In the heart of Red Deer, Alberta, the Knights of Columbus embarked on a heartwarming initiative called the Candles for Charity project. This unique endeavor not only kindled the spirit of giving but also illuminated the community with handmade Ukrainian Catholic candles. The project, executed with creativity and thriftiness, provided a meaningful way for parishioners to engage with their faith while contributing to a local cause.


The mission of Candles for Charity

The Knights of Columbus aimed to empower Catholics to live their faith both at home and in the community through the Candles for Charity project. In response to local food shortages, the initiative highlighted the Knights as an organization dedicated to supporting both the community and the parish.


Crafting Process:

The candles, purchased at the Dollarstore for $4 each, were created using simple materials sourced from the Dollarstore. The crafting process involved the following steps:

1. Separating a two-ply napkin into two pieces.
2. Ironing the napkin pieces to flatten them.
3. Use double-sided tape from the Dollar Store to attach the napkins to printing paper.
4. Print an icon of choice onto the napkin.
5. Place the napkin around the candle and add a wax paper with the waxy side facing the napkin and candle.
6. Heating the wax paper to melt the wax and secure the napkin.
7. Peeling off the wax paper, leaving behind a beautifully adorned candle.

Candles for Charity Concept

The handmade Ukrainian Catholic candles were crafted using materials sourced from the Dollarstore. Parishioners were encouraged to donate when taking a candle, fostering increased personal reflection and prayer throughout the year. Not only did this initiative deepen spiritual practices, but it also contributed to the local community, as 100% of the donations were directed to the Red Deer Food Bank.

The project’s focus on Ukrainian Catholic/Eastern rite iconography set it apart, intending to showcase unique designs that differed from the Roman Catholic candles readily available in the market.


Success and Community Impact

The Candles for Charity project was met with resounding success. Almost immediately, the candles were donated and taken. Despite being a time-consuming endeavor, the project brought a sense of joy and uniqueness to parish life.

The Knights of Columbus made the project available for two Sundays, both of which saw the candles selling out almost instantly. This success not only demonstrated the community’s enthusiasm for engaging with their faith but also showcased the Knights of Columbus as a beacon of hope and support in Red Deer. The Candles for Charity project, with its meaningful mission and creative execution, stands as a testament to the positive impact that small initiatives can have on both spiritual and community well-being.