Knights of Columbus Council 16088 of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Fairfield Glade recently provided assistance to victims of the fire disasters in the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge area.
The help came about when the council asked Father Antony Punnackal, CMI, pastor of St. Mary in Gatlinburg, what they could do to assist his parish. Father Punnackal was formerly the friar of Knights of Columbus Assembly 2162 while serving as the pastor of St. Alphonsus in Crossville. While St. Mary Church itself hadn’t suffered direct fire damage, several parishioners sustained significant damage to their homes or businesses, with some families losing their houses and belongings.
Funds were provided directly from the council and from personal donations collected at the council’s December meeting. Gift cards, each with a $50 value, were purchased through Walmart. The cards were then provided to Father Punnackal for distribution to St. Mary parishioners in need because of the tragedy.
Gift cards allowed the disaster victims to purchase food, clothing, or whatever their individual condition required.
Additional donations after the December meeting brought the total effort to $2,600 in gift cards.
Father Punnackal said he was very grateful and stated the generous donation would surely help the families rebound from their devastation.