Can-do spirit at car wash

Tan (third from left), Woo (fifth from left), Dr Sim (fourth from right), Gonk (left) and The Passion Hub co-founder Dr Kelvin Lee (second from left) with some special needs youths during the charity fun car wash. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

Charity event at Pulau Tikus empowers 20 special needs folk and promotes inclusive society

Pulau Tikus was the scene of a charity fun car wash involving some 20 special needs people.

Organised by Penang Down Syndrome Association (PDSA) in collaboration with LemmeLearn Learning Centre and The Passion Hub, the event was held at the PDSA office in Lebuhraya Rose.

Armed with sponges and hoses, the special needs participants aged between 13 and 41 enthusiastically washed cars.

PDSA chairman Gonk Yen Chin said the event was a celebration of inclusion, empowerment and community spirit.

“Individuals with special needs are not only the heart of this event but also an inspiration to us all,” she said.

Gonk said people with special needs reminded others that with the right support and opportunities, everyone could shine and contribute meaningfully to the community.

Gonk: Individuals with special needs are an inspiration to all.Gonk: Individuals with special needs are an inspiration to all.

She said the two-day event had received 18 pre-bookings from around the neighbourhood and walk-in customers had also been welcomed.

The event, said Gonk, would not have been successful without the consent of parents or primary caregivers of the special needs participants.

“Some parents think their children are not able to do it or worry about the heat.

“But, we should let them have the opportunity to try and this is a good learning process for them.”

Present were Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow’s wife Tan Lean Kee and Pulau Tikus assemblyman Joshua Woo Sze Zeng.

Tan said the event aimed to raise funds as well as public awareness and promote inclusivity.

Dr Sim: Special needs individuals can contribute to society.Dr Sim: Special needs individuals can contribute to society.

“This event underscores the diverse needs present within our community and highlights the necessity of integrating, and accommodating these needs effectively,” she said in her speech.

PDSA advisor Dr Sim Joo Seng said it took a few days for the special needs individuals to learn how to wash cars.

“At first, we were worried that they would scratch the cars because sometimes when people with autism or Down Syndrome see something on a surface, they try to pick at it,” he said.

Dr Sim said special needs folk were often misunderstood and yet, if care and skills were provided to them, they could actively contribute to society.

To schedule car wash services, call 012-426 9180 (Gonk).

Rates are RM20 for sedans and smaller vehicles, and RM30 for MPVs and larger vehicles.

Additionally, biscuits priced at RM20 are available for purchase too.

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