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Published: Wednesday December 11, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday December 11, 2013 MYT 8:42:39 AM

The man who started a flood of kindness

Helping out: Hezeri (third from left) presenting excess funds to a representative from the Pahang chapter of Ikram association.

Helping out: Hezeri (third from left) presenting excess funds to a representative from the Pahang chapter of Ikram association.

WHEN Hezeri Samsuri received a frantic call from his mother about the floods in his hometown of Kuantan, Pahang, all he wanted to do was to go to her rescue.

“The water was rising fast and my mother who lives in Taman Guru was very worried,” said Hezeri, who currently lives in Kuala Lumpur.

“I immediately drove back to my kampung with my siblings to help her move, but what we saw was very disturbing,” he added.

According to Hezeri, many flood victims were left stranded with nothing but the clothes on their back.

“I felt the need to do something. It was chaotic. Babies were crying because they had no milk or diapers. Senior citizens needed their medicine and people needed food,” said Hezeri.

Last Thursday, Hezeri and his family reached out to their friends on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. He asked for donations in the form of food items and necessities.

What happened next shocked him.

“I was getting calls from strangers asking how they could help. People from all races and whom I have not met before started coming to my house with food items, diapers and other necessities for flood victims. Many more came to the collection point,” said Hezeri.

Within a few hours, donations had reached extraordinary numbers.

“We received RM20,000 in cash and approximately RM10,000 in essential items. We could not take in anymore and we actually had to redirect people to other NGOs,” explained Hezeri.

Food distribution: Good Samaritans that joined Hezeri distributing essential items. Pic by Hezeri Samsuri
Out of a sense of caring: A volunteer distributing essential items to flood victims

Several corporate companies also chipped in by providing their four-wheel drive vehicles to be used to transport goods.

Individuals with lorries also took time off to help Hezeri and some of his family and friends to transport goods. He also had his Facebook friends following him back to Kuantan, and spending the night at his mother’s place which had become the triage centre for the small operation.

Mydin Hypermarket also came to know about Hezeri’s donation drive and allowed his access to their stores and provided several staff so that he could make purchases quickly.

“As we were handling people’s money, we had to keep everyone updated.

“We posted pictures and status updates on Facebook and Twitter almost every hour,” said Hezeri.

Since there are many online scams going on, many of them did the right thing by asking questions and some even visited his house to see the operation.

All in, Hezeri and his comrades manage to help some 50 families and several hundred other individuals who came to the dispersing centre in Taman Guru, Kuantan.

People's power: Those who Hezeri's Facebook post also lent their trucks to be used.
Peopl e power : Those who saw Hezeri’s Facebook posting also lent their trucks to be used for aid delivery.

Hezeri was overwhelmed by the support and trust he got from all Malaysians despite not being aligned to any non-governmental organisation (NGO) or political party.

“We don’t need fancy slogans, banners or flags to help fellow Malaysians. We can take take it upon ourselves to help our community regardless of race or religion and Malaysia will be a better place,” he concluded.

Tags / Keywords: Business, Central Region, Hezeri Samsuri

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