Show some love

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I’m not really into the mushy side of today’s feast, but I do like the excuse to show some extra love without being thought over-sentimental.

The thing is that I don’t like to look at today as a lovers’ day. It seems a bit inconsiderate to rub romance in the face of the millions of people suffering heartache, whether it is a result of lost romance or other events. Having said that, I have a date night with the husband planned for tonight and I’m as excited as a teenager on her first date at the thought of spending some time alone with him! This morning I celebrated Love Day with the girls by eating heart-shaped toast and leaving little love notes in Maia’s school lunch.

All this loving and smiling and cuddling made me think of how lucky we are, especially our children. They experience love daily. They know love. They know they can take it for granted and cannot imagine a life without it. There are so many people, however, who don’t have that privilege. While I certainly thought of those whose relationship recently broke down (including a couple of people close to me), I couldn’t help thinking of the children who would never know the safety and love a family can offer. I thought of the homeless kids in Brazil, who my husband met during his seafaring years and mentions very often. What chance do they have at a happy life where love is a given? Their future looks very bleak, but there is also so much love being spread all over the world. There are people who leave their own families and comfort and work tirelessly to bring some stability and love in these children’s lives.

One such person is Fr Anton Grech, one of the many Maltese (actually, I’m proud to specify that he’s Gozitan) who left our shores to spread some love where it is more needed. He now lives in Guatemala, where children roam the streets just like they do in Brazil and in many other poor countries. As parish priest in the area of Izabal, he felt the need to start a community project that would bring young people together and get them off the streets. He is constructing a football pitch and adjoining training rooms with the aim of teaching children sports. This would help give them a sense of belonging, a safe place where to meet their friends and spend time and would also teach them a skill. The pitch will also be used as an open-air theatre to stage performances and other events.

The project is in an advanced stage of completion but it needs more funding to see it completed. So Fr Anton’s sister, Marika, will be taking part in the Malta Marathon on the 27th of February in a bid to help raise the remaining funds needed, even though she admits that she isn’t usually athletic at all. I know that by now we’ve already bought our Valentine’s Day cards and gifts (if that’s your thing), but wouldn’t it be great if we showed some love where it would really make a difference?

Cards and flowers are nice, but contributing to a project that has the potential of changing so many lives? Now that’s what I call love!

If you’re willing to help finish off this project, you can donate money either in this account:
HSBC Bank A/C Nr. : 071-017552-051 (and write Malta Marathon) or you can contact me and I will refer you to Marika.

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