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Collecting for the homeless

YMCA'S homeless Personalities event, that was aimed at raising awareness of the 300 homeless people in Malta as well as raising money for YMCA's Valletta Homeless project, came to an end early yesterday afternoon.

According to Jean-Paul Mifsud of YMCA some Lm2,000 were collected on site, while Lm3,700 came through telephone calls.

Media personalities went home at 1 p.m. after spending 30 hours in Freedom Square, Valletta, and leaving the YMCA crew to count all the money collected by them and volunteers who went round the island in Land Rovers plus the donations made over the phone.

YMCA youth co-ordinator Mario Saliba described the event as a "fantastic experience".

"You can see all types of people trying to help and although the personalities helped to attract people, in the end it was about the homeless," he said.

He said that apart from the cash that was still being counted people donated anything ranging from beds to ironing boards.

The Times journalist Rosanne Zammit described her homeless experience as "interesting."

"The feeling was good, especially as we knew that we were doing something useful for others. It was not easy however, and it must be very tough for people who live like this every day. During the day the heat was stifling and we even had to wet our faces at times."

Other participants in the event were Clare Agius, Natal Attard Bayliss, Peppi Azzopardi, Brendan Borg, Annalise Ellul, Xandru Grech, Christine Haber, Mariella Scerri, Andrea Cassar, Gianni Zammit, Ray Calleja and Joe Tanti.

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