Thursday, December 25, 2008

Golfing for charity

Some people play golf to get business, some do it to get away from business. Then there’s the few that make it their business to play golf and help the disadvantaged at the same time. One of our regular volunteers Joyce is a great communicator of JS needs and she connected us to one of her many business networks just so more people could learn about the plight of single parents and do something really meaningful in the process.
Thanks to her gentle nudging, the Selangor & Federal Territory Machinery Merchants Association (SAFMA) took time off from their hectic corporate schedules to play a bit of golf but they did this with a singular purpose – to help raise funds for charity and this time around Jumble Station was among the many organizations that benefited from their heartfelt compassion.

Co-founder Lim Lian See, Joyce and I were invited to attend SAFMA’s 20th anniversary held at the HGH Convention Centre at Jalan Sentul. There we were treated to a sumptuous Chinese ‘makan’ fit for a king and where we were entertained by highly energetic Chinese, Thai and multi-ethnic dancing! The event culminated in a cheque presentation and Jumble Station was given a RM6,000 cheque for Single Parents which came in real handy when we decided to co-host a ‘Back-to-school’ party for the kids of single parents. More on that soon…

A family Outing..with a singular difference!

Family outings are usually tough things to plan. Try that with a dozen families or so and it can be a logistical nightmare. Still that didn’t stop four friends from doing it and doing it each time for single parents for the last three years.

Michael Moey, Dolly Chan, Mary Verguese and Tan Gaik Khim were buddies from USM ( Class of 1976) and this fab four were given a lump sum of money for charity way back in 2006 by A-da Solutions (M) Sdn Bhd plus various individual well-wishers. The four wanted to give single parents some quality time with their children. “During this time, they get to fellowship with other single mothers and participate in the many fun activities eg visits to tea estate, strawberry farm, vegetable farm etc,” Khim says.

This year, they did the same with some 12 families, all single parents recommended by Jumble Station, a community outreach initiative to assist Single Parents in need. We chose single parents who really needed a break or could do with a little pampering for a change. There was Mary Dass, the Mother Theresa of Desa Mentari near Sunway. She has a 20 year old daughter and every one in need at Desa Mentari goes to her for help.

There was Amethy with her two children, there was Krishnan a single father of 5 kids, there was Alice and her two kids, Meng Hong from Kajang with her two daughters, Lonvy from Sungai Buloh with her eight year old son Shaun, there was Anna and Alice, a grandmother of 5 kids that she's caring for and a couple of others as well. Yours truly went along as well to see first hand what it was like and to photograph the families on holiday at cool, CheFoo Centre at Cameron Highlands!

Both parents and kids enjoyed themselves visiting Strawberry and vegetable farms, vegetable market, pasar malam, pasar pagi and touring the Boh Tea plantation. Meals were a hefty affair, nasi lemak in the mornings to biscuits and cookies for tea and dinner saw loads of Cameron vegetables, seafood and meat aplenty, whatever hunger were easily appeased. Lunch too at Tanah Rata was a special treat thanks to the generousity of the Kiwanis of Puchong and Cheras which had graciously agreed to sponsor the meal for our hungry troupe and we all tucked into the seafood cum meat platter voraciously.

What made the trip memorable to many was the thoughtful gesture on the part of the fab four to have the photographs of each single parent and their kids taken after which it was promptly developed and printed. Each family then were given manila cards and ribbons and told to decorate their own photo albums the best way they could. The most creative were awarded prizes but for many of the families, the photographs will be a lasting momento of their precious time together and the precious gift of good times together by an unknown donor who knew how to give the gift of giving in a more meaningful way.

The only sad part of this story? There will not be a 4th outing because the lump sum given by the mysterious donor is finished. The single parents don’t know this, Jumble Station hopes that somewhere out there, someone will step forward to continue this uniquely beautiful gesture of giving and get the fab four to continue organizing more of such trips for the down and out of society. If you have the cash but don’t have the time, then give us a call 016-2202958 (Anne) and we’ll connect you to one of the fab four so that the lives of more single families can be touched for years to come .

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Setting Up a soup kitchen in Lembah Subang

What do you do when kids go hungry and they have no one to turn to? Jumble Station came across some children of single parents who for some reason or another cannot feed their children two to three square meals a day.

