UNION, NJ – Two local nonprofit organizations were the recipients of donations from the Union Knights of Columbus on Monday, Aug. 28.

The Center of Educational Opportunities of Union and Community Access Unlimited of Elizabeth both received monetary donations from the Knights of Columbus.

John Olivio, a Certified Special Education teacher for the Center for Educational Opportunities, received a check of $2,000.  The Center for Educational Opportunities is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization that assists individuals from ages 14 – 21 years with educational and physical disabilities, such as Autism and Down syndrome.

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Cara Pavia, Director of Fundraising for Community Access, received a check of $1493.80.  Community Access Unlimited is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the assistance of citizens with intellectual disabilities. Throughout their 37 years, Community Access has had a long and outstanding record of empowering people with disabilities. The organization has a support structure of over 6000 people that assist in securing housing and employment for those in need.  The organization also provides personal household assistance as well as home health services for those in need.

Every year, members of Union Knights of Columbus, wearing their yellow vests, stand on the streets and sidewalks of the township collecting monetary donations (shake a can as they call it) for citizens with intellectual disabilities.   Past Grand Knight, Michael Peter, has spearheaded this activity, known as the Intellectual Disabilities drive, for over 10 years.