2013 Virginia Community Activity of the Year

Past Grand Knight David Sharp accepts the 2013 Community Activity Award from State Deputy Tommy Harger, on behalf of St. Mary of Sorrows Council 8600


St. Mary of Sorrows Council 8600


In 1996, St. Mary of Sorrows Council began a non-profit organization with the sole mission to own and maintain group homes in Virginia for persons with intellectual disabilities. The first home was purchased in 1998 and is currently the residence of five women who live in a family environment, and who receive full time care from a well established provider of 24/7 services to people with intellectual disabilities.


With the resounding success of the first group home, and recognizing the overwhelming need for this type of housing in Virginia, a second home was purchased in April 2011. That home became the residence of four men initially. Later in 2011, with help of a KOVAR grant, the garage was converted to a wheel chair accessible bedroom and bathroom, allowing a fifth resident.


Fund raising initiatives have varied over the years, but in recent years, the organization has partnered with a local cruise business to raise $35,000 in two cruise bookings. The council itself typically donates around $10,000 annually to the group home organization. The group homes focus on the quality-of-life of the residents, consistent with the Knights of Columbus emphasis on the whole person, fostering independence, as the individual residents develop socially, spiritually and emotionally.


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