Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

A Piece Of Hope : Mt. Kinabalu Chapter 7 donation collection has reached its final lap. On December 7th, a Donation Presentation & Closing Ceremony was held at PPKKCKS premises in Klang. It was a quiet affair with the main committee members and 2 representatives of Nippon Paint in attendance. This event was called for to formally announce total donation collected and give opportunity to Nippon Paint to present a RM10,000 mock cheque to PPKKCKS. Memorabilia from the climb were also presented to PPKKCKS.

The total donation collected so far until 7th December 2013 is RM231,000. With this our target of RM200,000 has been achieved. Even though it is less than last year’s collection, APOH this year is deem a success. We were informed that they will use half of the amount for their building fund and other half for daily operations. A very BIG sincere THANK YOU to all who had donated to PPKKCKS.

With a chapter closed, a new chapter is raring to be open come 2014. On the books, we are fully booked at 220pax. See you there for A Piece Of Hope : Mt. Kinabalu Chapter 8 from July 12 - 16 2014!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Thrills, Spills and Heroes

Whenever I sit down to write a blog for our completed climb, I try to retrospect the experience and feeling it conjure before, during and after. This year it is kind of dejavu because Day 2 (as like last year) trekkers comprising 103 of them, were barred from making it to the summit due to adverse weather conditions (sorry guys and gals!). Day 1 trekkers comprising 109 of them were luckier but only 60% made it to the summit, the rest that didn't were either struck by AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) or forced to turn back due to sub-zero temperatures and strong wind close to summit.

Thank God that this year's trek went on smoothly in terms of logistics and timing (thanks to all committee members especially Engu and Samantha). There were also no major injury incidents alas for one minor fall happened to Tan Cheng Cheng with a slight bruise on her forehead.

We had a record of 250 people (1 airplane load) in our APOH contingent comprising of 230 trekkers and 20 non-trekkers. This year we had invited one of Persatuan Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Klang Selangor (PPKKCKS) children to trek with us, his name is 18 year old Ngoh Kok Ming. He was accompanied by one of PPKKCKS caretaker. Both of them surprisingly managed to conquer Mount Kinabalu on Day 1 effortlessly. When asked them was it tough? They said it was not as they were well prepared for it months before the trek.

Joining us too was a news reporter from the Malay Mail (media partner for 2013) who gave us good print media coverage (see news article on right hand panels). China Press too had given us some coverage as they had 4 personnel trekking with us this year.

The one day trekking (up down Mount Kinabalu in 1 day) that APOH introduced for the first time in 2012 was even more popular this year as we had 8 super-fit' trekkers. Out of the 8 trekkers, only 1 made it to the summit and he is non other than Foo Jong Wee. He managed to reach summit at noon time. The others that didn't make it were either barred from summit due to adverse weather (Day 1) or didn't reach Sayat-Sayat check point on time (Day 2).

 Day 2 trekkers

 Day 1 trekkers

Anyhow, APOH donation collection amount to date is reaching RM90,000. The excitement of mountaineering has passed and now is down to efforts of soliciting donations for PPKKCKS until end-November. It is now the next mountain that we have to conquer, our RM200,000 donation collection figure!

PPKKCKS needs your help, please donate (donation form is on the right hand panel).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

We Are On Our Way Again

For the 7th time, A Piece Of Hope had yet again called for a press conference to kick start this year's Mt. Kinabalu charity climb. It was held on the 25th June 2013 @ Persatuan Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Klang Selangor (PPKKCKS) premises in Port Klang. This time around, we have the privilege of getting a press partner, The Malay Mail. They will be covering our event this year and also be sending a reporter to climb with us to report on first encounters. China Press was the only other newspaper that came for our press conference.

The following is an excerpt from our press release (for the actual published prints, please refer to the right hand side column):

Port Klang, Selangor – In the 7th year running, a group of avid Mt. Kinabalu climbers who aptly call themselves A PIECE OF HOPE (APOH), will yet again scale one of the highest mountains in South East Asia come July for a charitable and noble purpose. The APOH climbing group totalling 230 climbers this time is the largest climbing contingents to climb up Mt. Kinabalu. Not surprisingly, some of APOH’s hard core group members have climbed up Mt. Kinabalu more than 13 times consecutively.

For the past 6 years of climbing Mt. Kinabalu for charity, APOH has helped to raise more than RM1,000,000 in cash for various children support type NGOs in and around the Klang Valley. Last year, they managed to raise the largest amount to date of RM254,000 for Rumah KIDS. There seem to be no stopping them as this year they are again climbing for charity and this time to benefit an NGO called, Persatuan Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Klang Selangor (PPKKCKS).

Mr Ting Ted Sun the fund raising charity event organiser for APOH says, “When we set the target of RM240,000 for last year’s fund raising effort, we were actually targeting our RM1,000,000 mark. This mark or amount is the total cash collected for the past 6 years of our noble effort. We were quite sceptical at first during the early stages of the donation drive as amount pouring in was little. We know we had to push our boundaries so that we could achieve that sort of elusive figure. Thanks to all effort by the APOH committee members, we not only hit the target but we surpassed it. To date it was by far our most successful effort in all of the 6 years climbing for charity. APOH is truly touched by the generosity of those who gave into APOH and Rumah KIDS. This year as we embark again on raising funds and since reaching the RM1,000,000 mark, we would still set a target but it would be a sure reachable figure of RM200,000.”

