NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This year's Thanksgiving holiday will be a joyful celebration for blessings received thanks to efforts by the Knights of Columbus throughout the United States. K of C members have planned several events to help those in need enjoy this Thanksgiving, and the Knights are running a commercial in several markets around the country inviting the public to help support efforts to feed the hungry especially at this time of year. In New Haven, Conn. members of Holy Family Council 8882, located at the Knights of Columbus headquarters, delivered a truckload of clothing donated by K of C employees to Christopher Martin's Restaurant in New Haven, which annually provides a three course Thanksgiving meal to some 500 working poor and homeless individuals. The donated clothing will be distributed to the people attending the event. For the 22nd consecutive year, Knights of Columbus Fairview Council 4044 in Chicopee, Mass., will conduct a community Thanksgiving dinner. Expected to feed more than 3,500 people, the event gathers and feeds to those in need - either of a holiday meal or the company of friends and family with which to share it. Meals are given to area facilities that serve the needy, and delivered to the homebound. Volunteers begin food preparation on Monday of Thanksgiving week, providing meals to the Chicopee Boys and Girls Club dinner that evening. By Thanksgiving day the Knights are ready for their feast, which includes nearly 2,000 meals delivered to the elderly and disabled, along with a sit down meal for people in need or alone. On Friday, Nov. 23, Knights in the Bridgeport, Conn., area will distribute 500 coats to children in need in the greater Bridgeport area as part of the Order's "Coats for Kids" program. Last year, through the coats distribution program, more than 725 K of C councils donated 32,508 coats to children in need throughout the United States and Canada. Along with these, and hundreds of other activities across the country, a 30-second Knights of Columbus Thanksgiving Day television message will air this holiday weekend inviting the public to support the Knights in feeding those in need. The spot features the recent "Tractor Cruise for Charity" in Missouri which netted 1,000 pounds of food and $19,000 in donations for local food pantries. In Missouri, the Knights of Columbus Journey for Charity has been a boon for local food banks — and families — trying to makes ends meet. The program is part of the Knights' Food for Families Program which was established at the height of the economic downturn to help the needy. Donations can be made at Kofc.org/ thanksgiving. "Charity - helping those most in need - has always been the first principle of the Knights of Columbus," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "As we all pause to give thanks this year, it is important that we not forget those less fortunate than ourselves, and that we do all we can to help them give thanks too."