One single mother locks her children in the house while she goes out to work and the kids will beg for food from which ever neighbour happens to be passing outside their grilled flat. Another single mother, Sumathi Renganathan is undergoing deep depression after being abandoned by her ‘man’. She was living in an abandoned flat meant for demolition where there was no electricity and no nearby neighbours at all. She can’t function normally and chooses to feed her two daughters with cold and days old food because “she doesn’t want her cooking gas to run out!”

These and many others do exist in the very heart of Selangor at Lembah Subang just a mile or so from the old airport at Subang and minutes from the PAWS animal shelter office. For Sumathi, Jumble Station had took her to University Hospital for medical and psychiatric evaluation and then housed her two daughters, Kavi Shalini 4 years and Santhia 2years in a flat that we rented for RM130 a month. It’s a government flat and talk has it that the rental will be raised but that’s another matter.

The flat will be our own Lembah Subang Soup Kitchen and Vennie, a single mother who has since retired will be responsible for the cooking and feeding of hungry children and families thereby ensuring that poor families have at least one good meal a day!

Aside from paying for the rental of the flat, Jumble Station was also able to assist with the set up of the kitchen by sending over an oven cooker, a gas stove, cutlery, plates and other kitchen utensils, a ceiling fan among others which had bee given by other donors.
We are also committed to bringing in groceries and ingredients that will be needed by the cooks to ensure the cooking pots are steaming healthy meals each day for those in need.

It’s a small start but Jumble Station hopes that this soup kitchen will be a place where single parents can also meet up to network and encourage each other while learning new skills from time to time. Sumathi has since been discharged from hospital and is now happily staying at the Stepping Stones Home in Subang where she will have her medical situation monitored and her two little girls cared for daily.

Meanwhile, with the soup kitchen we believe this is yet one more practical way to ease the plight of single parents within the Lembah Subang area and one where other more well off people can step up to assist as well by donating goods or food directly to the families concerned. Those interested can igve a buzz/sms Anne at 016-2202958.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Meet Jumble Station 2!

Exactly one year after Jumble Station1 was born, Jumble Station 2 is now a reality. It is located at RS-G-1 Plaza Sri Muda just a stone's throw from the old wet market. Some 8 months ago, we were considering this location but we opted not to take a spot because then we felt it was a little too soon for Jumble Station to branch out after the failed experiment at Desa Mentari (JS Junior) where we could not find a single mother that was willing to assist us in managing the place efficiently.

Back then too we felt that the Sri Muda location was a little too quiet for our liking and it would be hard to attract people to the shop. Our gut instinct proved right, we saw a few of the early entrants pulling outjust as we were about to move in because they could not stomach the long wait for the place to come alive.

Now however, the environment has totally changed, now the likes of Mydin and other Pasarraya mini-marts have taken residence on the outer fringes of the marketplace and more folks are thronging there. Inside the spanking new market there were still many shops waiting to be rented out.

The wet market was touted to have been demolished and replaced by this new market but three years down the road, the recalcitrant sellers have refused to budge from the old and take up their rightful place in the new market. Hence many shoplots were going for a very reasonable rental indeed. This time we managed to rent a corner lot which used to be a barber shop which came complete with glass walls enabling curious passersby to see right through the shop itself.

On September 19, 2008, we opened the shop for business and Adrian, a single father worked hard at drawing in the buyers but cajoling and persuasion, with a little help from some flyers as well. The purpose of this shop is to enable JS to reach out to yet another poor community - the Shah Alam neighbourhood where exists a large low income and poor community comrpising bumis, Indians and migrant groups.

We hope that this new outlet will prove to be a blessing to these folks as much as JS1 has been to the folks at Angsana USJ1. With more people willing to give their unwanted household items to JS to help Single Parents, JS1 will be filled to overflowing unless we find another outlet and with the obvious slowdown in the economy, resulting in reduced sales, it makes better sense to find another outlet so that the funds for Single Parents will remain sustainable even as the number of Single Parents discovering JS role is increasing.

So far the indication for JS2 looks promising, customers, locals and migrants are finding our products way cheaper than Bundle or our outside rivals but we're still keenly working hard to make this new outlet as much as success as JS1. Our next move is to identify a single mum who is trustworthy and committed enough to look after the shop on a daily basis and on a small allowance to boot!
The old timers there all warned us that it would be tough to succeed there. In fact our new neighbour a Malay herbal shop is already finding it extremely hard to get business and plans to call it quits in a month or two, a Chinese sinseh two doors away switched to a shop fronting MyMydin and told us we wouldn't make it either - but we're still game to try it and we shall see how it pans out in the end!

