A great benchmark has been reached by the Knights of Columbus. In early November, an ultrasound machine was donated to a Baltimore area pregnancy center. While, taken alone, that doesn’t sound too much of an achievement, this ultrasound machine marks the 500th such donation by the Knights though the Order’s Ultrasound Initiative. The effort is aimed at helping mothers care for their unborn children and has benefited qualified medical facilities in all 50 states.
In program was initiated in January of 2009 by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. The initiative challenges local Knights to raise half the money to purchase an ultrasound machine for pregnancy centers in their communities. The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council’s Culture of Life Fund then matches the money raised to purchase a single ultrasound machine. These machines are valuable for a number of diagnostic reasons because they create pictures of the inside of the uterus. This images can help discover complications and help build the bond between mother and unborn child. Even though they are extremely useful, many pregnancy care centers don’t have them, as the machines typically cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.
5 years later, the Ultrasound Initiative has purchased 500 ultrasound machines to the tune of over 13.5 million dollars. To call this effort a success would be an understatement, to be sure. Because of the work of the Knights of Columbus, there are now 500 communities in all 50 states with access to medical technologies previously unavailable. Some of these machines can produce 3D renderings of interior of the womb, allowing a view of the face of the unborn child.
This is a great example of the charitable efforts of the Knights of Columbus. There is definitely a benefit of intermingling work between the local chapters and the Supreme Council — it creates a connection between the micro and the macro, and in the end, the communities benefit. The Ultrasound Initiative continues the Knights of Columbus’ legacy of charity and supports the organizations core values.