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Donations to the Community Chest Fund up by €1.8 million

Scenes from last year's l-Istrina.

Donations to events organised by the Malta Community Chest Fund increased by €1.85 million last year from the previous year, according to a report issued by the MCCF today. The fund also reported a surplus of €879,571 compared to a deficit of €482,431 in the previous year.

Most of the growth in donations was made during l-Istrina, where a record collection of €2.2 million was made. The total amount of contributions to the MCCF was €2.5 million.

President George Abela, chairman of the fund, said the list of beneficiaries from the money raised during l-Istrina was increased by 10 following the success of the campaign.

He was speaking before the handing out of cheques to 28 NGOs, which shared just over €1 million from the campaign. The rest of the funds are to be used by the Community Chest Fund, which organised l-Istrina.

President Abela said that l-Istrina last year raised twice as much as the previous year, but the success of the event was not only in the amount of donations made, but also in the fact that the value of giving without expecting to receive had been strengthened.

No gifts were offered last year to people who made their donations.

Dr Abela said that for the first time, last year funds were allocated to particular projects being handled by the NGOs, rather than the NGOs directly.

He said that last year's format would be carried over for this year's l-Istrina, which will be held on Boxing Day.

As was the case last year, this year l-Istrina supporting events will include the fun run on December 5 between San Anton and Valletta palaces, an auction of art works, the piggy-bank collection in schools and Paqpaqli ghal l-Istina, a fund raising event by car enthusiasts.

Dr Abela said applications from NGOs wishing to receive funds from this year's event had opened. The beneficiaries, he said, would be announced before the event, but more may be added if the collection was a big one.

Dr Abela said that every month, the Malta Community Chest Fund approves an average of 160 applications for assistance to individuals. The Fund issues between €90,000 and €100,000 every month for anything from the most basic needs of food and medicine, to people's need for specialised medical equipment or overseas medical treatment.

Franco Masini, chairman of the board which evaluates applications for l-Istrina funds said the board assesses all proposed projects and carries out on-site inspections. The projects are also evaluated after l-Istrina to ensure that the funds are used for the purpose they were allocated for.

The beneficiaries this year were Fra Diego Home, Dar Pirotta, YMCA, Fondazzjoni Nazareth, the Malta Guide Dogs Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Group, the Mission Fund, Mid-dlam Ghad-dawl, Victim Support Malta.

Fondazzjoni Suret il-bniedem, Oratorju Don Bosco, St Jeanne Antide Foundation, Caritas, Fondazzjoni Arka, Fondazzjoni Wens, Ursuline Sisters, Inspire;

Malta Hospice Movement, Fondazzjoni Hajja Ndipendenti, Little Sisters of the Poor, Dar il-Kaptan, Equal Partners Foundation, Richmond Foundation, Fonzazzjoni Oasi;

The Physically Handicapped Rehabilitation Fund, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Malta, Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus (UK) and Leaving Children's Homes Benefit Fund.

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