Tuesday, January 17, 2012

MOW CELEBRATE - Meals on Wheels to Tong Sim home for the elderly in Sungei Besi on 8.1.12

We came across Joey How’s personal blog post on her trip with us to the Tong Sim home for the elderly in Sungei Besi. Her article was warm, uplifting, compelling and from the heart. This is why we have asked her permission to post her article instead of our usual posting.

We would like to thank the kind souls who donated cash and items in kind as well as all volunteers who spared their time and made this initiative a reality. Your presence and effort have brightened up the atmosphere and showed the elderly folks that although their family members abandoned them, there are people like us who still care. Most of all, the biggest thanks go to Uncle Cheong Loy who dedicated his time, money and effort in caring for these residents when their closest family members turned against them
May all be well and happy always!

Read and feel the wholesome experience through Joey How on the post below or click on to her blog via this link http://akinddeedaday.wordpress.com/

That's all it takes.
8.1.12: A Sunday at an old folks’ home

Meals on Wheels by Ti-Ratana Penchala
Determined to make AKDAD a reality, I recently signed up as a volunteer at several charity organisations.  Why not put my knowledge and skills to help people help others?  So when Ti-Ratana called and asked if I could help them blog, I was pleasantly surprised.We visited the TongSim Senior Citizens Care Centre last weekend.  While it wasn’t my first time visiting an old folks’ home, this initiative has certainly opened up my eyes in many ways.  What started out as an intention to bring cheers and joy to the lonely residents there ended up helping me spiritually and enlightening my mind about the greatness of compassion, humility and generosity.  

About Tong Sim
Having operated for the last 11 years at Sungai Besi within the grounds of Kwong Tong Cemetery, the Centre was established by chance. Back then, its noble and humble founder – Uncle Cheong Loy – who still runs a funeral parlour below the Centre today, was kind enough to share the vacant space above his shop and provided free accommodation to those from outstation who were seeking treatments in nearby hospitals.  Soon, the place turned into a home for the elderly who were abandoned by their families and relatives, and had nowhere to go.

The Centre currently houses 50 residents comprising 40 men and 10 women.  It receives free medical care from
hospitals but daily maintenance and necessity expenses come from Uncle Cheong Loy’s pocket besides donations from the public.
A majority of the residents here were admitted to the hospitals by their own children, family or relatives who then went missing or became unreachable when these elderly were well enough to be discharged.  Only one or two elderly at the Centre live there by choice.  Uncle Cheong Loy shared that one of the female inmates was often abused by her husband and was admitted to Tong Sim by her daughter. She has since found peace there and gets visits from her daughter once in a while.

This Uncle prefers to stay put at his corner
A place they called ‘home’To be awfully honestly, I was rather reluctant to go at first. I didn’t know what to expect and what to say to the elderly folks there.  Plus I’m not good with seeing people live in appalling conditions – more often than not, I would freeze and break down in emotions. But a promise is a promise. Hubby was more than happy to go with me.
The volunteers were a cheerful and humble lot comprising mainly  young adults.  When many of their peers were out in the malls loitering around, these youth dedicated their time to cheering up the old people at Tong Sim.  It’s probably dubbed an “uncool” thing to do but nonetheless, I’m touched with their big hearts.
A volunteer chatting up an elderly
As we walked in, there was a unberable smell of urine stench. Some of the elderly were seen resting, some just sitting up and staring into the blank walls.  The living condition was nowhere near comfortable but to the residents, they are probably grateful for a roof above their headsOver 40 beds were placed closely next to each other across the hall, the fans were blasting to keep the heat at bay, and residents of both genders live, eat and change on the same floor.  The immobile ones are given a pail each, placed next to their beds, to contain any bodily discharge – hence the stench.  There were neither curtains to shield them from the strong sun nor separators for individual privacy.  Whether you are healthy, handicapped or bedridden, everyone shares the same air and space. I cannot imagine my parents, in-laws or even myself living in such deplorable condition.  
The knowledgable Uncle sharing some words of wisdom

Getting to know them
Most of us felt a little awkward at first but as one by one approached the elderly, the group loosened up and sat down to chat with them. Some seemed happy with our presence, while the rest continued to rest or preferred to keep to themselves.  I wouldn’t blame them for such behaviour as they may have lost trust for human kind after being abandoned by people whom they trusted most.  
One particular Uncle who looked fit and considerably younger than the rest started whipping out his collection of books to share with the youths.  He certainly looked like he didn’t belong there (who does?!). Hubby had a long chat with an Indian man who complained that the lunch provided was too ‘soft’ to his liking and that we should serve some meat as well.  According to him, he has never been married and was previously a government worker but was fired after missing work often due to his illness.  He has a family in Cheras but chose to live in the Centre for not wanting to burden his aging siblings.
won’t forget an Uncle who wore a smile throughout our visit there. Despite being speech impaired, he took on the role of caring for his bedridden neighbour.  Seeing that we were serving lunch, he waddled towards the kitchen in small and slow steps to grab a bowl before passing it to me.  He signed ‘food’ and pointed towards his friend, asking me to fetch some lunch for him as well.  His friend may be immobile, but he sure is fortunate to have a caring pal like this Uncle. The bedridden Uncle definitely had a great appetite because he finished one whole orange that I peeled for him.
Another Uncle kept grinning and asking for some pocket money. Although we didn’t understand what he was trying to say after Hubby passed him a small token of angpow, he sure looked very grateful.

