When you see Knights in yellow vests that read "Helping People with Intellectual Disabilities," you should smile. When these Knights are holding their bright cans and collecting donations around town, they are helping to recognize the dignity of every person.
For every donation, each donor is offered a piece of candy by the Knight present, most commonly a Tootsie Roll. Because of these little gifts of appreciation, the "Campaign for People with Intellectual Disabilities" has frequently referred to as the "Tootsie Roll Drive." It is one of the most popular and successful fundraisers conducted by the Knights of Columbus.
The Tootsie Roll Program provides health care, learning, and quality of life opportunities for children, teens, and adults with disabilities. Grants are offered primarily to public and private agencies that are qualified not-for-profit organizations focusing on improving the quality of life and providing healthcare and related services benefiting those with disabilities.
We accomplish this mission by raising funds to support a variety of state-wide programs like Special Olympics, summer camps for all ages, education in residential care facilities, on-the-job training workshops, and more regardless of the nature of an individual’s disability.
While we are always accepting donations, we officially “run” the drive during the weekend preceding Columbus Day.