70 needy folks get Raya Hampers from PPB Group

Malaysia's sugar king Robert Kuok's local corporate arm PPB Group wanted to bless some of the needy folks around Subang and Sunway areas and approached Jumble Station for help in identifying the right people to give Hari Raya Hampers.

Despite the rather short notice, we were able to get some 70 names - 50 from the Angsana area where JS is located and another 20 from Desa Mentari at Sunway to bring joy to . Our JS lorry swung by PPB office at Wisma Jerneh at Jalan Sultan Ismailwhere 70 invidual bags of oggdies were already ready and waiting for delivery. Expecting the usual gaily wrapped hamper, I was surprised to find several, heavily loaded bags good enough for a muscle-man to carry. Inside each bag were an assorted range of goodies from sardines to flourto sugar, to biscuits to cooking oil, Clorox and even fresh bread and apples. All in all it was one heavy load indeed. Just pushing, dragging and shoving the bags albeit carefully onto the lorry was a hefty task that had workers and volunterrs panting and heaving towards the end. desa Mentari was the first stop and it being a week day, a Tuesday most of the 20 Single Mums were away at work leaving only a handful to collect on behalf on the rest.
After that it was off to Angsana where some 30 or so needy ones which included Single Parents, the disabled, the low income, chronically ill and the down trodden were given their respective bag of goodies. For garbage collector Sadi Nawi for instance,it meant being able to eat for a couple of days because prior to that, he depended on his daily wage of RM1.50 - RM3 from the management in lieu of disposing the mountains of garbage that acrrued at Angsana Flats. While some residents there questioned the wisdom of someone who is an acoholic the key and valid point they're missing is that he more than any other person there is really in need of help and if during this Raya month we cannot keep one more indivudual happy and contented if only for a wee while, why then should we begrudge such a person a little joy like this - after all giving a raya hamper is not like one is giving him cash so he can drink right!

Monday, August 25, 2008

When high price meets low price

UDM Owners who are the proud owners of high priced vehicles BMW dropped by Jumble Station last Saturday to share some of their ‘cool comfort’ stuff with Jumble Station and took along about 5 Single Parents and their kids for the ride of their lives.

A total of 10 BMW cars replete with Malaysian flags made up the convoy for the UDM Owners Merdeka Charity Drive and were flagged off by Subang Jaya ADUN Hannah Yeoh. The VVIP passengers comprised Rosnah and her four children, Babu and his 7 boys, Julie Tan and her three kids, Lisa and her 5 month old daughter as well as Olga a Filipino single mum as well as three of single mum Nani’s children.

The convoy took off at 9.30am and wound its way from Jumble Station to the Sunway Lagoon Resort where the BMWs were given a special right to park at the Orange Atrium entrance. From then on, the focus was on making the day special for the Single Parents and their kids.

They were treated to a movie “Meet Dave” where laughter greeted Eddie Murphy’s latest antics and fast talk after which lunch was at Michaelangelo’s Italian Kitchen and a little bit of shopping around the Sunway Pyramid 2 shopping mall before heading back to Jumble Station at 4pm. The day was topped off with each child being given a goodie bag full of tidbits and stationary items, among others.

The overall response from the kids and parents say it all.

Babu: “Ini Italian makan banyak sedap. Baik kita dapat makan sini. Tak pernah makan macam ini. Kalau saya kena bayar, lebih RM100 mana sanggup?

Rosnah: “My children have not gone to see a show for ages. We cannot afford it cos it is cheaper to buy a VCD or DVD but they love the car ride, the movie and the food!”

Lisa “My little slept all the way in the BMW, she knows what comfort is and she was so good too during the movie!

Nani: My children really enjoyed themselves, thank you so much for arranging this event.”

Julie Tan: “My kids are really happy today and even though they had to wait around, they told me the wait was really worth it! Thanks JS and UDMOnwers for this special day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Jumble Station is 1 this month!

Imagine that! Jumble Station is 1 come August 28 this year and we've got a great Birthday present to celebrate this historic milestone - a van! That's right, for a whole year we've been desperately trying to get a van. Numerous letters were written, appeals made during presentations, hints proffered and direct requests made to politicians to no avail.