Young in age, wise in compassion
Volunteers with golden hearts
Surprisingly, I managed to blend in rather quickly.  Besides talking to the elderly people and serving them lunch, we also replaced new and clean mattresses for them.  A group of teenage boys livened up the atmosphere by going from bed to bed and entertained those who were up for some dancing and Chinese New Year songs.  I watched in amazement when one of the boys – Korean superstar Rain lookalike – leaned forward to hug one of the uncles after that.  I thought, “Whose son is that?  How did they teach him to be so compassionate and caring?”
At another end of the hall, a little girl around six years old was seen feeding one of the elderly who seemed to be basking in the attention. Another man selflessly carried a handicapped aunty from a chair to her bed – there were no qualms, no expectations, just loving kindness. These moments inspired me to raise my boy to be like that one day.
Not to forget, the volunteer photographer Amar whom despite Ti-Ratana being an NGO spearheaded by a religion head,

The down-to-earth Rain lookalike is the guy in yellow shirt
he open-mindedly helped out with capturing beautiful memories from the visit. I admire his focus in making a difference to his community, regardless of race, religion and gender.
Soon all the volunteers gathered at the front of the hall and belted out a series of festive numbers, oldies and popular Mandarin songs.  Some of the elderly joined in and sang along while some stared and clapped away.  My heart broke when an Uncle who came to the Centre six months ago, was seen shedding tears and losing composure upon hearing the familiar melodies.  He must have missed his family terribly.  Up until now, I couldn’t forget the heart-wrenching expression painted on his face.

Don't ask me why I was holding my clutch...
By the end of the visit, my mind forgot about the discomfort and my nose got accustomed to the stench.  Before we left, I said goodbye to one of the old men who was confined to his bed as well.  I told him to take care and he replied in Cantonese, “Can’t hear you. I replied in Mandarin, “I don’t know how to speak Cantonese, Uncle but take care. He gave me the biggest, toothless smile ever.
It was my first-time getting really up close and personal with these abandoned elderly but I’m glad to be there to show them that there are still people who care about them.
As we drove home that afternoon, I couldn’t stop pondering, “What has gone so badly or seemed so impossible that their children and relatives resorted to leaving them behind?” I’m still seeking for an answer.

I am glad you had the opportunity to be directly involved in charity work. It opens up your (I don’t mean you, I mean, generally) hearts and minds. And then one day, you realize the truth behind the saying “those who have the least give the most.”
As for your concluding paraI think about it every time I see a homeless person in the streets. “What has he done in his past, that he doesn’t have a family and a home to go back to now?” And the more I think of the question, the more I believe in karma.
So yes love, we need more people like you, who would do a kind deed a day <3

Saturday, January 7, 2012

MOW CELEBRATE - UPDATE to 8 January, Sunday 2012 Ti-Ratana Penchala’s Meals on Wheels will be wheeling to Tong Sim Senior Citizen’s Care Centre in Sungei Besi, Kuala Lumpur bringing Chinese New Year cheers.

6 Jan 2012 today and a big Hello to all, Meals on Wheels are ready to wheel with excitement and loads of love this 8 Jan 2011 Sunday to bring share and care to the elderly citizens at Tong Sim. 

Brother Ivan and Bro Tommy have make extra effort to deliver earlier so visitors can rejoice with the inmates on their new mattresses and bedsheets.

We have a team who is going to whip up surprise performances to bring everyone some light hearted moments.

All volunteers are encouraged to socialise and interact with the inmates for your personal touch of warmth and compassion brings hope and happiness to them..........try it, the experience is magical.......

**We have update the wish list and if any names are left out please email us immediately.
Any of such mistakes is for sure an oversight.

Any volunters who wish to join us to please email us your names for logistic reasons and please arrange your own transportation. Scroll down to check 'volunteers important notice' below for more info.

###All wish list/volunters and donors updated as below

* All the donated items from the wish list to be delivered by donors themselves directly to the Tong Sim Senior Home with address below. 
Adult Diapers (Drypers )300 pcs
Donated by Tommy Teh and  friends.

