On October 21, 2023, ADRA's (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) Póvoa de Santa Iria branch held a solidarity concert in the hall of the Forte da Casa Parish Church. The concert was put on to raise food and funds to support vulnerable individuals and families in the parishes of Póvoa de Santa Iria and Forte da Casa. The event, which brought together 138 people, raised around 110 kilograms (approx. 240 pounds) of food and €860 (approx. US$920).
The concert featured the special participation of Ministério Mais Perto, a Christian-inspired music group made up of 20 members. Through their songs, the group seeks to convey messages of hope to a world increasingly plagued by conflicts and catastrophes. They presented seven songs from their repertoire to the audience.
The event was attended by Dr. João Faustino, vice-president of ADRA Portugal; Dr. Cármen Maciel, executive director of ADRA Portugal; Dr. Ana Cristina Pereira, president of the Póvoa de Santa Iria and Forte da Casa Parish Council; Paula Custódio, secretary of the Board for the Association of Retired and Elderly People of Póvoa De Santa Iria (ARIPSI); and Joaquim Baltazar, ARIPSI member.
According to Lisley Filipe, head of the local delegation, the event exceeded the ADRA team’s expectations: "The room was packed with partners and people from the community. From the feedback I've had, the public really enjoyed the whole event, from the music, which was very good, to the speeches by the presenters and interviewees, as well as the cocktail that was served, and the opportunity to contribute by buying ADRA merchandising and items that our volunteers had prepared to give 100 percent of the profits from sales to our delegation. Everyone was very happy to have been part of this moment and to have achieved very good results in terms of donations. We also had a visit from the president of the Parish Council, Dr. Ana Cristina Pereira, who gave us words of encouragement." Filipe also revealed her intention to organize a charity concert again in 2024.
Maciel commented, "Initiatives like this demonstrate the vitality of the volunteers and the fun they have in contributing to the growth of the organization. Their involvement is extraordinary and demonstrates the real value of selfless service. The Póvoa de Santa Iria Delegation is to be congratulated for organizing this beautiful solidarity concert."