Extraordinary disaster giveaway impacts thousands: Knights of Columbus AOL Council completes months-long relief effort

Published 12:39 am Saturday, January 15, 2022

LAPLACE — At the beginning of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season on June 1, the Knights of Columbus Ascension of Our Lord Council 9623 started collecting non-perishable food items, baby items, baby diapers, bottled water, toilet tissue, paper towels and more to be prepared in case disaster were to strike.

That preparation paid off less than three months later.

On Sunday, August 29, a Category 4 monster hurricane named Ida slammed into Southeast Louisiana with 150 miles per hour catastrophic winds and heavy rain.

There were numerous tornadoes, and widespread flash flooding was recorded in LaPlace and the River Parishes area. The eye of Hurricane Ida stayed over the region for many hours.

On Wednesday, September 8, 2021, seeing a great need for hurricane supplies in St. John Parish, the Knights of Columbus Ascension of our Lord Council 9623 Grand Knight Mike Abbate started to communicate out for help for our community. On Saturday, September 11, 2021, a cooking team showed up to prepare and distribute 800 hot meals.

On Friday, September 10, 2021, Abbate communicated out for help with Hurricane Ida supplies to be donated and distributed out to the community.

With the help of the Ascension of our Lord Catholic Church Parish and Pastor Father Cyril Buyera, the Knights of Columbus were allowed to open a Hurricane Ida Supply Center.  It was located behind the Ascension of our Lord Catholic School, under the overhang.

From September 11 to December 22, the Knights of Columbus Ascension of our Lord Council 9623,either cooked, or had others cook and serve, hot and cold meals. During these events, council members handed out disaster supplies to the community. This was done on weekends, and some weekdays.

In September 2021, Council 9623 handed out more than 6,200 hot and cold meals. Another 7,600 were served in October. Moving further into the fall and winter months, 5,400 hot and cold meals served in November, and 2,200 were served in December.

During this Hurricane Disaster Giveaway Supply Program, Council 9623 distributed more than 28,000 pounds of various supplies to the community from September 11 to December 22.

As of January 2022, the program has officially ended.

This herculean task could not have been accomplished without the help of many wonderful volunteers, organizations and generous donations. Council 9623 is especially thankful to The Ascension of our Lord Catholic Church Parish and Father Cyril Buyera for the use of the school facility.