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Christmas Cheer Project 

The Family Wellness Club (FWC) has put together a Christmas Cheer Project which aims to provide for those in need. 

As the pandemic has left many jobless and small businesses floundered, for many their future is more uncertain than ever. 

Mangaleswary Ponnampalam

The president of FWC, Mangaleswary Ponnampalam said, “Every festive season, we try to do something for the less fortunate such as orphanages, old folks homes and single mothers. For this year, our focus is on those who are affected by COVID-19. Not just the financial toll that it has taken on everyone, but also the mental health issues that have surfaced. We are targeting people who have lost their jobs and the daily wage workers. We try our best to help them and make them feel appreciated.”

“We hope to bring some cheer to the less fortunate and make them feel that the community cares for them,” she added.

She shared with Ipoh Echo her experience on previous food contribution projects, “Our first donation project started six years ago, and the Christmas Cheer Project is our fourth food project. We are assisted by the Department of Social Welfare on ways to deliver groceries and items. The first batch of the essential provisions and goodies was done on Sunday, December 6.”

When asked how the members ensure the adherence to SOPs when delivering packages, Mangaleswary said, “We take all necessary precautions, like wearing a face mask and keeping at least a meter distance. Most importantly, there’s no physical handing over of food as all are done contactless. We have to bear in mind that this is going to be around for some time, thus, it’s crucial that we adopt the new norm to ensure the safety of everyone.”

Provision for the Christmas Cheer Project

The project has received RM5,100 and contributions in-kind of about 45 bags of rice, 100 small packets of biscuits and preloved toys.

“We spent about RM1,500 to purchase provisions such as oil, milk powder, milo, coffee, tea, nestum, sardines and condensed milk, and with 15 bags of rice, they were delivered to 15 families,” she said.

Provisions for the elderly

“This weekend, we are targeting another 25 families with the contributions we’ve received,” she explained.

According to Mangaleswary, funding comes from their members, regular volunteers and NGOs, as well as members of the public. “We stay true to our principle, the funds collected for community service projects go back to the community.”

“Those who are helping us are mostly our club members and regular volunteer friends from other NGOs. All our members are also actually volunteers, as no remuneration is made for their efforts. We haven’t paid anyone for anything, and all the help that the members have been giving is voluntary. Some can spare more time because they have less personal commitments, and for other members who have other commitments, they often contribute in monetary ways or things in-kind. 

“For example, they would buy bags of rice and deliver them to us for distribution. The packaging and sorting of items are then done by our members, assisted by friends and volunteers,” she explained.

Founded in March 2014, the Family Wellness Club often organises talks, seminars and workshops for children, teenagers and adults on topics such as children’s living values, sex education and family values. 

Anyone who wishes to chip in to aid the FWC’s cause may check out their Facebook page or contact Mangaleswary at 017- 5132588.

 

Gisele Soo

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