Clutching her present still wrapped in gift wrapping, Wong Poh Mei said that she was very happy to receive a school bag. The 9-year-old girl from Ipoh Christian Centre was one of the lucky children from seven orphanage homes who had their wishes granted in conjunction with Christmas.
John, 16, from Vision Home, received a guitar. The self-taught guitarist had been playing his friend’s guitar since he was 12. He said, “I am happy and thankful that I finally have my own instrument!” John, a student at SMK Buntong, also participated in last year’s event where he received a long-sleeved shirt.
The Grant A Wish communal drive organised by Ipoh Parade ran for the fifth consecutive year, with the objective of granting the wishes of children in orphanage homes in Ipoh. The annual event was to inspire the community to pay it forward.
For one month, the wishes of these children from Good Shepherd Family Home, Precious Gift Home, Salvation Army Ipoh Boys Home, Vision Home, Pertubuhan Anak-Anak Yatim & Miskin (Anning Ipoh), Ipoh Christian Centre (Agape Family) and Pertubuhan Kebajikan Harapan Baru were displayed at the concourse area of the shopping mall.
Shoppers and well-wishers then had the opportunity to grant these wishes either through sponsorship of new gifts, donation of pre-loved items or even cash. Cash donations were used to purchase gifts that were not among those donated by patrons.
Tenants of Ipoh Parade, namely Kopitiam Avenue, Chicken Rice Shop and Born & Bread also sponsored gifts for these children, putting huge smiles on the faces of the kids.
The children, numbering almost 140, were then invited to the shopping mall on Monday, December 29, 2014 for a gift presentation. They were also treated to a Latin dance performance by junior dancers from Yencci Dance Studio and a stage magic show by Uncle Frankie, making their day a memorable one.
Said Centre Manager of Ipoh Parade Chan Yu Yin, “In keeping with our tradition, we are happy to be able to get into the holiday spirit of giving by providing a platform for everyone to contribute to the happiness of these children who have their wishes granted.”