Promote Volunteerism in 9/11 Tribute

The Knights of Columbus, one of the nation's most active volunteer service organizations - and the world's largest lay Catholic organization - will air a unique 60-second 9/11 tribute ad during NBC-TV's broadcast of the inaugural game of the NFL's 2009 season on Thursday night, Sept. 10.

The piece will run during halftime of the 8:30 p.m. ET game, which will feature the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The spot will run in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Dallas.

Recalling the heroism displayed on 9/11, the 60-second spot reminds Americans that "we can still see the best in humanity today," if we "give back."

The spot directs viewers to - a Web site with resources for volunteers and volunteer organizations.

The importance of giving is captured in the commercial through the story of 9/11 hero Capt. Al Fuentes of the FDNY Marine Division. Capt. Fuentes, now retired, was buried in the rubble of World Trade Center for nearly two hours before being rescued by his fellow firefighters.

"What I have been given is another chance," Fuentes recounts in the piece. "I need to, and I will, give back: that is what the Knights of Columbus have always shown me for 38 years."

The Knights of Columbus produced the ad as a tribute to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks and as a reminder of the importance of keeping their heroic spirit of service alive.

The spot concludes by listing a new Web site,, set up by the Knights of Columbus to help volunteers find organizations that can put their talents to good use, and includes resources to help volunteer organizations work more effectively with the volunteers they have.

"We will never forget the tragedy of September 11, 2001," said Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. "But we also must not lose sight of the heroic giving spirit of that motivated the heroes of 9/11 and those who volunteered in its aftermath. The problems we face today are different from those of 2001, but the need for service to our neighbor remains the same: it is truly, 'the best of humanity.'"

In addition to the game on Sept. 10, the piece will run during NBC's regional coverage of NFL games on Sunday, Sept. 13 in the same cities, and in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles during the PGA tournament.

One of the nation's most active charities, last year the Knights of Columbus donated more than $150 million and nearly 69 million hours of service to charitable causes.

The Knights of Columbus was one of the first organizations to organize a response to 9/11. On Sept. 12, 2001, the Knights of Columbus launched the "Heroes Fund" which provided emergency funding - without red-tape - to the families of fallen police, firefighters and emergency services personnel. Nearly $1.5 million was distributed via this program.

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