Of course some have promised to give the cash, some offered to help us get it via their connections some even said they'd find a van and buy it for us - nadda. Then last Sunday when I was on my way to church I decided to turn to the one person I had forgotten to ask - God - telling him I was fed up of trying to get one and that it was his turn to take on the task.

Miracle of miracles, after the church service I was given a letter and in it was a cheque from an anonymous donor for RM40,000 towards the purchase of a van and a pat on the back from DUMC Senior Pastor to keep the JS flag flying. So who says miracles don't happen and fast too!

So now with the RM9,999 given by The Legend Hotel last Christmas, we now have RM50,000 to buy a van to help ferry Single Parents around for events and to collect donated items from well wishers... so HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUMBLE STATION - what a great and fascinating year it has been for all of us and now as we embark on year two let's wish for greater things to brighten the lives of Single Parents... cheers Antz

Monday, August 4, 2008

In the grand-daddy of flea-markets – Amcorp Mall

Amcorp Mall is reknowned in Malaysia as being the oldest, the grand-daddy so to speak of flea market locations. It is the place if you’re looking to buy second hand goods and antiques. Go there any weekend and you’ll see hordes of flea market traders and second hand buyers roaming the various floors looking for great buys.

Last Friday, Jumble Station was given the opportunity to participate in a Charity Sale organized Amcorp Mall to coincide with Deaf Art Exhibition opened by the Deputy Minister of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage, Teng Boon Soon. Our first foray there proved to be an interesting experience. For one we got to know and became friends with quite a few other fellow charity centric organizations like Bless Shop belonging to SIB, WAO for abused women, a Buddhist disabled group, Malaysian Hope and one other welfare home for orphans. Oh yeah, there was also a Left Handers table there which was a great find for an avowed lefty!

Although the design of the floor layout could have been improved to enable a better flow of the human traffic in and out of the ground floor itself, the response of the buyers and shoppers at Amcorp was gratifying. They clearly appreciated the many and varied collectible items that we had on display and bought many an item with very little bargaining, because the pricing was extremely reasonable. In terms of sharing about JS and its aspirations too, the response was extremely warm and many were delighted to know that there is now a place like Jumble Station that is willing to take all their unwanted stuff. During the dull moments, some of us enlivened the time with golden oldies, warbling away to the amusement of the others. Point is, we showed others how passionate and lively JS folks can be when serving the needy!

Overall, the experience was an exhilarating and a pleasing one, so we at JS certainly look forward to our 1st weekend of every month participation in the Amcorp Mall charity floor (top floor) do since this will enable us to reach out to more people and more people including single parents in need who can now reach us directly is they so require. What we sorely need now are more volunteers for these mall promotion events to lessen the burden on our already hard stretched workers Adrian, Sue and steadfast volunteer Joyce Leong… any other more willing souls out there????

Monday, July 21, 2008

Jumble Station's Lian See featured in Asian Beacon

Jumble Station's co-founder Lim Lian See is featured in this month's issue of Asian Beacon. For those who don't know, Asian Beacon is an interdenominational Christian magazine that has been around ages...well since 1968! Lian See is the cool, calm, genteel power behind the growth of Jumble Station and a true Godly servant with a really big heart for the poor and the marginalised. Her persuasive powers can cut through many a feeble excuse so its usually easier to just respond to her plea for help and many a downtrodden life has been blessed because she cared enough to respond and to get others to respond to a need. Get a copy of Asian Beacon "The Beyond Sickness" issue and read more about her in the article titled "A Single Minded Hairdresser."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Our first foray into the busy shopping malls

1Utama became Jumble Station's first foray into the busy shopping malls recently and boy that was an experience. The iUtama management was kind enough to allow us the use of its Community Corner designed to help raise greater awareness of the actitivities of the charitable organisations and JS was the chosen one this time around.

Our penetration of the malls coincided with the Mega Sale Carnival and we were hoping to raise greater awareness and knowledge of JS to the buying crowd. The promotional exercise began on Friday which meant JS could not get enough volunteers esp in the early morning period but loyal volunteers like Jenny from Sunway, Joyce Leong from Puchong, Samuel and his high spirited CG members dropped by to give us a hand with the handing out of the flyers.

Funnily enough, not many people were even aware of our presence, some came and treated us as an info counter (where's Nando... Parkson??? Korean restaurant were the most common!!!) and still failed to ask us about what we were doing, we still ensured they did not leave without our newly printed postcards.

