The Aims of the Order of Saint John, Knights Hospitaller
The Order of St. John, Knights Hospitaller is an international Order of Chivalry, dedicated to provide charitable support for those in need. This ecumenical, Christian order of chivalry is descended from the Knights Hospitaller, an organization founded in the Holy Lands 900 years ago.
As a philanthropic organization The Order of St. John, Knights Hospitaller brings together ladies and gentlemen of distinction willing to contribute to the good of their fellow man. Each Commandery of the Order provides practical or financial charitable support for selected causes as proposed and agreed upon by the Commandery members, the Knights or Dames.
Membership of the Knights Hospitaller brings with it the honor and responsibility for carrying on the centuries-old history and traditions of the Order, as well as the opportunity to interact with a diverse and interesting group of dedicated members around the world.
The Commandery of St. Francis
The Commandery of St Francis was the first commandery to be established on the west coast and is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area. This Commandery is comprised largely of serving or retired Officers of the Armed Forces of the United States of America and its Allies.
Following the traditions of the original Knights Hospitaller, The Commandery of St. Francis aims to support recently wounded service veterans. This is achieved by raising funds and contributing to selected veterans' causes in the Bay Area while enjoying the cameraderie and experiences of fellow members.
Each member contributes an annual tithe and is expected to help with fund raising efforts. As an all-volunteer organization the Commandery has no paid staff or directors so there is no management overhead. The minimal administrative costs are more than covered by members' subscriptions; this means that every dollar raised from the public is passed entirely through to the selected cause.
Members propose and a Commandery committee reviews and selects the programs to be supported during the year. The criterion is that the programs benefit injured veterans in Northern California. Typically we fund small programs with merit which are getting started, where a little money goes a long way. Programs are normally funded for one to three years, reviewed annually, and further supported depending on need and success. Past and current programs supported include:
Pathway Home in Yountville, a residential course treating soldiers suffering from PTSD.
Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors, providing therapy for injured veterans through sail training on the San Francisco Bay.
Community Action North Bay, providing housing and living assistance to veterans in need.
LavaLake Wilderness Program, escorting injured veterans on a week-long horseback wilderness camping experience.