Florida Knights Help New Mothers (Video)

For more than a decade, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Council 13300 in Wildwood, Fla., has assisted Hands of Mercy Everywhere (HOME), a Christian-based residential group home for teenage girls, and pregnant or parenting teens in the foster care system. Since 2004, the organization has served more than 1,500 young women. “Our goal is to change the hearts and mind of society about abortion, that we love both the mother and child before the birth and after birth,” said Grand Knight Gerry Haggerty.

Blessings for Our Sponsored Seminarians

The Knights of Columbus were challenged with collecting enough funds to help offset our Seminarian’s Tuition allowance during a pandemic. We understood the importance of this tuition, so our council banded together to find a new, socially distant, way to accomplish this goal.

Our Brother Knight, Ken Rabideau’s wife, Diane, suggested an idea to sell raffle tickets for a gift certificate to a 5 course dinner for 4 at the Rose Plantation, a local restaurant that would be perfect for this situation.

I grew up with the Knights of Columbus because of how involved my father was with our council in Ocala, so I joined as soon as I was able to and the Knights helped me to develop a love of the Church and the priesthood in my heart. The aid that we seminarians receive mean more to us than people imagine because we are being taught to be servants by your example. I have found that every word of support, every prayer, every donation has placed a deeper desire in my heart to return home to our diocese one day as a priest to try to repay our community for what they’ve done for me. Particularly, the Knights have been a part of my discernment from the beginning as a kid, to now as a seminarian, and hopefully into the future when I can work with a council at my future parish.

– Phillip Mills

One of the things that has helped me throughout my time in formation has been the support of the people of God, especially the Knights of Columbus. Tuition Aid from the Knights has allowed me to focus on my formation at the seminary and to give myself completely to my studies, my prayer, and my ministries. Without this help, I would not be able to devote myself entirely in the process of formation.

– Eddiel Rivera Salgado

Tickets sales were outstanding, with over 280 tickets sold, taking in over $5,700, including donations, ending up with a net profit of almost $5,200 to use for our Seminarians and other needed charities. We thank all our Brothers who participated with ticket sales; our parish for advertising it in our bulletin; and last, all those making donations to this worthy cause.

The winning ticket was drawn on March 17 for Jim and Rita Watson. A Gift Certificate was presented to them on March 27 in front of the new St. Vincent de Paul Parish Hall by our Grand Knight, Gary Quinn, along with several participating Brothers.

H.O.M.E – A Valuable Resource for Teen Moms

For the past 8 years, Knights of Columbus Council 13300, Wildwood, Florida has been supporting H.O.M.E. with collection of baby diapers, wipes, clothing, and cash donations. Because of the importance of this outstanding program, the Knights do this collection twice a year, spring and fall.  We just completed another successful spring event collecting over 13,000 disposable diapers, 26,000 baby wipes, over 200 pieces of baby clothing, baby food and supplies worth almost $8,000 and over $3,000 in cash donation.

So let’s take a deeper look into why this is such a valuable resource.  H.O.M.E. is the acronym for “Hands of Mercy Everywhere”, a Christian home for expecting teenage girls, teen mothers and their babies, located in Belleview, Florida.  There are three homes: “Faith House”, “Hope House” and the “Grace House”; where they provide a clean, organized, safe and spiritually driven environment in which teens have a chance to be teens and also have the support they need to be confident young mothers.  Currently, there are approximately 22 teens with their newborns. 

H.O.M.E. believes every teen mom needs access to education and childcare while a teen mother and beyond.  In addition, they want pregnant or teen moms under their care to know they can have hopes and dreams for themselves and their children.  Through guidance based on this structure, H.O.M.E is making an incredible lifelong impact on young lives.

Together with community support, H.O.M.E. strives to provide resources including education, parenting classes, life skills, career development, counseling and other means of evidenced-based programs and support as they lovingly transition them into adulthood.  Every effort is made to provide the resources needed for the girls to carry their child to term and have a successful and comforting birth experience.  They focus on preparing them for responsible parenthood through education on the importance of prenatal care, parenting skills and allowing for spiritual development and growth.

Our community is being blessed by H.O.M.E. and what they are doing – helping teen mother’s choose life and build each new family into successful young mothers with an unlimited future.