L-Istrina: Incredible but true - President Abela
Just under 100,000 people donated to L-Istrina yesterday with eight donations per second being received at peak times, President George Abela said this afternoon.
Addressing a news conference held after a record €3,294,997 were raised in the annual fundraising event, the President said that taking Malta's population into account an average of €8.25 per person were donated.
L-Istrina yesterday, he said, showed the true qualities of the Maltese people who sent a message to everyone including politicians that they wanted the focus to be on the people, especially those who were suffering.
The Maltese were the most generous nation, the President said, as he went into specific anecdotes such as that of the couple who asked for contributions to L-Istrina instead of gifts for their 50th wedding anniversary.
Dr Abela said that more than two kilometres of real hair, which would be used to make wigs for cancer patients, were collected.
He said that he did not want the sentiment of unity shown during yesterday’s event to be lost in the electoral campaign and politicians had the duty to nurture this sentiment.
Major Mark Mallia, who coordinated the event, thanked volunteers for their time, including in the run up to the event.
The time people gave was just as big a gift as the money, he said.
Major Mallia said he was amazed by the response from the corporate sector with many companies which said they would be giving the event a miss this year because of the economy showing up with an even bigger donation.