A couple were pretty rude, reifused to take our postcards and never even slowed their pace of walking, after hastily running after a few, we the more easily tired out ones decided to let the youngsters do the walkin and the talkin... still I choose to believe that many more people are aware of JS existence and that while sales there over the 3day period was laughable, still it was a fun experience.. hopefully early August at the Amcorp Mall will prove to be a more exciting one.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Deloitte does its part to help JS

Deloitte at UPtown in Petaling Jaya took time out from its busy corporate activities to lend a much needed hand to Jumble Station. It recently did its bit for charity by organising a collection day specially among its staff.
A few days prior to the event emails and flyers were sent and pinned up all over the office premises to ensure staff were made well aware of the event.
A meeting room was set aside just to collect the items which were then placed neatly into individual boxes with the labels smartly identifying which box was for which.
Babu and I braved the horrendous traffic jam to reach the office location at Uptown and we were given several boxes of clothes, shoes and toys. Other items such as grocery items and pet food were donated to orphanages and PAWS. It was a pretty satisfying collection and Deloitte felt encouraged enough to want to plan another in a couple of months time. We're hoping that corporate firms out there will want to emulate the likes of Deloitte in giving a hand to the needy.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Single Parents having a great time

Despite the stormy weather which made it tough for some Single Mums to attend, Jumble Station's first Mother’s Day party for Single Parents got off to a rousing start with several of the mothers friskily ‘kicking off their heels’ to participate in an impromptu ‘Hokey Pokey’ dance designed to get them loosened up for the special event.

It was swiftly followed by a number of games aimed at testing their dexterity with chopsticks in the case of picking up beans, their toothy snap and crunch ability with the sunflower seeds, muscle power with newspaper toss in the case of the Single Fathers and wind power where it came to blowing up a balloon till it burst.

The Single Parents were given a short speech by Jumble Station single parents co-ordinator Lim Lian See who also announced the fact that JS has officially assumed full responsibility for the care of all those within the Shelter Home’s Single Mothers Network and combined with the newer ones on JS’ database, these will now come under the proposed umbrella of “Parents without Partners’. More on this later.

This was followed by a brief power point presentation on what Jumble Station was all about by JS co-founder Mary Anne. This was very quickly followed by a lively presentation of the Malay version of line dancing also known as ‘pocho pocho’ by three dancers from the Angsana Residents Committee dance troupe led by single father Aiman.

The highlight of the event was the lucky draw where every one of the Single Parents won a lucky draw prize regardless of whether the item was a small silver bracelet or a large electronic biggie item such as a DVD, an oven etc. Topping off the evening’s revelry was the fantastic food spread that was laid out for them with enough for some of the ‘poorer’ Single parents to ‘take away’ for their dinner or perhaps lunch for their kids the next day.

And to make the day even more memorable, every single Parent was given a goodie bag from courier company GDex with believe it or not, one electric item – an electric steam iron or a toaster or a hairdryer along with a photoframe and other great stuff – to take away. Even the little children were not forgotten, they too received a goodie bag from DGex which saw them all leaving with huge smiles on their faces.

To all the sponsors and volunteers out there who made this event so special, memorable and enjoyable, our sincere thanks and heartfelt appreciation for without your input, this would not have been as fabulous. So once again, a very big THANK YOU!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jumble Station’s 1st Mother’s Day celebration

From May 1, Jumble Station was asked by Shelter Home to take over its 3-year old Single Mothers Network group since we’re already doing a good job of it! This is a challenge we were more than willing to take on because it is precisely an integral part of our vision and mission.

This special takeover event will be celebrated on a discreet scale on June 1 2008. JS will be holding a Mothers Day event to get all the Single Parents that are currently under Jumble Station’s care to meet up with some of those who were from the Shelter Home Single Mothers Network.

The event will be held at Hall 3 of Dream Centre which is just next door to Jaya 33 at Section 13/1 Petaling Jaya from 2.30pm - 4.30pm. While we have around 150 Single Parents on our database, only 60 of the poorest among them will be feted on that day, together with their children.

Among the activities to look forward to is the dance performance by the Angsana Residents led by single father Aiman who together with his motley crew will perform the “pocho pocho’ dance and some cha cha to boot. Also in the offing will be some lucky draws, a presentation about Jumble Station and its mission as well as a song or two.