Lead climber, Mr Jimmy Lim, indicated that they have 200 climbers this year plus 30 non-climbers and will be making the climb from 27 to 31 July 2013. Climbers will be flying into Kota Kinabalu from all over the country on the 27 July. Mr. Jimmy Lim whom has climbed Mt. Kinabalu for 12 times, said that the climb will be in two stages again like last year, each stage will have 100 climbers. He further adds that the jigsaw puzzle pieces will not be assembled at the summit due to the two stages climb arrangement but will be assembled at Laban Rata. Assembling it at Laban Rata will also be easier as the weather condition at the peak is quite unpredictable.

Mr. Jimmy highlighted that all climbers bear their own expenses and there is no cost incurred in organising this event. APOH committee members also pay the same price. This year the cost had gone up by RM100 but enthusiasm to join us has not died down due to this increase. Not a single cent will be taken out from the donation funds collected. Street donation solicitation, Jimmy stressed, is strictly prohibited. He mentioned that the general public can view their on-going and past efforts from the website www.apieceofhope.blogspot.com. He jovially said that all these effort are done for the sake of charity, along the way they have loads of fun and make many new friends.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Visit to Persatuan Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Klang Selangor

A Piece Of Hope (APOH) kicks off this year with a visit to a disabled children home in Klang, Selangor on 6 April 2013. This home is Persatuan Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Klang Selangor which is located in Port Klang area. The home was founded by Mr. N. Morgun in 1994 using his own savings of RM20,000. Having a disabled brother of his own also spurred him on to do more for these special needs children.
With hard work and will power through the 19 years, the home now house 77 multiracial special children diagnosed with DOWN SYNDROME, CEREBRAL PALSY, AUTISTIC, SPASTIC, MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY, MILD MENTAL RETARDATION, VISION IMPAIRED, SPEECH IMPAIRED and HEARING IMPAIRED. With so many children and many more that they could help, the home is staffed with 13 employees of which 1 is a physiotherapist from India.
On our (APOH committee members: Jimmy Lim, Engu, Wendy Cheong, Foo Jong Wee and myself Ted) arrival at the home, we were greeted by Mr. Morgun and his colleague Mr. Simon. At that time they were busy entertaining guest from a corporate company doing a CSR visit in which donated plenty of food stuffs. While they were busy, we had an opportunity to walk about the home. The place is pretty clean and tidy. This bungalow complex has a large patio for the children to exercise and conduct various activities. On the open grounds there are 2 vessel containers used for classrooms. Inside we are greeted by a hall lined with mattresses and baby cots for the severely disabled children (10% of the total number of children) cared mostly by maids. As we walked further in there is an office where we had our meeting with Mr. Morgun and across it a staircase that goes up to the bedrooms. Just beside the office is situated the kitchen.

On the 1st floor, the bedrooms are divided up into boys and girls section. In all the bedrooms are bunker type beds and portable mattresses tucked away to corners. This sleeping configuration made to see that the home is really, really cramped and tight of space. During our visit, the bedrooms were being cleaned and disinfect as one could smell strong disinfectant being used. This goes to show that the home is well taken care of and hygiene is top priorty. I was told that disinfecting is done every morning. All bed frames seems to be dated and old.
We were informed that they are embarking on a building fund project. Presently they have 2 vacant lands (approximately 6,000 sq ft each) available in Klang to build the new home but now lack funds. So every donation that comes in, 75% is allocated for the building fund and rest for monthly expenses. This is a rule of thumb but can be adjusted based on monthly expenditure need.
Mr. Morgun informed us that recently they had a 2 year old baby whom passed away (pictured below). He came to the home as a baby brought by his parents. They pleaded to Mr. Morgun to care for him as they could not do it due to his severely handicapped condition although he was a bubbly baby. With un-questionable compassion this baby was cared for till the day he died at the home. This goes to show that there are still good Samaritans in Malaysia unpreturbed by race or religion
Leaving the home that morning after finishing our visit does not mean saying goodbye to them but instead saying hello and embracing the work we have ahead of us, A Piece Of Hope for Charity: Chapter 7. Please join us in helping them this year.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

History has been created

This blog is way overdue but has to be written.

The past year has seen our efforts taken to new historical heights. As of end of last year, our elusive target of RM1,000,000 (for total donation collection from 2007 - 2012) has been achieved. Rumah Kids, the NGO that we helped last year, collected a final total donation collection of RM254,000 (as of end-December 2012). This is the highest record so far in our 6 years effort.

An appreciation ceremony was held on the 17th November 2012 at Rumah Kids in Klang to mark this historical occasion. At that time donation collection was RM245,000 but we surpassed that at end-December as mentioned in the earlier paragraph.

Our journey to the RM1,000,000 mark was not even thought of when the A Piece Of Hope charity climb was conceived back in 2007. Our only goal was to help children NGOs to raise cash to fund their daily operations. What we saw also was a NEED and we chose to fill that need by doing something. We thank God that we had and still have a team of dedicated and willing APOH committee members that can work seamlessly together. All of our committee members are busy people but have managed to squeeze in time to do some form of charity, my hats off to ALL of them!

I can't remember who said this, 'a journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step'. This is what I see happened in our journey. To end this blog, I have this to say to ALL people who wants to do charity. You can't do it yourself, rally some friends who can synergise together and form a purpose-driven goal. As for us, our journey continues .....