By Lam Yat Yee
The elderly people make up an estimated 10.6% of Malaysia’s population, and roughly 11.6% of the elderly population reside in registered elderly care institutions. One too many times, they have been overlooked and neglected, but that does not apply to this church and this group of compassionate volunteers in Ipoh.
Last Saturday, on the 15th of April, Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church (OMPH) held a fair; the Family Day Food Fair. This event was a hundred percent zero profit, with all financial gains being donated to the Simee Home of the Aged.
The fair was held at the church itself, with various stalls from food stalls, craft stalls, pre-loved item stalls, balloon stalls to flower stalls being set up.
Numerous churchgoers and outside volunteers came forward to run the many stalls, with even several student communities joining to lend a hand wherever it was needed. The participating schools included Tenby Schools Ipoh, SMJK Sam Tet, SMK St. Michael, and SMK Convent Ipoh.
Droves of people supported the event to give back to the elderly, while some had done so as the church had called upon them. The rest simply volunteered for the experience and social opportunity.
When asked what the benefit of volunteering for such an event was, most stall owners shared the same answer: that they were presented with an opportunity to help the elderly.
Meanwhile, students voiced their gratitude at having a chance to gain some experience is charity work as well as having something productive to do.
All in all, the food fair was a great way of encouraging fellowship and promoting local businesses. It gave the people an incentive as we gradually return to the norm after the pandemic.