Group spruces up hot springs and beautifies Alzheimer's centre

Volunteers arranging the plants for the vertical garden in a wooden crate.

A GROUP of volunteers joined forces to clean up the Selayang Hot Springs and create a vertical garden at the Alzheimer’s Disease Centre in Petaling Jaya recently during a Good Day Out event.

The inaugural event is an effort under Do Good. Volunteer. to promote volunteerism among Malay-sians.

It is also a joint collaboration with My Khatulistiwa, a consultant for corporate social responsibility projects with a focus on the environment.

Star Publications (M) Bhd corporate communication manager Siti Hajar Abdul Rahman hopes to get more volunteers to participate by making such opportunities more accessible.

“During the Good Day Out, volunteers are ferried to help out in different organisations with different needs. This event was introduced in conjunction with the National Year of Volunteerism, so we want to encourage more people to come and volunteer with their friends and family.

“Not only will you be lending a hand to worthy causes, you will also be spending quality time with loved ones,” said Siti Hajar.

As early as 7.30am, volunteers gathered at KL Sentral, which was the meeting point.

A 30-minute bus journey took them to their first destination — Selayang Hot Springs.

The place looked poorly maintained with rubbish strewn everywhere. Armed with rakes, shovels and rubbish bags, the volunteers got to work.

Student Fatima Ahmed said she even found soiled nappies beside the trees. “It is disappointing to see this tourist spot not being maintained well,” she said.

Fatima, who has been volunteering for a few years and has a soft spot for the environment, said everyone was responsible in keeping it clean.

“It took us all morning to clean the place but there is still a lot to do,” she added.

Fatima was accompanied by her fiance, Mohd Helmie Hamid, a first-time volunteer who said he would definitely be joining the next Good Day Out.

“Today’s programme made me realise that all Malaysians have a key role in keeping the environment clean and everyone must clean up after themselves, especially in public places,” he said.

The group’s next stop was the Alzheimer’s Disease Centre in Petaling Jaya.

There, the volunteers collectively built planter boxes made of palettes and old banners which would later be used as vertical garden structures.

The volunteers celebrated the end of the day with a group photo during the Good Day Out on July 6.
The volunteers celebrating over a job well done.

Herbs and flowers were planted inside the boxes that were painted with personal messages from the volunteers.

The Star reader Kenny Ng Tian Heng said the outing taught him about teamwork.

“Although my company also organises similar volunteer programmes, it is a learning experience to join Good Day Out as I can meet other people,” he said.

The next Good Day Out on July 27 will see volunteers cooking and serving the poor.

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