One of singer, songwriter and musician Gary Pinto’s early memories is of a small cardboard box, sitting on the mantelpiece of his family home, The Courier reports.
The ARIA award-winning, platinum-selling recording artist, whose family is originally from India, says the yearly six-week Project Compassion collection, organised by Caritas, the Catholic Church’s long-term development agency, was part of growing up.
“Caritas has always been at part of my life; at church I used to get these Project Compassion boxes; you’d donate every year to those in need across the world, and they’d sit on the mantelpiece in our house,” Pinto says.
“They are such a strong memory, aren’t they? They have such a heart to them, such a beautiful appeal and approach. People don’t really know who Caritas are, they tend to fly under the radar; but they are the second-biggest charity in the world. They do work in places other charities can’t or won’t go to.”
The COVID-19 outbreak has had a severe impact on the work Caritas can do around the world, with travel restrictions and the quarantining of societies.
Now the Voice, X-Factor and Dancing with the Stars vocal coach is giving a hand to Project Compassion by leading a free online concert, featuring artists Diesel, Matt Gresham, CBD, Natasha, Carmen Smith, and Bobby Lee Stamper with others still to be confirmed.
Pinto says the May 9 concert is dedicated to those most vulnerable to poverty and illness around the world, especially those threatened by outbreaks of COVID-19 in poor communities. He wants schoolchildren, teachers, churches and families across Australia to stand in solidarity with those less able to call upon the resources of government and charity to assist them.