The thought of these animals going hungry during the movement control order (MCO) saddened her so much that she decided to take action.
With the help of her parents, Caitlin went on a waffle-making venture to raise funds for animal shelters and individual feeders in Penang who were struggling with costs and supplies.
“Normally, on my way to school, I would see kind-hearted aunties and uncles putting food out to feed the strays. With the MCO, that wasn’t possible and it really worried me.
“I just wanted to do what I could to help,” Caitlin said of her venture, which began in mid-April and was first reported in The Star on May 6.
While her efforts generated good support before that, the media publicity pushed her project to another level. An influx of orders followed.
“One lady called me up that very night to place an order for 180 waffles. It was my biggest single order ever. That, coupled with other orders, meant I made and sold 215 waffles on that day alone.
“And I thought getting 50 to 60 orders per day before that was already pretty good,” said the student of St Christopher’s International Primary School.
By May 22, she had made 1,538 waffles and raised RM8,392. Of that sum, RM5,000 has already been donated.
The numbers surprised Caitlin herself, as her initial aim was to raise only RM500.
“I’m grateful for the coverage provided by various media outlets which helped the cause. There were so many kind people who gave much more than what the waffles cost.
“We also had many from outside Penang who just donated out of the kindness of their heart. It has really been inspiring,” said Caitlin, who also donated a batch of 40 waffles to St Joseph’s Home last week.
For now, she is planning to continue making waffles until school reopens.
Her father Charles Tang and mother Goh Sui Sim, both 43 and technopreneurs, are brimming with pride.
Caitlin said she had always been fond of animals as her family have had dogs ever since she was a baby.
Her current furry sibling is Theo, a five-year-old Miniature Schnauzer.
“I’ve always had a dog at home. I think I’d feel lost without one.
“It’s just wonderful when it comes to the door to greet you when you come home, or just lying there beside you and being your best friend.
“And whenever I’m on a holiday with my parents, animal parks and zoos are definitely on the list. Even if you spend only five minutes with them – the joy is irreplaceable,” said Caitlin, who has no siblings.
As for the strays, she felt that these animals deserve a chance in life, too.
“My hope is that sooner or later, they will find a loving owner willing to give them a home.
“Until then, we can only do our part and help the best we can. Maybe someone could set up a virtual adopt a dog programme where the public can sponsor strays. This, at the same time, will help shelters feed them.”
To order, visit Caitlin’s Waffles at https://caitlin.gotfood.co/.
Prices start at RM3 per piece. Delivery is only available for Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Tokong and Pulau Tikus. One can also opt for own pick-up.
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