Last update: February 28, 2011
Support for Veterans
Get Out the Vote!
Assemblies are encouraged to
implement programs that are
of a patriotic nature. These
programs are eligible for both
the Civic and To Be a Patriot
In addition, Assemblies are
also invited to practice proper
flag protocol and to include in
their programs support for both
the men and women in the Armed
Forces and our Veterans, along with
promoting the importance of
exercising the right to Vote.
Patriotic Program Information
• To Be a Patriot Awards
Developed in 1985, the “To Be A Patriot” Award annually recognizes the top three single best patriotic programs conducted by Fourth Degree assemblies each fraternal year. Entries are submitted to the Fourth Degree masters to determine the best program in each district. These are sent to the vice supreme masters, who select the best program in their respective provinces.
Provincial winners are sent to the supreme master who appoints a committee of judges to select the top three international patriotic program winners.
The 2008-09 international awardees, chosen from the provincial entries are::
Fray Francisco Dumetz Assembly 55
Junipero Serra Province
San Bernardino, California
Adopt a Hero Program
Through this program, the assembly works with businesses to adopt a member of the military or an entire military unit.
Father Elmer Robnett Assembly 2233
Our Lady of Guadalupe Province
Veteran Recognition and Support Project
As part of its veterans support program, the assembly sponsored a party for veterans at a local VA Center and presented each attendee with a handmade quilt or pillow.
John M. Yencha Assembly 1187
Father Edward F. Sorin, CSC, Province
Parkerburg, West Virginia
Rosaries for the Troops
Under this activity the assembly sponsored two fundraisers to raise enough money to purchase and ship nearly 1,000 metal finger rosaries and prayer cards to Catholic troops and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 2007-08 international awardees, chosen from the provincial entries are:
Santiago De Compostela Assembly 2305
Junipero Serra Province
Mission Viejo, California
Support Our Troops/Operation Interdependence Program
This project, running continuously since January 2003, provides a means for the public to reach out to, and show support for, military personnel in a manner that is cost effective and would have little impact on the military mail system.
Father Howard J. Lesch Assembly 1564
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Wounded Warrior Scholarship Program
Implemented three years ago, the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Program provides scholarships to members of the military who were injured in the war on
terrorism and members of their families. The scholarships can be used for education and/or training at colleges, trades schools, technical schools, or other
VA-approved training programs.
Father Gregory Kelly Assembly 872
Cardinal McGuigan Province
Patriotism - Get Involved Project
When put into action, the Patriotism - Get Involved Project had two goals: to promote the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree and to engender a sense of patriotism in the community through the assembly’s participation in the the city of Mississauga’s “Celebrate Canada Day” event and ceremonies.
• Civic Award
Assemblies deemed to be outstanding in their implementation of an agenda of patriotic programming during the fraternal year are eligible to receive the Supreme Council's CIVIC AWARD. This award is a tribute to the spirit of patriotism and national pride exemplified by the Assembly's program of activities. Those assemblies winning the award should display it with justifiable pride.
In order to qualify for the Civic award, the Assembly must conduct and report four varied patriotic programs held within the fraternal year.
Get Out the Vote! Action Steps
• Get Out the Vote Resource Material
As a Fourth Degree Knight you have the opportunity to become part of your assembly's color corps. As a color corps member, you will be recognized widely by the distinctive attire of tuxedo, feathered hat (chapeau) cape and sword. Color corps members regularly take part in civic events such as parades and wreath-laying ceremonies, and in ecclesial functions at Catholic churches.
• Getting to the Polls (Please click link below)
On voting day, many people, especially some senior citizens and people with disabilities, have trouble getting to the polls. To help these people, consider providing Election Day rides.
Put up signs throughout your council’s community (stores, churches, meeting halls, senior centers) offering a ride to the polls and providing two or three phone numbers or e-mail addresses to contact to arrange a time. Consider placing an ad in local and parochial newspapers, and/or in your parish bulletin advertising the service. Check any convalescent homes, retirement centers, etc., in the neighborhood. If you have already conducted a voter registration drive, contact the people you helped to be sure that they have transportation of the polls. Parish and service organizations may be helpful in identifying people needing transportation.
Organize volunteers from your council who are willing to act as drivers. Make sure that these volunteers are scheduled to cover as much of the day as possible. Try to arrange schedules so drives can pick up as many participants as they can comfortably accommodate during each trip. At the polls the drive should drop his passengers and make specific arrangements on where he will meet them to return to them to their homes. Drives should also periodically contact a central council “dispatch” location to check on cancellations and late requests for rides.
• Voter Education
Hosting a seminar for community members on how to vote is a great way to make people more comfortable with voting procedures and to encourage them to participate.
Work with your state/provincial and local officials on getting sample ballots and educating the public on using the voting machines. Display sample ballots and instructions on how to vote in the council’s meeting place, the parish hall bulletin board, and any other spots accessible to the public.
Also, produce and distribute flyers that include the date of the elections, strictly factual information on what officers and propositions the election is covering, qualifications for voters, and where and how to register to vote. Distribute these flyers (with permission) at the parish, soup kitchens, libraries, senior centers, community centers, high schools, and other appropriate locations.
• Learn About the Candidates
Voters need to know the candidates and the issues. Local councils and assemblies can sponsor a “Know Your Candidate” discussion at a convenient community location (but not in council homes due to the Order’s policy of not allowing pro-abortion politicians to speak there). Here is how to do it:
- Invite candidates to attend and address the group.
- Work with cable access stations to televise the event.
- Ask newspapers and television and radio stations to cover the discussion.
- Prepare a list of issues on which candidates can speak.
- Appoint a moderator to present the records and platforms of the candidates and chair discussions.
Remember, an assembly or council must never endorse a political candidate or party. But they can have an impact on society by making sure voters know the candidates and the issues.
• Take a Knight to Vote
One simple way to help get people out to vote is to ask a fellow Knight to come with you when you go to cast your ballot. If he is not registered to vote encourage him to do so immediately. Especially look to encourage first-time voters, elderly members, and Knights with busy schedules who might not otherwise vote. On the day of the election offer to pick up you voting companion and take him to the polls. Set a specific time to go and encourage him to bring along other voters.
• Watch the Kids While Parents Vote
Arrange for a baby-sitting service on the day of the election to allow members to leave their children while they go and vote.
The Service could be provided throughout the day or in the evening only, depending on the needs and availability of volunteer sitters. Two or three couples could baby-sit a number of youngsters for short amounts of time.Keep toys and games handy for the event. Consider taking youngsters to a nearby playground area. Provide snacks for the kids (be sure to check with parents about any food allergies first) – bringing milk/juice and a snacks could be a parent’s fee for the baby-sitting service. Older children may want to assist as a way to help gain some experience for the day they start to earn pocket money as babysitters.
• Sample Public Service Announcements
Deliver copies of the text of these sample radio public service announcements to the public relations director (or other appropriate individual) at your local radio station, encouraging the station to consider using these messages as often as possible prior to the next election. Type these public service announcements on council letterhead, or include them as text or an attachment in an e-mail, and be sure to include contact information for your council.Also, consider distributing these messages to your members via your council’s e-mail list. In addition, ask other groups in your community (such as your parish, local PTAs, parochial schools, etc.) to distribute these messages via their e-mail lists.
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