Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, Texas State Deputy Douglas Oldmixon, third from right, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, and Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, far right, pose Aug. 2 with Larry and Beth Odom and their 10 children during the Knights' annual international convention in St. Louis. The Knights named the family from Austin as International Family of the Year for 2017 for the special care they have shown for the homeless. (CNS photo/Knights of Columbus)
ST. LOUIS (CNS) -- A family from Austin, Texas, that has shown special care for the homeless was named the Knights of Columbus International Family of the Year for 2017 during the Knights' annual international convention Aug. 1-3 in St. Louis.
Larry and Beth Odom and their 10 children typically carry supplies with them when they go out to give to those in need they encounter. When fire destroyed the home of a single mom and her four children, the Odoms took them into their home for five months.
"Larry and Beth have taught their children to serve selflessly," said the application nominating the Odoms for the award. "Serving others is, for them, a privilege, not a burden."
"It's a lesson I learned from my parents," Larry said in an Aug. 3 statement. "I remember on more than one occasion, people stayed with us when I was a boy."
Larry belongs to the Knights of Columbus Council 8156 in Austin, which he joined after attending a council event with his family.
"We were treated like family," said Larry. "The family atmosphere was contagious and we really enjoyed it."
Larry, Beth and their children volunteer with the council by setting up, cooking, serving food and cleaning up for the council's community dinners and fundraising events.
Larry, an engineer for Silicon Laboratories, has been a Knight for 10 years. He has held the office of grand knight and has served as a delegate to both state and international Knights' conventions.