Sunday, December 21, 2014

Back To School 2014 - A roaring success!!!

c This year's Back2School party was a huge huge success. It was a lovely time for the parents to mingle, share and catch up on their kids growth while they on their part were so so grateful to receive the RM150 per shopping voucher cards per child that will allow them to buy new school uniforms, school shoes and a bag at least. Many single parents were so touched that caring individuals would chip n to help them at this most difficult of times and they had tears in their eyes, grateful thanks and happy hearts when they walked out of the Angsana Hall in Subang Mewah yesterday with their bountiful gifts. A brief speech was given wherein Mary Anne as the co-founder urged the single parents to work towards making a home for their kids, teach them to rise above their straitened circumstances and be a shining example to their little ones. The pictures taken are shining examples of how the generosity of compassionate strangers can bring about joy in the lives of many struggling single parents and for that, we truly say "Thank You & God Bless You all".

Friday, November 14, 2014

Astro Chinese films JS

Astro Chinese discovered that PWP/Jumble Station is now at Jaya One (The School, Level P1, Recycle Centre) and chose to film us in action. Chinese News programme hostess Yvette came with her camerawoman and was able to filmthe lovely items currently on display in the glass cabinets as well as the profusion of interesting and colourful items on the wooden racks that took centre space at the Recycle Centre on Level P1. They were also able to do live interviews of single parents Annie and her daughter Kelly, Adrian Ong, single dad of Nisha, single mum Ann, co-founder Mary Anne and several customers to get a feel of what it is like to have a charity shop and urging the public to assist poor single parents with their donated items. They chose to zero in on the up-cycling aspects where Adrian utilized the Barbie dolls donated to PWP to dress them in specially designed Malay traditional costumes and the dolls are now on sale at Jaya One. They later drove over to Subang Jaya to film how JS is able to impact the lives of the poorer folks at Angsana Flats in USJ1. The crew came away impressed with the simple manner of how PWP and JS can use its recycling and up-cycling efforts to assist both the poor single parents and poor families in the Klang Valley region. Those who want to donate items can call or SMS Mary Anne at 016-2202958 for more information.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

RM150 shopping voucher can bring joy this Christmas

....My, my, how time flies. Pretty soon Christmas will be on us, ringing in another new year. Yes, it will be a time of fun, happiness and joy as we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome 2015 with our families and friends.

Single parents and their kids too want to celebrate Christmas and the New Year but they do so with some measure of fear – fear because both Christmas and the New Year are the most expensive time of the year for them! Okay, perhaps they can do without the presents for Christmas but they do have to spend money preparing for the new year- for their school going kids.

And money is so hard to come by for these poor single parents, struggling with low income, high cost of living with no savings whatsoever. Yet, each new school year, every school going child needs at least 2 new school uniforms, school shoes, socks, school bag, stationery and possibly even a track suit. That’s not counting the workbooks and ‘fees’ schools impose these days on parents to offset the high costs of education.

Many of our single parents of all races therefore, struggle to find the means to give their kids these basic items each year and it is for this reason, we ask if you would like to partner us in sponsoring and buying a RM150 shopping voucher (Mydin or Tesco) so that some 100 to 200 of these poor children will be as nicely ‘uniformed’ as your own kids or grandkids.

Our Ho Ho Ho Santa too needs your help to get toys for the smaller toddlers and tots as well fun stuff for kids ranging from 3 years old to teenagers and if you do want to do more for the 50 or so hardcore poor single parents we’re inviting for our Christmas & Back-to-School party on December 20 2014, just buy some extra groceries when you go shopping next time and pass them to us.

We’ll put them in a goody bag for the parents and have our dear Santa hand the groceries, the shopping vouchers and the toys to the poor single parents and their kids. We reckon we’ll need around RM20,000 to RM30,000 for this event alone so every little bit on your part will help lots. You can be sure of generating heartfelt joy and happiness to the people who most need your help. If you can’t go out to buy the groceries, toys or the shopping vouchers just bank in your donation/chq to: Parents Without Partners Bhd account (Public bank account no: 3155836224) and SMS 016-2202958 once it’s done so that we’re aware of your contribution.

