Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Suffering a loss

Many single parents are scarred by the loss of their spouse, whether through death or abandonment. For some, the psychological damage runs very deep, extends for years and appears seemingly irreversible while others are hurt for a while and then bounce off the experience to emerge stronger.

Some of us, never having experienced such a severe loss, find that it’s a little hard to fully comprehend the pain and anguish they are going through and we can’t begin to understand their fragile psyche until we literally start to “walk in their shoes”.

Yours truly got a little glimpse of the dark void of “suffering a loss” that many single parents go through when four young robbers pounced on me, put a knife to my neck and took away my waist pouch in 10mins flat just before Hari Raya!

The pouch held my personal items, JS and my cash, a digital camera and a bunch of keys, admittedly nothing much but the nuisance and inconvenience of having to replace the lost items has now made me more paranoid about the issue of safety. Now I tend to be more conscious of locking my car doors as soon as I get into the car, I’ll look around carefully first before getting out of the car and arm myself with a bat if I have to stand outside a house for any length of time.

The sense of outrage still burns within me, the anger at losing personal items to ruthless, worthless robbers still simmers, the fact that I should be grateful no physical harm came to me is often times more overlooked than remembered as I continually nurse a grudge against the thieving louts. Like the scarred single parents JS is helping, I couldn’t let go of the painful past!

Then something happened to renew my faith in humankind. A JS supporter learnt of what had happened and went out to buy JS a brand new digital camera to replace the one that was lost – the gesture was so unexpected, so spontaneous it considerably erased the pain and brought home one single, penetrative truth – bad things happen but we don’t have to be dragged down by it, we don't have to stay in its destructive grip, we need to move on and continue to do what we do best - make this world a better place for all.

Yes and how much more lovelier it can and will be, if we actively seek and choose to see only the beautiful side of life rather then to wallow in pain and perpetually nurse a lifetime of anguished “loss”...

Yours truly has now started using the digital camera to do just that – capture the joys of life and loves so that scarred single parents can also get out from the dark void that has held them captive for so long.

JS first photo – a pix of one of our single mother cats – all pregnant cats become single mums right? – newborn kitties – 3 of them, so small, so marvellously cute - a symbol of a fresh new look, a fresh new beginning awesome!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Filling up an empty flat

Some people have wondered what does Jumble Station do with the items that people donate? First off, we give them to single parents in need of them and here’s one classic example.

Single parent Saras has five kids – four girls and a boy. The two older girls are teenagers 16 and 14 while the other girl is 10 and the boy is 8years old. The baby of the lot is Sarah Angeline who is only 3months old, the result of this single mother’s hope for a second, better relationship but the worthless father of this baby scooted off as soon as she was conceived!

Saras and her three girls (the 10 year old and the boy were sent to live in a home) had been living in Puchong with her sister but her sister tired of them and moved out to an undisclosed location forcing them to move to a cheap flat in Angsana where Jumble Station is located.

The flat on the 10th floor is bare except for a dirty looking comforter that doubles as a mattress for all of them at night, a table for dining and a table to hold their meager amount of clothes. Jumble Station promptly sent them a newly serviced fridge, a washing machine, a single bed and mattress, a TV and stand fan, a personal computer complete with monitor, keyboard, PC table, dining chairs, plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, rice cooker, kettle, blender, toys and baby items including clothes for baby Sarah Angeline.

Saras who has been struggling on her RM800 salary to pay for rent, food and clothes for her children ever since her hubby abandoned the family could not believe that she could get these household items for free when she moved into the flat on August 20th.

JS doesn’t just equip the flat, we also looked into the issue of ensuring the youngsters are gainfully involved in activities beneficial to the family and for that we’ve connected the youngsters (they start in their new school only in January next year) with a businessman who is willing to pay them RM25 a day for volunteering to paste labels on his products. With this income coming in, at least the family should be a little more comfortable until Saras can get a better paying job or her boss raises her salary to enable her to support her growing family.

This family still need other household items such as a sofa set etc, cupboards, DVD player etc but we will send these to them as soon as JS receives them from the donors.

In the meantime, JS also needs more clothes, decorative items (ceramics, gifts, paintings etc) collectibles (stamps, badges, comics, watches, coca cola etc), cameras (film and digital) toys, costume jewellery, music CDs, DVDs etc to fill its table for its weekend flea market sales at Amcorp Mall in order to raise more funds for our work with poor single parents so if you know of anyone with stuff to let go call or SMS 016-2202958 Anne for collection.