PETALING JAYA: When the movement control order (MCO) enforced in mid-March left many Malaysian families in dire straits, local social media star Arwind Kumar donated RM150 of his own money to help each needy family under his #quaranTEAM project.
At the same time, Arwind’s mother, who runs an NGO, commenced project #FromAMother to help others in need of aid.
Known to many for his lovable Mak Cik Roast-mah character, Arwind decided he could help more desperate people by joining forces with his mother.
“I shifted my #quaranTEAM funds to my mother’s project and that’s when things really took off,” Arwind told FMT. He also announced this collaboration on Facebook with the hope that more families in need of assistance would contact him for help.
According to Arwind, each package of basic necessities costs RM200 and includes 10 kilos of rice, three kilos of mee hoon, five kilos of oil, one kilo of sugar, tea, milk powder, flour, green beans, yellow beans, salt, potatoes, oats, curry powder, chilli powder, chickpeas, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and laundry powder.
Once news of the collaboration spread, Arwind received urgent requests from approximately 30 to 50 families a day, and in just three days, Arwind’s funds were wiped out.
That’s when he returned to the one community he knew would band together to help him – his loyal Facebook followers.
“If social media had never existed, it would be tough to continue the project. Thanks to social media, I was able to reach out to so many people who want to help but do not know of families who need help.
“I’m only acting as the medium to help assist with the funds,” he explained.
His act of kindness has not only benefited others but given him sweet memories to last a lifetime.
“One girl reached out to me and painstakingly wrote the entire story of her life, of her mum’s plight and how she has been handling the entire situation. I felt a genuine connection with her instantly.”
Arwind explained that under project #quaranTEAM, he would donate RM150 to each financially-strapped family but he was so moved by the girl’s plight that he sent her RM300, RM500 and an additional RM500 later.
To show her gratitude, the girl sent him photographs of the provisions she had bought with his donations.
“She also bought food for her cat. Her mother has been saying how she would love to cook and have lunch with me. One of my goals after the MCO is to meet them. I need to see them and ensure their living conditions have improved,” he said.
Over 857 families have since benefited from the #FromAMother project. The project has also reached out to the Lost Animals Soul Shelter (LASS) and donated 20 bags of rice to help feed the more than 250 dogs the shelter cares for.
Arwind currently resides at the NGO with a few others to help package the provisions every day.
He explains that the project is named #FromAMother because of the urgency at which every request no matter how big or small, is dealt with.
“When someone sends in a request for help, mum immediately gets it done. Help is either sent on the same day or the next morning.
“Those who come to collect the provisions always say that it warms their hearts to see a mother looking after all her children, regardless of race or age.”
Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It lifts spirits to see so much kindness and generosity during such dire times, so keep up the good work, Arwind!
Those who wish to donate to the #FromAMother project can bank in their contributions to:
Maybank Account No: 114067208613