Saturday, October 31, 2009

Joyfully enjoyable at Jaya33

Jumble Station was given the opportunity to promote PWP to the office workers and shoppers at Jaya33 recently. Naturally we jumped at this chance to try out a new location especially since the management of Jaya33 was kind enough to offer it to us for free.

So from last Thursday to Sunday, we turned up right on the dot or earlier and proceeded to promote both our mission and our donated items. We brought along an assortment of items, not knowing what would attract the buying crowd and took great pains to chat about PWP and how single parents are being assisted in their hour of need.

Of course there were many other traders there on the concourse as well but JS was the only charity group for that long weekend so we made the most of it. We shared, chatted, acted neighbourly and made new friends even as we tried to lure visitors to our stall itself.

Turns out the buyers weren’t all that keen on the little knick knacks, little trinkets or no matter how colourful they were) cute stuffed toys. What they wanted were more serious stuff from books to clothes, bags to watches. By Sunday, we had it down pat and brought mostly novels and children’s colourful books.

We made many new friends like the Pak Cik and his cookie cutter wife who was a whiz with cakes, cookies and packed food, there was Patricia, Kathlene, Christina, and caught up with some ‘older’ friends like Janice of Rantau PR and our happy fren J Lo.

Even Adrian who abhorred selling at Amcorp was lured in by the genteel crowd enough to make a pitch at selling some new clothes for RM35 each. Overall, the experience was exciting and he’s promised to join me again at Jaya33 should the opportunity arise once more!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Unforgettable Deepavali

For many of the poorer single parents at Lembah Subang, this is probably one of the most unforgettable Deepavali ever, not to mention the fact that it is also the most colourful for them so far. Why?

Well, for one thing they received an unexpected 5 black bags full of colourful and lovely looking Deepavali clothes just two days before Deepavali. The clothes were donated by the wife of one of the owners of the most popular Indian food chain The Lotus Restaurant who realised that she could bring some joy and happiness just by donating her own clothes and those of her kids.

The clothes, still in pristine condition and expensively and beautifully textured not forgetting colourful too, drew lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘aaahs’ from the single parents and their kids. Some kids even asked if more of such clothes would be coming in the near future? We told them we hope so!

Topping off their joy was the fact that some 10 Indian single parents received RM100 each to help make Deepavali more enjoyable while those who lacked beds, mattresses, cupboards, gas stoves, beddings and toys were able to also choose from the lorry-load that was brought to their flats at Lembah Subang today. There was even a massage chair that had been donated and will go to single mother Normah’s elderly mum who has been complaining of acute aches and pains!

Jumble Station’s single parent co-ordinator Venie, her sister and friend were on hand to receive the items and were able to secure the help of two men to assist in carting the items up to the rented flat where those who needed the items most, could help themselves to it.

Over the last two years Jumble Station has been able to send the donated items to the homes of the single parents at various areas including Old Klang Road, Desa Mentari, Angsana Flats, Shah Alam, Klang, Sungai Buloh and Lembah Subang. The snag is that one tends to forget to snap a pix of the handover of such household or electrical products because well, no one brought a camera along in the rush to get the lorry and logistics running smoothly.

This time however, we were well prepared and hence you can see the happy smiles on the recipient’s face. For those who are sceptical of JS fulfilling your request that single parents get the items you donated, such pictures speak a thousand words : Thanks for your kindness and we at JS truly do appreciate your kind and continous support! A very Happy Deepavali to all Hindus.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Winning (small) in Cimb’s photo competition

Jumble Station took part in CIMB’s MyCause ’s photo competition launched in July this year and ended in September. We had sent in 5 photos and all except one was centred on the topic of Single Father, Silent Heroes. The remaining one was a photo of some Indian kids peering through a slice of bread at the world.

One entry the one of a sombre looking single father on a bicycle with five happy kids taken just outside of Jumble Station’s shop won a consolation prize in the competition. That and the kids with bread slices was put on display at the CIMB office during the prize presentation event, yesterday.

Of course we were hoping for a big win – the first prize was RM30,000 for the photographer and RM100,000 for the charity featured but the competition was really tough – some 4,600 entries came flooding in and the judges had a tough time picking the winners.

