Over time, the practice of charity and support for people in vulnerable situations is something that the Parish has taken on, in conjunction with the social institutions of the municipality. As there is already in existence a Santa Casa da Misericórdia (Charity organisation through the church), there was never a need to create a structure of social action specific to the parish. Currently, it is through Amigos à Mão that the Parish exercises its charitable works, liaising with various partners in the field, and seeking to respond to the concrete needs of families.
Amigos à Mão (Friends at Hand) is a kind of “warrior arm” of the Parish, seeking to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged families in the community. Creatively, and in the spirit of networking and mutual help, it liaises closely with the municipality’s social network.
Throughout the year, they help to meet the basic needs of families who are struggling. Through the distribution of food and cash aid, help goes towards food, education, health, housing and clothing. They also organize various campaigns that respond to specific needs that arise, in the local or global community. All funds and goods made available are raised through donations.
Being an informal organisation, in which all those who collaborate regularly or occasionally in campaigns and projects are included, Amigos à Mão has no formal structure, headquarters or opening hours. Nevertheless, they are always available and can be contacted vi social media Facebook and Instagram and email). You can also just send an email to the Parish Registry Office if you prefer.
Created in 2011, with the effects of the economic and social crisis still being felt, the group has already intervened in the lives of many thousands of people in the Cascais community and beyond, further mobilizing many hundreds of volunteers. Amongst the most emblematic projects is the annual campaign Lança a Rede e Reparte (Throw out the net and share) (Christmas Hampers), Força da Natureza (Force of Nature) (movement in support of the victims of the 2017 fires) and the social responses that emerged in response to the pandemic, such as the Cozinheiros à Mão (Cooks at Hand) who, over the course of 16 months, cooked more than 22,000 meals for families in difficulty.