GG staff spent the past few days calling the many families in our database to talk to them and ask how they were coping with the MCO so far. While we're glad that there were many who have indicated they were doing okay, there were some who couldn't hold back the tears as they talked to us and started sharing about their needs and struggles.
Many families told us that they had little to no income due to their inability to work during this period, thus running out of food to put on the table. One such family shared that they have been eating thosai made with the little flour that is left in their home, and that their 1 year-old child had no milk to drink because they couldn't afford it.
Other families with urgent needs also shared similar stories of not being able to work and not having any aid to help them get through. "Kalau beras tak cukup untuk kita tak apa, tapi untuk anak kalau tak ada susu memang susah."
Translation: "Even if we don't have enough rice for ourselves it's okay, but it's tough to not have milk for our children."
This family of 5 had nothing left to eat, surviving on only thosai made out of the little flour they had. Even their one-year-old baby had no milk to drink because the husband is a daily wage earner and has no income during the MCO period. Without hesitation, our team made a quick arrangement and ordered food delivery plus milk powder for them. When the food & milk arrived, the husband thanked us because this is their first proper meal in a few days.
Knowing she would be receiving food aid from Generasi Gemilang, this single mother with four children was so thankful because they have been feeling stressed over the lack of their food supplies. She had been struggling to get food because of the hike in prices and was unable to stock up on things like biscuits for her children prior to the MCO.
As she was just discharged from surgery due to a recent accident, another single mother who is also an OKU had no source of income and struggled to feed the two children staying with her. Our team immediately prioritised her family and arranged for food to be delivered to her doorstep. She had a deep sense of gratitude that there is someone out there so willing to help when she feels the most helpless.
"If you can't feed a hundred people then just feed one." - Mother Teresa
As we managed to raise more than what we hoped for initially, the additional aid would allow us to support 150 families not just for the extended 2 weeks of MCO but also to increase the number of families who would be receiving the aid to 300 families.
Malaysians Rise Up
In the midst of it all, what we were also thankful for was the fact that many Malaysians rose to fulfill the needs. Many of you donated when the fundraising first launched; then owners of small businesses started pledging part of their proceeds to the fund and corporate partners helped by sharing about our efforts as well. Before we knew it, we even saw that Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir tweeted to pledge a day's salary to this effort through the #GajiSehariChallenge! What a time to witness how Malaysians don't just say they care, they show it.
The supplier (FK Supply Sdn. Bhd.) we engaged to provide the food to the families also worked hard to ensure they packed and delivered the vegetables, ikan bilis, eggs, cooking oil, and other fresh food plus non-perishables to 3 different communities before late noon so the families could cook for the day. They even suggested to sponsor and add on a few items for the families, seeing how the families could use the extra food with the MCO extension.
Finally, the distribution was also made possible thanks to the local authorities (P105 Petaling Jaya, P115 Batu and P121 Lembah Pantai), local leaders and their volunteers who helped to ensure the distribution was done in an orderly manner. They distributed the food to families in batches to avoid large crowds coming down, plus they even prepared hand sanitisers to ensure families sanitised their hands before collecting the food for their homes. What an amazing collaboration between NGOs, businesses and even the local authorities.
Once again we are proud that Malaysians can come together and help one another regardless of race or religion to ensure the needy have food and the children are fed.
Thank you fellow Malaysians, you make us proud!
Read about Projek Sinar where we aim to help community families in need during the COVID-19 Movement Control Order (MCO) HERE.