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.