YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Knights of Pythias Lodge No. 859 of Yorktown recently held its annual holiday “Shake-a-Can” fundraiser. All of the money collected is used to send gifts to members of the United States armed forces serving overseas and to provide needed items for veterans at the Veterans Administration facility in Montrose.

The Order of Knights of Pythias is an international, non-sectarian fraternal order, established in 1864 in Washington, D.C., by Justus H. Rathbone and was the first fraternal order to be chartered by an Act of Congress.

Domains of the order exist in most states and provinces, and subordinate lodges are located in many cities and towns across the United States and Canada. The Yorktown lodge was founded in 1980.

Sign Up for E-News

A number of supermarkets in the area give the Yorktown lodge permission to stand at the entrance with buckets for contributions. The New York State Grand Lodge collects thousands of items (non-perishables) that can be sent to troops overseas. A portion of the money collected is sent to the New York State Grand Lodge to pay the postage required to mail the packages. The remainder of the money is used to purchase supplies (coffee, cups and other supplies) for veterans at the Montrose hospital. Between these two allocations, 100 percent of the money is donated.

The Yorktown Knights of Pythias is entirely non-profit and run by volunteers.