I still remember when I still a little girl, it was two days before Christmas, she bought boxes of special hams and I thought, "we sure can't finish them all, what is she thinking?!"
We then roamed around the city looking for Metro-aids. (Metro-aids are the ones who clean the streets). She then asked me to approach them and give a box of ham each while greeting them "Merry Christmas".
Up to this day, their facial expressions were still quite vivid in my head. It started with the grumpy look, to baffled, to a smile so genuine, some even have tears in their eyes. My mom told me, "I think we just made a few families happy this Christmas Eve". Every Christmas, I think of them and I wonder if that simple gesture from our side made a difference. I wonder if they still remember that day because for sure, I still do.
Now that I'm older and have my own family, I would like to instill "helping others" to my children the way my mother did.
My two boys helped out one time in our yearly Ramadan Company CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities. Giving away food boxes to labourers is one of the many that we do in Ramadan. But I thought, why should we limit helping others to the season of Ramadan.
So recently, my boys had a one week school break. We received an email from the school to bring the boys to work to give them exposure and practical experience. Since my husband brings the boys to work anyways even when they are not on school break, it feels like they can probably do something else. So I asked them if they'd be interested to give out snacks to labourers and street workers. They said it sounds like a good idea and so the idea begun.
I thought 20 packs of food is good enough. When I started ordering for samosas, I realised that's just too small of a number. And so the 20 became 50 samosas. If they have to eat samosa, they also need water, and juice and fruits.
So in the end, we have 50 samosas, 50 clementines, more than 50 water bottles and juice boxes.
We didn't have to go far and it didn't take too long to finish off our stash.
The first ones were 2 labourers who took a break away from their team and a street sweeper. They were pretty happy with the food and they keep on telling us "thank you, thank you".
The next were around 4 labourers waiting for their pick-up. When we asked them if they would like some samosas, they thought we were looking were to get samosas so they were saying they don't know. I figured it was miscommunication and so I just put one samosa in each bowl, put the sweet and spicy sauce and show them, their eyes lit up and suddenly gravitated towards our car. Jason happily got water bottles, juice boxes and clementines. Alex was the photographer of the day. Though he was not giving out food, he was smiling. He knows we were doing something good.
I thought, okay, I don't want the samosas to go cold. These are good samosas, I know because we order the exact ones for the office when we crave for it. I told the boys, we're gonna have to go to Media City and distribute what we have at the construction site in front of UOWD. But on our way to the exit, I saw 3 Labourers under the heat, taking a break, so I decided to take a pit stop.
3 became 5, became 6, and before we knew it, we were left with just 5 samosas. Every time we were about to leave, Jason will yell, "mommy, more are coming!". Word of mouth definitely travels fast, especially when you're hungry and it's about food.
By the rate of it, the boys were both telling me, we should have bought more samosas. :)
It was hot, I was sick, boys were getting exhausted going back and forth to get the stash and distributing them. But we were all happy in the end.
As we left the construction site and headed to the mall's parking lot to distribute the remaining 5, we saw from afar a lot, a lot, a lot of construction workers on queue waiting for their bus. We all look at each other, well we now know where will be the next place to distribute when we do this again.
In the mall's parking lot, I saw a cleaner. I told Jason to ask him if he would like a samosa. He quickly said he wanted and so I told him, I'll give him all 5 with the remaining sauces, he can share (or not) with his friends at work or bring it home, it's up to him. He looked so happy.
Then I checked, we still have some water bottles, juice boxes and a few clementines. Apparently, some of the labourers didn't take water or juice or clementines. Some just took either a juice or just water or just the fruit, but for sure every single one took samosa.
On our way home, we decided to pass by the horde of labourers we saw and distribute whatever is left. Once again, miscommunication happened. When we asked, do you guys want water, most of them said no, because they thought we were looking for a place to get water.
The minute Jason started waiving water bottles and juice boxes in front of them, it went all crazy. It was a good thing we were inside the car, our stash disappeared in just a minute. We had to tell them sorry, we have no more.
We left the area and for sure know that the next time we distribute, it will be to this area. We ended the day with a happy heart.
Looking forward to our next "lend a hand" activity.