Themed “Mum, you’re my everything” this event aims to recognize the special role and continuing importance of Single Parents as they struggle to keep their family together despite their difficulties. We’re currently looking for donors willing sponsor a ‘draw prize or two’ so that as many of these single mums can go home with a surprise gift.

If you’re interested in assisting Jumble Station in this matter of gifts, do drop us a line at or SMS 016-2202958 …your thoughtful gesture can bring joy to a mother who may not have won a prize in her life – so go on, surprise someone this time around.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Reading maketh ..some kids?

Jumble Station gets lots of books, adults and kiddies type and we’ve discovered that except for the comics and really light reading, the folks at Angsana aren’t a reading lot, not even the little ones.

Many parents have expressed a wish to have their kids learning English but getting tuition teachers, good ones at that is a problem these days, considering the fractured English spoken by the X-generation.

Anyway JS was approached by the Persatuan Penduduk Pangsapuri Angsana to help generate interesting activities that can be conducted at the newly built multipurpose hall. We immediately offered to start an English reading class to help get the youngsters at Angsana familiar with the English language. This is one good way to launch our plan for a Learning Station which will also include a sewing class very soon, hopefully.

Last Saturday was the first class and co-founders Sanice abd Mary Anne together with volunteer Joyce Leong, Jonathan, Aiman and a cameo appearance by Judy Chai kicked off this programme with some 24 little ones.

Sanice taught the 10-12 age group, I took the 5-9 crowd while Joyce gamely took on the tiny tots who knew nothing of ABC. While Sanice put the bigger ones through their spelling phase, I settled for ABC rhymes, a game, a story and finished the session with a rousing Hokey Pokey song simply because many of the kids don’t know what’s left or right as yet!

Customers later came back with some feedback that their kids had thoroughly enjoyed the session, including a few who had been extremely reluctant at first to go for the class and had to be dragged there by their parents. So folks, do keep up the great volunteer effort and lets make it a firm commitment to be at the dewan every Saturday from 2.30pm till 4pm or at least make sure someone is there to substitute if you can’t because what we do today, will have a huge impact on the future of at least one child if not all of them. I know this ‘cos it happened to me!

Monday, May 5, 2008

The dilemma of being a single father….

Society tends to sympathise with Single Mothers far more than a Single Father. Perhaps it is the fact that Single Mothers tend to appear frail, fragile and are rather overwhelmed by the tragedy that puts them in the sad situation that they are in. If the Single Mother is a homemaker, the problem is made worse for now she has to worry about getting an income while keeping the family intact.

Single Fathers on the other hand are expected to be strong, remain the sole and consistent breadwinner and the bulwark of the family unit. To the public, a Single Father should be a lot better off than a Single Mother so one should not waste too much time on them. The reality may be entirely different!

This societal prejudice against a Single Father exists and it can be painful especially if you are illiterate, poor and lack skills. Sandra Babu (pronounced Chandra) is one such case. The father of 9 children, seven of them boys and two girls, their ages ranging from 14 years old to four years, faced this bitter dilemma ever since wife who suffered from asthma died in her sleep last September.

Babu suddenly became a single father to his brood. While his two daughters were sent to live at Shelter Home, the seven boys remain at home under his care. The snag is, the last couple of months have been really tough on him. With no money, uneducated and no real skills, it has been a really a rough transition time for Babu.

Why can’t he just go and get a job, you ask? He could but ask yourself this - what kind of a job will give him enough salary to pay for someone to care for all his 7 boys? Even at RM200 per head (which is the lowest price), he will need to fork out RM1,400 just for a day care minder and what about the issue of food, rental, clothes etc?

For the last 10 years or so, Babu has been working as a lorry driver, renting his sister-in-law’s lorry for RM35 a month and was able to take care of his family needs from whatever he earns as a lorry driver cum buyer and seller of recycle items. However ever since his wife’s untimely death and with the high prices of commodities, he has had been able to rent his sister-in-law’s lorry because they wanted to use it for themselves.

Undaunted, Babu has struggled on by renting other people’s lorry for RM50 each time whenever his regular recycle clients call him to take away their unwanted, recycle items. However the lorry owners naturally will rent to him the lorry for only two to three hours or not at all. This erratic means of income has made it extremely tough on him to earn a steady income while still trying to keep his family intact.

Without a fixed monthly income and no savings at all, no bank was willing to loan him the money to buy his own lorry and with no one willing to stand guarantor for him, his future seemed bleak. Worried sick and discouraged, Babu contemplated suicide but only the thought of leaving his children orphans made him stop.

