Military, First Responders to Be Honored at Mass

Apr 04, 2018

Armed Forces members and first responders will be honored at the Third Annual Mass of Appreciation on Saturday, April 28 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Brant Beach.

Knights for Christ the Healer Inc. is the nonprofit organization that sponsors the observance. The organization is an advocate for veterans and their families.

All are welcome to the Mass that honors the men and women of the U.S. armed forces, veterans and first responders who serve the communities in law enforcement, fire, rescue, first aid and as paramedics, doctors and nurses, said Bill Benedict, a Long Beach Township resident who is the organization president.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Separate from the Mass, the website knightsforchristthehealer.org has information for those who are interested in getting involved with “donations of time, talent and treasure.”

“Our Mission is to bring God’s love and hope by demonstrating gratitude and respect to the men and women veterans and their families, especially the combat wounded of the United States Armed Forces,” organizers summarize.

Specifically, Knights for Christ the Healer works to achieve the following:

• Renovate adaptive housing for severely wounded and disabled veterans;

• Inform veterans and their families of the numerous federal and state program benefits, entitlements and services they may have earned as members of the armed forces. A caseworker from the Military Order of the Purple Heart Inc. is available to answer questions;

• Raise awareness of issues concerning veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

There are several ways citizens can help.

“In order to renovate adaptive housing, we welcome corporate sponsors, lumber and building supply companies, architects, builders, unions, tradespeople, and volunteers who are willing to make a commitment to get the job done in a timely manner,” outlines the website.

Banks, mortgage companies, real estate and financial institutions that will donate foreclosed properties in respectable areas are a necessity.

Also, “we welcome volunteers and mentors who are willing to make a commitment by interviewing veterans and guiding them through a myriad of paperwork in order to accelerate benefits, entitlements and services,” Benedict said.

Training is provided for those who want to assist veterans with paperwork. The Knights for Christ the Healer in collaboration with the Military Order of the Purple Heart conduct training/workshops at various locations in New Jersey to acquaint volunteers with the Veterans Administration (VA) forms and the interview process.

College students are encouraged to participate. They may want to ask their department head about internship possibilities.

For more information, contact Benedict at 973-464-1529.  —M.S.

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