We sincerely thank you for your willingness to participate in bringing joy to our single parents and their little ones and we look forward to making this December 20 party a lovely experience for all.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A HELPing hand to Jumble Station

Painting a wall may not seem like a big contribution towards charitable activities for Uni kids but six students of psychology from HELP University learnt recently just how important a clean white wall can be for Jumble Station’s needs. The wall which used to be grubby looking and filled with graffiti got a much needed coat of white paint when the students slapped on a fresh coat for at least ¾ of the length of the wall. It needed to be painted because the wall, both the left and the right side of the wall next to JS shop acts as a nice clean backdrop for when we need to take photos of single parents and their children. The photo sessions are usually about the only means for single parents to have their family portraits taken since many can’t afford to pay for photo sessions in a professional studio. In some cases, the photos taken by JS were the only and last memories of a parent for the child following the unexpected demise of the single parent. This was the case with Susan a single mum who suffered for two years from a debilitating facial stroke and was unable to work during that time. JS assisted with groceries and financial aid to enable her to seek medical aid and treatment. She finally could get back to work as a freelance accountant when JS co-founders paid her family a visit and took lovely photos of Susan with her two younger daughters. A month later, she was tragically killed in a car accident and the photo taken was the last tangible memory of happier times. For the six students who participated in this wall painting community contribution, the lesson learnt was clear – no effort by a willing and compassionate heart is ever really wasted. The joy it can bring is immeasurable indeed!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NGOs participate in Make Weekend

Foreign students who were here on a short exchange programme with the Sunway University were given an interesting challenge during a recent Make Weekend event. Some 35 students and 5 charity organizations were asked to work on key issues that are plaguing the Malaysian charity sector.

The five charity organizations covered various sectors of society – cats, elderly folks, Do Something Good volunteers, disabled children and single parents under Parents Without Partners. From 10am till 5pm the enthusiastic youths cudgeled their brains even as they interviewed each charity organization to get an idea of our problems galore.

Issues such as attracting and keeping volunteers and workers, digitizing paperwork and records, promoting and creating awareness, fund raising and monetizing crafts and the works of the charity recipients were among the many that cropped up in the brainstorming sessions.

Ideas flowed from creating a volunteer loyalty card with efforts rewarded with points exchangeable for reward items whether for the winner or the charity concerned, the digitizing of records and paperwork was also deemed a very good idea, to the point the team beat all the others for the top prize. Should be interesting to see if any one or party takes up this idea and develops it so that charity organisations here and globally can truly benefit from such innovative ideas.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Zakat blessings for Hari Raya

Hari Raya for the Muslims is an important time for families to mark the ending of the month long fasting period, the Ramadan. It is also a day of celebration when one asks for forgiveness, reconcile and renew relationships as well as reconnect with loved ones.

It is also a time when Muslims have to spend the most, food to cook the many little feasts that family members and visitors have come to expect, buying new clothes for kids and adults alike and for those who can afford it, new furniture and appliances etc.

It is especially trying for poor Muslim families struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis and more so for poor Muslim single parents with so little cash to tide over month after month. This year thankfully, two kindhearted Muslim stalwarts have come to their aid – Datin Suriati Bwi and Datin Nor Faridah Abdullah, both decided to give ‘zakat’ to 25 Muslim families under Jumble Station/Parents Without Partners’ care.

The recipients of the two Datins’ zakat gifts are firstly amazed, stunned and joyful because now they at least can have a more enjoyable raya celebration in their homes or back in their kampongs. Many have tears in their eyes and tremendous joy in their hearts, knowing that they have not been forgotten for this all important celebration this time around.

On behalf of the happy recipients and their children, PWP and JS would like to say a big “Thank You” to the two very generous Datins and we hope many more will factor in the plight of the poor single parents and bless them during such annual festive periods as well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kuen Cheng scores A+ for JS

 Last Saturday was report card day for Kuen Cheng (2) students and the school decided to take that opportunity for parents to do their bit for charity. Every parent was encouraged to bring along items they don’t need from their home and donate them to Jumble Station for that one day only.

Some had predicted that the response might be poor but in the end, the response was indeed overwhelming – so many parents and even their kids streamed into the hall and handed over their bags of clothes, toys, books and electrical items to the volunteers of JS, single mum Irene and Ann.

Others who forgot, took a JS postcard so they can collect more stuff and call us for a pickup in their respective homes while most wanted to know more of how we help single parents. For those parents who made the effort to pack their cars with items, JS gives them top scores while those who promise to go home and do some spring cleaning of their own, get a high five from us.