And then Jumble Station, a community outreach initiative learnt about his situation and stepped into his life. First off, Jumble Station helped to pay off his outstanding rental payments, gave him a monthly sum for groceries, got a Single mother to keep an eye on his kids and finally, loaned him the money to get a lorry of his own.

The lorry is registered under Jumble Station but Babu now has the means and motivation to make something of himself for his children. With a lorry of his own so to speak, Babu now has a brighter hope to excel in what he already knows and is capable of doing.

All he needs now is for the public’s support to use his 1 ton lorry to transport goods within the Klang Valley area (he needs to be home at nights for his children) and to collect recycle items be it paper (Photostat paper, magazines, newspaper etc), metals (rusty or old vehicles wanted as well) and plastic.

Babu will also assist Jumble Station with the collection of big items such as washing machine, fridge, TV, furniture etc that people may want to donate to Jumble Station. However, a minimum fee will need to be paid to help cover the cost of gasoline and to help pay off the loan for the lorry.

So if you or anyone you know has need of a lorry someday do call/SMS Jumble Station (mary anne 016-2202958) and do your part to ensure that this Single Father is able to take care of his family without any more ‘charity’ for that ultimately is what Jumble Station aims to do ‘help one needy single parent’s family at a time”.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Prema… shy about asking for help.

In the course of helping out Single Parents, we at Jumble Station have discovered there are two kinds of people – the kind that are so apologetic and embarrassed about their dire situation and need for financial assistance while the other kind is so used to getting handouts, they demand for it, take from all and sundry and demand to know why aid is stopped!

The first kind is where Prema our newest Single Mother belongs to. She is a mother of three children, abandoned some months back by her Chinese husband a drug addict and left to fend for herself and her kids.

Prema works as a tea lady cum cleaner at a manufacturing outfit in USJ 4 and earns only RM650 a month but after EPF deductions, her take home pay is only RM600. She earns an extra RM100 cleaning a house but even this is not enough. Prema was referred to JS by Shelter Home and she tells us that she has problems paying off the monthly rental for her low cost flat especially after the MPSJ raised her rental by RM100 just prior to the March 8 elections.

Her rental arrears amounts to RM1,600 and she’s forced to borrow RM800 from a friend to settle part of the arrears. JS donated RM100 and some groceries to her the first time we met her and then gave her a further RM800 to help her with her rental arrears. We’re now trying to see how best we can help her overcome her financial woes so that life will be much easier for this stoic Single Mother. Prema was quite overcome when we insisted she take the RM800 because she couldn’t quite believe that there are folks out there that care enough to want to help. It is folks like this that makes reaching out to real needs such a joy indeed….

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Closing down JS junior ….and opening a new chapter at Angsana

You’ve heard the saying that one should teach another to fish so he can eat a lifetime rather than merely feed him a fish each day. Sometimes though, it is hard to teach someone to fish when the person does not want to fish!

We faced this situation at Desa Mentari when we set up JS Junior and a tuition centre there as part of our effort to reach out to the needs of the 20 Single Parents there. We did that upon the request of the folks there but the sad thing is that none of the Single Parents there with the exception of one, was willing to lend a helping hand to keep it going and ensure its success.

The sole person, Mary Dass initially started off very enthusiastically but soon lost steam when the response from the flat dwellers and the single parents there were pitifully poor. It seems that they were so used to receiving things for free, they couldn’t contemplate paying for anything or volunteering at JS unless they were paid a salary.

To make matters worse, the one month when JS Jr was placed in the care of a single mother who in turn outsourced it to her teenage daughter, whatever monies came in went into ‘feeding’ the teen’s insatiable handphone calls. Even the tuition fees, what little there was, suffered the same fate and the petty cash too were ‘borrowed’ by the teen who spun some very blatant lies to cover the loss of the cash.

In the end, we decided that it was more expedient to cut our losses and close down JS Jr and wonder of wonders, another church group was even then looking to rent a flat and we agreed to let them take over the tenancy of the place and collect our rental deposit.

