Love is all around
A charity programme that assists underprivileged families proves to be a rewarding experience for volunteers.
ARMED with a shopping trolley cart and a grocery check list on hand, Iris See strolls through the aisle, paying close attention to various goods that are stacked on shelves. She is flipping through pages of a discount catalogue to compare prices in order to hunt for the best deals.
With a trusty smartphone on hand, she is punching numbers to calculate the amount of goods that has been taken and the budget that is available, before deciding on items to be placed in the trolley cart. The purchased groceries are meant as monthly support to be delivered to an underprivileged family under her care.
Elsewhere, a group of patients undergoing haemodialysis treatment receives a welcoming visit from Coey and Fion Lim. The two caring volunteers lend a listening ear and chat with the patients to keep them accompanied.
The patients have to go through difficult physical and financial challenges, as going for treatments means spending three times a week being hooked up to a machine and the treatment costs can go up to RM3,500 every month. Therefore, the patients need all the help and support they can get.
See, Coey and Fion are part of a small group of volunteers helping out with Great Heart Charity Association’s Hand-in-Hand Charity Program. It aims to assist underprivileged families that rarely receive attention from the media. Funds and resources are allocated to these families to mitigate some of their burden. Volunteers are assigned to provide care to underprivileged families on a monthly basis.
Formed in 2010, Great Heart Charity Association (GHCA) is a tax-exempted, non-profit charitable organisation in Malaysia. Its mission is to make charitable giving a part of everyone’s life by acting as a platform to volunteers and contributors with the underprivileged. They aim to provide meaningful assistance to people who face difficulties in their life through various ongoing projects. It believes that although one may not be able to change the world, he or she may be able to help people substantially on an individual or community level.
Everyone goes through ups and downs in life, just as the day transitions to night. The process is important as all good and bad serves a constructive purpose, as with changes comes growth, and growth transitions through joy and pain.
“In our quest to inspire more people to get involved in charities while creating a caring society, we strive to make charitable giving a part of everyone’s life, especially the younger generation so that they in turn would light up the lives of others. We reckon that as long as there are believers, opportunity for miracles exist,” commented Franky See Swee Choy, the president and founder of the association, who started the noble quest after overcoming hardships in life.
Meanwhile, a group of students arranged a fun carnival at their university. They invited a group of children from an orphanage to experience campus life and enjoy the university facilities.
The students played football with the children, who were also treated to food cooked by the students, before being brought to the university’s theatre to watch a movie. This activity was made possible via GHCA’s You & Me Educational Program, which emphasises that charity is a form of education. Through this programme, talks are provided to students at secondary schools, colleges and universities with the aim to encourage student groups to organise their own charity projects.
According to See, 60 underprivileged individuals drop by their centre every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to receive packed food (via the Lunch Box for the Hungry project). Volunteer doctors help out every Wednesday by attending to the elderly who drop by for free medical check-ups.
“Children are given free language classes every Saturday, while a community vegetable garden has been set up to encourage volunteers to grow their own crops, to be harvested and distributed to the community,” added See.
As charitable giving also covers awareness on caring for our planet, the association launched the Earth Warriors Project in 2014, as they believe that everyone has a responsibility to protect the environment.
To be able to inspire over 4,000 participants to work together in cleaning up the environment is no mean feat and the association managed to achieve that in Jenjarom, Klang, Subang Jaya and Shah Alam. The project serves as a reminder for people not to dispose garbage irresponsibly.
Although running a charitable organisation involves a lot of time and effort, See feels that all the hard work pays off in exchange for a fulfilling life experience.
This was echoed by his team of volunteers who work with him in his journey to spread love. It is no wonder that the slogan of the association is “Care in hand, love in heart”. For more information, visit Great Heart Charity Association’s Facebook page or email at info@ greatheartcharity.org.my. ‘In our quest to inspire more people to get involved in charities while creating a caring society, we strive to make charitable giving a part of everyone’s life,’ said See, who is helping out to clean up the streets. — Photos: Great Heart Charity Association
A group of university students invited children from an orphanage to experience campus life and enjoy the university facilities.