Food sellers raise RM46,000 to help underprivileged patients

GHCA employee Angie Ng (right) presenting a certificate of appreciation to a popiah stall owner who participated in the Dine-In One Nation campaign.

A TOTAL of 23 eateries in the Klang Valley came together to raise over RM46,000 for needy dialysis patients under Great Heart Charity Association (GHCA)’s Dine-In One Nation campaign, held from August to October.

The two-month campaign, held in conjunction with National Day, saw partner restaurants donating a portion of a selected day’s sales to help underprivileged patients experiencing kidney failure. The campaign was supported by GHCA’s Hand-in Hand Charity Programme.

A list of participating restaurants and their selected dates were posted on GHCA’s social media page, so diners could plan their charity meal outing.

GHCA managing director Ric See initiated the campaign not only for the charity’s dialysis patients, but also to support local restaurants which were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We recorded a drop of 57.93% in donations from March to May this year, which reflected how everyone — individuals and businesses — was affected by the movement control order (MCO).

“In the month of Merdeka, we wanted to give back to the rakyat in two ways: by helping poor dialysis patients and promoting local restaurants which partnered with us for Dine-In One Nation, ” said See, adding that the public was very supportive of the campaign as all they had to do was dine in to do good.

One of the participating restaurants called Gurney Delight in Kota Kemuning chose to donate 100% of sales from its selected day of business towards GHCA.

Owner Jennifer Ooi was “more than happy” to participate as it coincided with her restaurant’s 10th anniversary.

“I cannot think of a better way to celebrate this milestone than to give back to the community that has given my business so much support, ” said Ooi, who also thanked all her employees and customers for their generosity.

Many customers across different restaurants were seen donating directly to GHCA through donation boxes placed at the counters.Newly-opened restaurant Niang Bao received warm reception during the campaign despite opening during the pandemic period.

“I saw that the restaurant was involved in the campaign on social media, so I brought my whole family to support this meaningful event, ” said Richard Chang, who travelled from Subang Jaya to Setia Alam to support Niang Bao.

Fundraising for vulnerable group

Patients experiencing kidney failure face dialysis treatments for life, which is a heavy financial burden for families in need, as treatment can cost up to RM2,000 per week.

Since its induction in 2013, GHCA has made dialysis patients its priority, providing monthly subsidies of RM360 to RM1,500 for underprivileged patients from Klang Valley and Perak.

In 2019, a total of RM207,856 was donated to 84 dialysis patient beneficiaries.

GHCA assessment team leader Joshua Lim said it was difficult for many current beneficiaries to get by when the MCO was imposed in March.

“Many of our beneficiaries lost their source of income and funding from other charities. It was more challenging for dialysis patients as treatment is not an optional expense.

“We tried our best to help as many patients as we could, including those from other dialysis treatment centres, ” said Lim.

His co-executive, Nurul Faraheen Rosli, was encouraged to see so many restaurants come together to help a struggling, yet often overlooked group.

“We get to enjoy a meal for charity, but many of our beneficiaries cannot do the same. I hope that through this initiative, people will be more aware of the issues faced by dialysis patients, ” she said.

Giving aid and hope

Dine-In One Nation included restaurants from Klang, Shah Alam and Kuala Lumpur offering vegetarian, Chinese and Western cuisines.

The restaurants ranged from high-end cafes and family businesses to hawker centres and food trucks.

The participating restaurants were: Lim Yan Seafood Bah Kut Teh, Sheng Li Bak Kut Teh 33, Botanic Bak Kut Teh, Hong Ching Noodle House, Success Maju Enterprise, Restaurant Niang Bao, Mikey Kopitiam, Saw Kitchen Kopitiam, Restaurant KK Ocean Point, 9979 Bak Kut Teh, Espress Café, Kopitiam KHIM, Taiwan Tea House, Come 96 Food Court, Hookie Dookie Lounge & Bar, Gurney Delight Café, Jalan Mengkuang Popiah Stall, Klang Lek Bak Kut Teh, Fok Guang Vegetarian Restaurant, Mo Sang Kor Bak Kut Teh and Sheng Li Bah Kut Teh.

Dine-In One Nation team leader Tan Mew Wai was happy with the campaign’s turnout. “The campaign will now be an annual GHCA event and we hope to continue receiving support from local restaurants, donors and the public.”

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