Meanwhile at Angsana Flats itself, Jumble Station was invited by the Resident Committee to assist with activities for the spanking new multipurpose hall. We agreed to help start an English reading class beginning this coming Sat, May 3rd because this will help us to utilise some of the children’s books that were donated by kind donors. So watch out for more info on this…meanwhile here's the pix of the chairman, secretary and football captain of the Angasana Flats resident committee receiving their football club jersey during the meeting where JS co-founders were invited to attend. What we need now are committed volunteers to assist with the story telling, nursery rhymes and activities for the kiddies at Angsana...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Switch on your TV, tune in to RTM 1

Come Thursday night April 24 at 9pm… catch the 3 minute segment on Jumble Station over on RTM 1 ‘s “Fitra Kasih” show where you will JS stars like Lim Lian See, Sanice Kam, Lillian, Jonathan and Rong Tau, Mala and Rainah all strutting their stuff…here’s your chance to catch them in action….and if you can’t …here are more pix of the RTM shoot…

Sunday, April 13, 2008

From Audio to Visual …Jumble Station hits the airwaves….

Being heard …on Bernama Radio 24
JS makes it to the radio… okay not many of you knew that JS made it to the radio waves last Sunday morning except for a few who tuned into 93.9FM belonging to Bernama radio channel 24.

Interestingly a quick check of the Internet prior to the actual interview showed that it’s a radio channel that was launched on Sept 3 2007 which makes it as young as Jumble Station itself. I also loved the fact that the station was born on the same day as myself, minus a couple of years… okay a few decades to be exact!

So anyway, for the last two Sundays, Feb 6th and Feb 13th, Jumble Station have had the unique chance to share its vision and mission on the air and via TV. Thanks to the write up by The Star Metro and the SJ Echo, the other local newshounds have pounced on JS as a good news bite and invited us to share something about what we’re doing with the Malaysian public.

Lian See and I woke up early for the Bernama Radio 24 live talk show on 93.9FM and brought along single mum Rainah Kinsang and Babu Chandran. We treked our way to the Bernama HQ at Jalan Gurney in KL and found not a single warong where e could have a quick bite but McDonalds came to there rescue...

So there we were interviewed live and in er.. fractured BM described to the listeners the plight of the poor single and how JS is trying its best to make life a little easier for them. It was a pretty indepth interview with some pretty incisive questions given during the 2 hour talk show while Rainah and Babu had a hard time overcoming their shyness and gave their replies in strangled voices…

Today, we come out from behind the microphone to stand in front of the camera for RTM’s charity show - Fitra Kasih - and the support from our JS supporters for JS’ television debut was great – almost everyone who cared, turned up to help us out from Lillian of Street Ministry who timed her arrival to deliver stuff and was caught on camera by the RTM crew to Azahar, Rong Tau and Jonathan who had rushed to borrow a van to deliver some teddy bears and electrical stuff… all these were captured by RTM’s eagle eyed cameraman…Then there was also the supporting ‘cast’ from volunteer Joyce Leong to CG leader Chee Leong and a couple of our regular JS customers.

After which the three of us, co-founders of JS… Lian See, Pingnan and little Antz, were asked to ‘act’ like we were in serious discussion before the camera zoomed in on us for a too close encounter of ‘why the focus on Single Parents and how the idea for JS came about.” The RTM team then zeroed in on Rainah and her four little heroes before zooming off to Desa Mentari to focus on single mum Shanti and her girls…meanwhile we let the pix do the talking…

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Food Galore

What do you do with 1,000 worth of food fair tickets that's been bought and paid for by someone else? One teacher of the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan in SS15 Subang Jaya was faced with this happy predicament when one person agreed to sponsor RM1,000 worth of tickets but could not make it to the food fair itself. The solution? Pass it to Jumble Station's single parents and let them have a shot at picking the 'meals' they'd rather eat.
Unfortunately, most of single parents were either too busy working to go to the school itself or they couldn't go because they lacked the transport to bring their kids along. Sabariah Hussin and her 3 kids were not able to go there because the kids had extra classes to attend and wouldn't get there on time, the Single Parents of Desa Mentari didn't have transport to get there and didnlt want to spend their money on taxis. This left Rainah and her four boisterious boys to take up the slack so they were escorted and driven to the school by JS volunteers Rong Tau and John with instructions to buy as many cookies, cakes and etc so that these in turn can be handed over to the single parents who could not make it today,,, All pix taken by Jonathan Khoo

Easter - genesis united 2

Genesis united 2 join hands with grace assembly to hold this Easter event in Sunway mentari. They had 50 children and 20 adults. Check out these pictures…