From toys, to clothes, to books, baby stuff and even some Barbie dolls, the items proved mighty useful and we hope many more schools will consider doing a similar charity donation drive for our JS single parents in need, especially with the deteriorating economic situation in Malaysia alone. To all the teachers, helpers and parents of Kuen Cheng (2) A very heartfelt “Thank You”.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Monash Students try selling at Amcorp Mall

Four Monash medical students, Mark, Sam, Pei Li and Francine were around during the weekend to help out PWP with its flea market activities at Amcorp Mall. They were able to see first hand how PWP is able to raise funds through the sale of interesting items to help fund its activities with regards to assisting single parents in dire need.
The eager quartet were also able to personally interview three single parents who had been assisted by PWP towards a better life – single dad Adrian Ong and his vintage dress collection, Jennifer and her son who now jointly sell household items for extra income to pare down their liabilities and Zuraidah and her three kids who are still trying to find ways to supplement her meager income while caring for her very cute kids.
The flea market involvement is part of Monash University’s on-going push to get medical students to be involved in community works so that they will be able to understand the social determinants of community health and its related matters. For PWP’s part, we’re more than happy to have additional hands, young and active ones too, to brainstorm on ways to make life a lot easier, if not more healthy and happier for single parents within the Klang Valley region.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Koala Klass

Single mums Jayapratha and Sumathi as well as this little ant, got the chance to don a chef’s hat and an apron and try our hand at some artistic cooking in one of CultureRun’s series of Shareshops (workshops where skilled women practitioners share their skills) as part of this year’s International Woman’s Day events. This particular class was a DIY Food Art class by Samantha Lee who is fast making a name for herself as an online food artist who creatively designs her children’s meals as edible works of culinary art.
For this class, some 18 people had turned up at the Starhill Gallery Muse level and the proceeds for this class will be donated to Jumble Station/PWP to help poor single parents. The theme for the class was how to make a koala dish and Samantha very cleverly took us through this fascinating lesson so much so, everyone including this kitchen klutz (me) couldn’t wait to try our hand at making the dish. Paired off as a team of three, we sliced, diced, fried and decorated our dish with a difference – we made two single mum koalas complete with baby too while the others too used their imagination and cooked up some interesting variations on the koala theme. Both  Jaya and Sumathi were so inspired, they want to go home and try their hand at making interesting dishes and they asked when the next free cooking class will be held again… any one keen to teach cooking and baking for free???? 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Making space at Jaya One for PWP to assist poor single parents

Jaya One Mall is fast becoming a happening place in Petaling Jaya and yesterday it announced its plan to team up with Parents Without Partners Bhd (PWP) to assist poor single parents through various programmes planned for the year.

First off, it gave PWP’s social entrepreneurship arm Jumble Station (JS) a space in P1 of the new annexe called The School to run and manage a recycling centrer. This means that retailers in Jaya One, visitors and shoppers can now drop their donated items there and these items will then be given to single parents and their kids who need them while those not needed can be sold on site or at the Amcorp flea market on Sundays. The cash raised will be used to assist single parents in their hour of need.

Kicking off the event was a month long photo exhibition of 12 single parent families that are among the 50 hardcore poor being assisted by PWP out of the 250 families on its list currently. The photos taken by Azrul Abdullah are a testament to his incredible talent as a photographer capable of capturing images with enduring appeal.

The spontaneous, exuberant joy of being photographed as a family was wonderfully and artistically captured which brought smiles to the eyes of many a jaded viewer. These outsized coloured photos were printed for free by a very generous printer and the single parent concerned, can’t wait to have the photo take pride of place in their little low cost flats!

The launch of the collaboration between Jaya One and PWP went off very well with around 10 media personnel and invited guests turning up for the event which started at 3pm on Tuesday. CEO Charles gave a moving speech about how his lovely wife with all her perks  - maids, driver etc still says she’s stressed out, how much more difficult then will it be for single parents who are struggling daily on little to no finances and resources.

He adds that through the recycling centre at Jaya One, PWP should be able to have the exposure it needs to raise greater awareness of the plight of poor single parents and galvanise the public to bring and donate items that can generate the funds to bring about a change in the lifestyle of the poor single parents.

The cycling centre should be functional by April and his team hopes to feature various activities that will result in a heightened understanding of the difficulties that single parents and their children face daily. PWP on its part is delighted to have been chosen as a partner in this CSR programme for this very hip and happening place in the heart of Petaling Jaya. Where in Subang our partners were the low cost flat dwellers, now with Jaya One, we hope to rope in the middle and upper crust folks to collaborate with us to empower more single parents to lead better lives. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

DUMC Dream Cup golfers assist single mum Jaya

DUMC Golf team helps single mum

Single mum Jaya was doing her studies in fashion designing when her hubby abandoned her and their three kids leaving them all in the lurch. Her parents stepped in to help out but it could not be for long since that would deplete their hard earned savings for their own peaceful retirement plans.

Things got a bit better when she got herself a clerical job but last month, her world turned bleak when she was laid off by her boss who was unhappy that she wouldn’t stay past her working hours to do overtime for the company.

Jaya says that she can’t work longer hours because her two younger sons, twins – Elijah and Issac have to be taken home from the baby sitter’s house without undue delays and her eldest son Matthias need to be supervised in his homework as well.