So to have two of our photos in the 100 best photos selected for exhibition by CIMB is already a great miracle and the RM2,000 cash prize that came with the bicycle photo win was a really nice consolation ‘bonus’. CIMB chairman Tan Sri Nor Md Yusof who turned out to be Adrian Ong's customer during his fashion designing days, urged JS to not give up but to try again next year.

What’s more, Tengku Zarina Tengku Ibrahim, CIMB's director of sponsorships said that CIMB has additional monies for deserving charitable causes beyond the photo competition programmes and that Jumble Station is definitely one of those it will be keen to collaborate with. Now that’s something to look forward too right?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

JS@ the e@curve

Jumble Station recently took part in the Joujou & Shugi Toy Art Mart Vendor at e@Curve along with 31 other traders most of them selling clothes, trinkets, shoes and fashionable gee-gaws.

We were all there bright and early before even the lights in some corners were switched on. There was an air of camaraderie between many of the younger fashionista entrepreneurs and it turned out JS was the only charity priviledged enough to have been given a booth there and a free one at that!

The traders were placed in two wings, the North and the South wings of the e@Curve and it was aptly named alright because most of the crowd appeared to hang around the North wing while only a few straggled through the South side enroute to and from the centre atrium where an LG Starz dance and singing audition was being carried out as well.

Still we took it in a more positive light, preferring to focus not so much on the sales aspect but more on the promotional aspects of creating greater awareness for JS. See we figured that since most of the folks in the Damansara and e@curve shopping mall were the richer folks, they’d be more interested in donating their unwanted items rather than adding to their household clutter. So we were more than active in handing out our postcards to the ones who passed our way and talked to whoever was willing to stop for a while and learn more about what JS does.

People like Chad Merchant, an American who loves travelling and staying to absorb the cultural diversities of Malaysia and Asia was one of those who promised to highlight what we’re doing and the kind of handicrafts we had to offer. Then there was Quachee, his brother and mother who turned out to be fellow Malaccans and who were Straits born to boot. What’s more they turned out to be related to Eddy an antique dealer whom I’d just gotten to know for about a week – talk about a small world indeed. JS was supposed to be there again on Sunday but a bad case of the flu bug felled this stalwart worker and we had to take a badly needed rest! Well there’s always another time, another day for the e@curve!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Fun way to disburse 'funds'

What do you do if you have loads of funfair tickets that you’ve bought and you’re not free to spend them? Give them away to some charitable group with lots of kids who can appreciate it That was exactly what Eng Meng, a housewife with four kids did recently. She had bought up some RM300 worth of funfair tickets for her church fun fair – Trinity Church – but wasn’t able to go because she and her kids had to scoot off to Sarawak for a family matter.

Jumble Station was asked to make use of the tickets which we gladly accepted only to realise that the fun fair event coincided with the planned visit of 100 of our single parents children to KLCC Petronas Twin Tower as well. Undaunted, Adrian, Judy and I drove to the fair grounds – the church premises itself – at Kelana Jaya area and proceeded to look for items to buy back to give to the single parents.

Boy oh boy, the place was huge, the crowd tremendous, the games were aplenty, the food banyak nya… but items to purchase – hardly any. Those toys we saw, they had to be purchased direct via cash, no coupons. We could only eat ourselves fat as pigs cos there were food aplenty or play games till we were tired as hell. With each game costing RM5 at least and food ranging from RM10 upwards, it was a difficult decision indeed. In the end, we each ate just one meal, played one game of drop the coin into the water and spent the rest on the only sure win game – the Blessed Draw game.

This was where for RM5 you could scrabble in a bucket, pick a scrap of paper with a number on it and claim your prize. Adrian had set his heart on a bicycle for his precious Nisha while Judy and I were more pragmatic – any worth while prize will do. In the end, our luck wasn’t that er.. blessed – we ended up with loads of snacks, mineral water bottles, some tinned food, a couple of brightly coloured balls and a plastic mug or two. Still we had a nice time and the fun fair certainly gave me an idea of what to do in the event JS needs to raise more funds in the very near future!