In the quiet corners of my childhood, where dreams clashed with the harsh reality of financial struggles and my physical disability, lies a story that embodies the essence of empathy and the incredible impact of ‘L-Istrina’ – the annual Boxing Day charity telethon organised by the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation
Two decades ago, I was a six-year-old girl facing the formidable challenges of a life confined to the walls of her home due to a lack of a wheelchair-accessible van. Navigating tough times, my mother and I turned to the generosity of our community, seeking assistance to afford the mobility that would unlock the world beyond my doorstep.
The Malta Community Chest Fund, through ‘L-Istrina’, became the answer to my prayers. Through the benevolence of countless hearts, I not only received the much-needed van that expanded my horizons but was also able to embark on a journey to Lourdes, France. This pilgrimage, made possible by the helping hand of those who contributed to ‘L-Istrina’, allowed me to experience the profound joy of having my first Holy Communion in a sacred place.
Fast forward two decades later, and I find myself not just a past beneficiary of ‘L-Istrina’ but also an activist carrying the torch of gratitude and the spirit of giving. I am privileged to be one of ‘L-Istrina’’s success stories, a testament to the transformative power of collective generosity.
Kindness has a domino effect. The wheelchair-accessible van provided me not just mobility but also independence and a sense of belonging to a world that once seemed beyond reach. ‘L-Istrina’ not only changed my life but also became the catalyst for a mission to pay it forward.
Now, standing on the shoulders of the generosity that lifted me up, I urge you to join the movement of donations to ‘L-Istrina’ today. Your contribution has the potential to transform lives, just as it did mine. Every donation, regardless of size, is a building block in constructing a bridge of opportunities for those facing medical challenges and financial hardships.
As the curtain rises on this year’s edition, let us once again unite in the spirit of giving. ‘L-Istrina’ is not just a charity event; it is a celebration of humanity’s capacity for empathy and the tangible embodiment of hope for those in need. Together, let’s ensure that more stories of resilience emerge from the shadows of adversity.
In the spirit of the Season, I hope you will join me in making our generosity a force that empowers dreams, breaks barriers, and paves the way for a brighter tomorrow of those in need.
Photo: Francis Debono/OPR