Bath towel 48pcs
Donated by Tommy Teh and  friends.
15 pcs mattress
Donated by Joe rousmaniere and Sharyn Wong

bedsheet 50 set
Donated by Andrew Siow, Yong wei Kee and Amanda mun

1) milo
2) cooking oil
3) condensed milk (susu cair )
4) instant oat

5) cookies & mandarin oranges
1)1 carton of Milo by SH Chung
2)4 bottles of cooking oil by Tony Lee

3)2 cartons of condensed milk by May Ho and friend. 

4) 20 packets of instant oats from May Ho and friends 

5)Ros lian 48 pack of quaker oats in memory of Quah Chin Chye

6) Miss Chong donate cookies and mandarin oranges.

7)Wong Siu Fah-36 packets of rolled oats

8)Carmen Choo 12 cans condensed milk 12 bottles cooking oil 

All of these items donors are welcome to deliver directly before or on the 8 Jan 2012 to :

Tong Sim Senior Citizens Care Centre., 19E Jalan Lapangan Terbang Lama,50460 Kuala Lumpur,

Mr Cheong Loy- hp -0122081530

* We encourage you to deliver personally to the venue giving you the opportunity to visit the inmates.

Cash Donations
Premala Narendra  -  RM50.00
Crystal & Shawn    -   RM50.00
Sister Pauline-    -    RM300.00
Adrian Lee          -     RM100.00 ( Happy Birthday adrian! )

Food and drinks
Food For 60 pax
Sponsor by Mr Yap - 0192222223. restaurant Hee Lai Ton, Seri Kembangan
Water/juice/home made ‘dessert’
*Any donors who wish to contribute to bring on the date itself
 Meals on Wheels
Zainal Amar Zainal Abidin
Joey How
·      We are looking for volunteers who is willing   to act, dance or sing to mbring laughter to the inmates. It can be a stand up comedy, breakdance, dance to the oldies, chinese new year lion dance or simply be a clown to bring a smile to their faces.
·      We encourage all to be creative and give us suggestions
1)Jade and friends
2) Mr Z and Friends
3) Evelyn and Friends

8 January, Sunday 2012 Ti-Ratana Penchala’s Meals on Wheels will be wheeling to Tong Sim Senior Citizen’s Care Centre in Sungei Besi, Kuala Lumpur bringing Chinese New Year cheers.

Date:         8 JAN 2012 SUNDAY

Venue:      Tong Sim Senior citizens care centre. 
                 19E, jalan lapangan Terbang Lama,50460 Kuala Lumpur,
                  Mr Cheong Loy- hp -0122081530.

The plan: -10am to meet at Ti- Ratana Community Centre Penchala 21Jalan Penchala, 46000 Petaling   
                  Jaya (near old town)
                 -Briefing and Prayers before departing to Tong Sim Senior Citizens Care Centre.
                 -Depart 10.30am

This is a care centre for the aged whom had been abandoned by their families, totaling 50 inmates with which 10 are women and the rest men. Many of this elderly was admitted to hospitals by their own children, family, or relatives When they are well enough to be discharged, their next of kin could not be contacted because all information given — names, addresses and contact numbers — were false. They are abandoned with nowhere to go.

Hospitals in the Klang Valley and even beyond have been sending them to this particular home for the aged because they too are at a loss of what to do.
Some folks are immobile and in need of nursing care but unfortunately, volunteers who can spare the time, come visit only once or twice a week to help bathe them, give them a hair cut and try to cheer them with their visits.
Mr Cheong Loy a coffin-maker who runs the funeral parlour on the grounds of the Kwong Tong Cemetery in Sungei Besi, has opened the first floor of his shop to house these “guests”, he keeps accepting more people on the kindness and generosity of his heart.The centre has been around for more than 10 years. The hospitals provide them with free medical care but the expenses for the centre comes from Mr Cheong Loy himself and from public’s contribution.

VOLUNTER’s important information
For logistic and security reasons,  all volunteers who wish to participate are requested to PLEASE PRE REGISTER YOUR NAME AND CONTACT NUMBER WITH US BY EMAIL  trccpenchala@gmail.com

Make your way to meet us at our centre by 10.00am, there will be a briefing, sharing of merits and we shall convoy together to the centre.

We do not provide transport but if you wish to car pool with other volunteers, do 

Mr Cheong Loy's funeral parlour downstair and his guest house for the abandon elderly
All 50 inmates sleep in dormitory style

An elderly inmate confine to a wheel chair reading his newspaper

Dogs as companion who are more loyal their the family who abandoned these elderly folks.

These is how they live everyday

Waiting for someone to visit them soon..........

Should you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to 

contact Bro Ivan Yap 012-2917382

With Metta
Ti-Ratana Penchala Community Centre
21, Jalan Penchala
46000 Petaling Jaya
Tel : +603-7784 9002
Fax : +603 -7784 8002
Bro Ivan Yap 012-2917382

E-Mail : trccpenchala@gmail.com
Web : http://www.ti-ratana-penchala.com.my