Sad, depressed and totally stressed out, she was urged to contact PWP for assistance by DUMC’s Pastor Margaret. After some soul searching, she realized that she needed an income generating source that would allow her to earn her own living while still being able to spend time with her sons.

One possible solution is for her to find a shoplot near where she lives in Puchong, where she can run an op shop on her own, get her items for sale and supplies from JS and work at her own flexi time. JS on its part will help to equip the shop, pay for the two months rental deposit and provide guidance and mentoring for those early periods.

As if on cue, DUMC’s golf club organizer Issac turned up at JS that same afternoon to offer the full amount successfully collected from a fundraising golf tournament known as DUMC Dream Cup, by its male members to the tune of RM2,100. This will be the seed money for Jaya to start off her own second hand shop and hopefully help her to become more entrepreneurial in the process.

On behalf of this very happy and grateful single mum, PWP would like to say “:Thank you DUMC golfers and do keep the generosity ball rolling over the various gold courses indeed.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Gifts & Hampers from Kiara Properties frens

It’s always lovely to meet friends and Kiara Properties management and staff have become old friends indeed to PWP and JS folks. Recently we caught up again with Kiara Prop’s chief honcho NK Tong and his illustrious father Datuk Alan Tong, the mastermind behind the huge success of the development of Plaza Mont Kiara and several other prestigious developmental landmarks in the Klang Valley region alone.

Once more, Kiara Properties donated several Christmas and Chinese New Year hampers as well as premium items that had been given to its staff over the two festive seasons.
These are now given for the benefit of poor single parents as well as for sale in Amcorp mall to help raise funds for single parents in need.

The items range from cookies to chocolates, teddy bears to thumb drives, liquor to towels. Single parents and their kids who received the goodies together with their monthly groceries were so excited and happy with the unexpected gifts. Thanks once again to the management and staff of Kiara Properties for this wonderful largesse and compassionate love for poor single parents. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fun at Jaya One photo shoot

It’s funny how life does come in a circle, how the lives of some people cross your path and then they disappear forever. Others criss cross into your life at different times and it is always marvelous to catch up with such friends.

Today was one such day – I finally caught up with Azrul K Abdullah, now a well respected, hugely creative photographer who was once my colleague in The Sun newspaper several years back.

Back then he was a rookie reporter who came to work on a racing bike, it brought back memories of me cycling to work from Paramount Garden, PJ to The Star newspaper at Section 13 – of course my bike was a chopper bike costing less than RM100 while his was a couple of thousand ringgits if I’m not mistaken.

Now, he’s grown in stature and reputation and has emerged as a very creative, very talented photographer who volunteered to photograph 12 single parent families and Parents Without Partners co-founders for a special event to be carried out at Jaya One soon.

It wasn’t easy getting all 12 single parent and their kids to go for the photo shoot, some single parents pulled out at the last minute on the flimsiest of excuses, others could not bring all their children due to school activities or last minute changes.

One family, single mother Susan who suffered from a severe stroke which partially paralysed her was slated for the photo shoot but was tragically killed in a traffic accident and now, her two younger daughters and son are being cared for by various relatives.

Tragedy notwithstanding, the photos taken of the single parents and their kids will remain a lasting reminder of this special moment in time, when their photos of a happy albeit poor family is captured for life on digital prints – something they never could have afforded given their straitened circumstances.

The co-founders, Lian See, Sanice Kam and Mary Anne Tan were also asked to participate in the photo shoot at Jaya One’s The School and while waiting took some zany shots of themselves having fun with the various props and backgrounds that the colourful learning environment had to offer.

The photo taking was fun, funny and enjoyable but the final photos in full colour of all the single parents and the co-founders will only be unveiled at a date to be determined.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What’s 2014 like for poor single parents?

We’re reaching the end of January. It’s only been the first month of 2014 yet the prognosis is that it has not been good for poor single parents. Imagine, they have been courageously battling against odds to raise their kids on very little money and even less help from their families or outside help, all these while.

For the last 7 years, Jumble Station has done its best to help alleviate their worries and their financial woes but the recent rise in the cost of food items, basic stuff and even school needs are putting an even more heavy burden on their current load.

If it is extremely tough for a two parent family to provide for their families in these trying times, imagine the pain and agony poor single parents have to undergo with the coming months painting an even more bleak future for them. What can  JS do to assist these long suffering single parents – we can only try to raise our assistance to them a notch higher and further empower them to seek to increase their income source in more creative ways.

We will do that by collaborating with different groups and organisations that can partner JS in making a positive difference in the lives of single parents in dire need. We can do that if those who can afford, those who have the creative input and the willingness to share their skills and their time, to work  alongside us to bring about an impactful change to this much forgotten group – the poor single parents!