Caritas Bacolod re-launched one of its fund sourcing campaigns, the “Caritas Cans” at the Bishop’s House yesterday to help support mendicants and victims of natural and man-made calamities in Bacolod City.
Social Action Center director Fr. Chris Gonzales said yesterday thatthe program was launched by former Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra in 2008.
Gonzales said Caritas Bacolod is the relief arm of the Diocese of Bacolod, mandated to work for the upliftment of the life of the poor through the effective delivery of social services.
He said mendicants come to them to ask for financial help to buy medicine or for other needs like jeepney, bus or boat fares.
“Every Friday we give catechism to mendicants who come to the Diocese. We also give them rice provided by donors,” Gonzales said.
They also provide relief goods to victims of fire and typhoon like happened during Typhoon Yolanda including the victims of the Marawi siege and evacuees of Mayon volcano, he said.
Gonzales said they will put the Caritas Cans indifferent establishments or schools in Bacolod City so the funds they will be able toraise will be used to help those in need.They also accept relief goods from donors for victims of fire and other calamities.
He said the mendicants who come to them every Friday range 200 to 500and the number increases during Christmas and other occasions. Most of them are from the city, especially the rural poor.
Gonzalez said they do not give out cash. If they need to travel outside Bacolod, they accompany them to the bus terminal or seaport. They are also the ones who buy medicine for those who need them, provided they present a doctor’s prescription.
Those who need burial assistance, are referred to the concerned agency, he said. They also refer street children and those who want to live in the Home for the Agedto the Department of Social Services, he said.
“The act of helping the poor is our mission. We should be thankful to be able to help others because this is an opportunity to do service to Christ,” Gonzales said.
This is a good opportunity to serve Jesusby helping the less fortunate, he also said.
“If we do something good to our brothers and sisters, we are doing it also for Jesus,” Gonzales said,and quoted a verse in the Bible that says “Whatever you have done to the least of your brethren, you have also done for Me.”*CGS
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