Mark Batterson, a well-known American pastor and author said, “When God blesses you financially, don’t raise your standard of living but raise your standard of giving.”
This scribe met with two groups of warm-hearted Ipohites who are passionate about helping the poor especially those at the extreme end of the social spectrum. Their earthly mission to help these poor souls with the basic necessities is what keeps them apart from the rest. Nothing can be so noble as to provide these homeless people, who live off the streets, with a square meal so they need not have to beg or go on empty stomachs. The two groups are:
Pay It Forward Ipoh (PIFI)
Started on April 10, PIFI is a project undertaken by some caring Ipoh youths who are concerned for the safety and well-being of the homeless in the city. Relying entirely on public donations, PIFI distributes food packs, drinks and toiletries to the homeless every Saturday.
One of its co-founders, known only as Nas, who was once homeless himself, is thankful for the donations the group receives and the people who volunteer their time to help out.
“I used to do this alone. But now, I am glad that more people are joining in. Hopefully, one day I’ll find a permanent solution to help the homeless,” said Nas.
On August 15, Healy Mac’s Irish Bar and Restaurant, Ipoh donated 30 packets of their delicious Aglio Olio pasta. The food was distributed to the homeless in the streets of Old Town by volunteers.
Interested readers keen on supporting PIFI can visit their Facebook page, “Pay It Forward Ipoh” or make cash donations at Tian Mi Mi at Medan Selera Stadium Perak. For more information, call 011 1278 7268 or 019 645 6745.
Lighthouse Hope Society (LHS)
Founded in 2006 by the Canning Garden Methodist Church, Lighthouse Hope Society (LHS) has been serving meals and providing medical assistance to the homeless who also suffer from drug addiction. The organisation provides vocational training so they can return to mainstream society.
According to the President of LHS, Dr S.S Gill, all of this would not be possible without the support from the ‘Vineyard Keepers’ who cook and clean their operations centre, medical doctors, hairdressers and meal servers who have dedicated their invaluable time, efforts and prayers in performing this “labour of love”.
“We’re very grateful to receive assistance and support from the Welfare Department, Labour Department, the Sultan Azlan Shah Foundation, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, Yayasan Teratai along with other corporate and individual donors whose contributions have kept us going these many years,” said Dr Gill.
LHS is now located at No. 4, Jalan Koo Chong Kong in Old Town. It is open every day of the week. Interested readers who want to be a part of LHS can visit the centre personally or contact its manager, Richard Lee at 012 505 7048.