WelCom October 2017: Announcing the first World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis said, ‘It is my wish that, in the week preceding the World Day of the Poor, which falls this year on 19 November, the thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Christian communities will make every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance.’
The Archdiocese’s Catholic Social Services have again partnered with the Hutt Valley Benefit Education Service Trust (BEST) to organise a ‘Benefit Impact’ information event. This second Benefit Impact will be held at St Bernadette’s in Naenae, part of Te Awakairangi parish, during the week of 14–17 November 2017 – in the week before Pope Francis’ first World Day of the Poor.
The Benefit Impact event invites beneficiaries, superannuitants and others on low-incomes to come and check their benefit entitlements with trained advocates.
The largest area of advice and assistance at the archdiocese’s Benefit Impact in Upper Hutt last year was for disability benefit, including information about medical costs.
Teresa Homan, manager of Hutt Valley BEST and a member of the Archdiocesan Commission for Justice, Peace and Development, says ensuring people are receiving all the financial assistance available to them is one way of providing practical assistance to people in need in our communities.
‘Any of us, at any time, could end up in a situation where we are in need of extra help through our welfare system,’ Teresa says.
People are invited to contribute to Pope Francis’ invitation to an opportunity for encounter, solidarity and concrete assistance by volunteering as a welcomer, helper or advocate.
There is a training opportunity on Monday 13 November to work as a benefit advocate during the Benefit Impact week. For more information, phone Lisa Beech, Wellington Catholic Social Services (04) 385-8642, or Teresa Homan, Hutt Valley BEST (04) 529-8108.