In a spontaneous move to demonstrate their support for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Soroptimist International Ipoh (SII), as part of their ongoing community service, approached AEON Kinta City on March 13 for a space to set up a ‘Wall of Hope’ for the public to express their prayers, hopes and a show of sympathy.
Originally the intention was for just a mesh stand whereby people can write on cards and pin them up to create a wall. This would allow for expressions of caring thoughts, wishes for safety and any other messages individuals felt moved to write as well as sharing in the pain, sorrow and anguish for the passengers and crew on board and their waiting families and loved ones.
In a show of impeccable teamwork, SII members quickly ordered a banner which was immediately produced by TD Adwork Sdn Bhd and the team took time off from their busy schedules to take turns in manning the stand. Within a day, all 1000 cards purchased for the messages were used up and more supplies were needed. An SOS call to Cherish Flowers and Gifts produced a metal tree frame within 10 minutes and a further 2000 cards were purchased.
It was such a touching show of solidarity and outpouring of care and concern as by the middle of the third day, there was no visible space anywhere left to hang even a single card and some people even wrote on the back of existing ones. The response was overwhelming as people came in droves and the diversity of races, religions and age groups was amazing.
Having used up all available resources, SI Ipoh had to cease and allow the public to read the messages written by others. Many eager people came but left rather disappointed that they were not able to hang their messages of hope and prayers too.
Subsequently there was an outpouring of requests from the public to the management that the writing of messages not stop. Kinta City management then appealed to SII to carry on. Kinta City has also committed, at the end of it all, to gather all the cards and send it to the families involved to show our support and care.
Despite the work involved, SI Ipoh added two more trees for the public to write messages and this too quickly filled up.
According to President of SI Ipoh Lanka Devi, some of the messages were so touching and poignant that they brought tears to her eyes. She said, “It is amazing, how Malaysians are all rallying together as one family in support of all involved in this sad turn of events. Everyone has put aside their differences. This is when I feel proud to be a Malaysian. SI Ipoh is proud to have served the community in this way. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”