POST-INTRODUCTION WEEKEND PROJECT: FEBRUARY 2017
Right after the Introduction Weekend January 2017, Team Bravo was given the privilege of organising a Post-Introduction Weekend Project (PIWP). I was given the responsibility of leading the team. After much discussion, we unanimously decided to volunteer in a soup kitchen on the 4th of February, 2017.
There were many soup kitchens around Kuala Lumpur to choose from, but after some research, the one that caught us off guard was the Pit Stop Community Café (Pit Stop), a café by day and soup kitchen by night. It is also a social enterprise run by independent citizens, targeting the poor and homeless.
The purpose of the PIWP is to give back to the community. Therefore, we knew that we wanted to do more than just volunteer. So, we decided to fundraise and with the money that we raise, we vow to give it to Pit Stop so they can buy food and other necessities needed to give to the poor and homeless.
We wanted the fundraising process to be as simple as possible as most of the Bravo members were busy with school and work. But we also wanted the public to take part in this journey of giving. After much thought, we decided that the best way to raise funds was via online donation. This way, the public would indirectly participate with Bravo as the money that they donate would be given to Pit Stop.
We then assigned ourselves to certain positions (Team Leader: Saedah Zakirah, Deputy Team Leader I: Marcus, Deputy Team Leader II: See Sing, Communications Director I: Jane, Communications Director II: Cadence, Public Relations Manager I: Jean, Public Relations Manager II: Rebecca, Finance Director I: Azmi, Finance Director II: Rais, Secretary I: Sabrina, Secretary II: Yit Huan) and started the fundraising process immediately. We designed a poster explaining the project we were doing and uploaded it on social media. With the power of unity among us, we managed to raise a total of RM 550! Apart from online donation, we also had a food collection box for people to drop off the items needed for Pit Stop. We successfully collected canned foods, mosquito coils, men’s underwear, men’s slippers, amongst others things.
On the 4th of February, 10 of us came to volunteer. We came at 2:00 PM, and were given tasks immediately. Among the things that we had to do was organising the donated items, counted them for inventory, folded clothes, prepared dinner service and more. It sounds simple, but it was much more complex than that. Come 5:30 PM, it was time for dinner service. As stated above, Pit Stop is a café by day and soup kitchen by night. Hence, we had a short briefing on what we had to do before the poor and homeless arrived, and what to expect. Half of us were stationed at the food area, the other half at the clothes area. Some of us were also given the task of controlling the crowd.
Slowly, we saw the line becoming longer and longer. I personally felt overwhelmed as I have never experienced something like this. I am sure the rest of the Bravo members felt the same way too. Pit Stop was filled with people, and at some point, there wasn’t even any space for us to walk at. Despite the difficulty, we tried our best to accommodate each of the people’s needs.
It was 8 o’clock and dinner service has ended. Our job as volunteers had come to an end, and we decided to have dinner together. It was fun as it was the first time we were together since the Introduction Weekend. Over dinner, we talked about the most random things - from surgeries to buildings and aerodynamics! Putting it simply, it was a good catch up session.
Despite only working for a few hours, we felt like we had made a positive impact on many people’s lives. It was truly an uplifting experience. It was also an eye-opening event for all of us, and we are glad that we managed to interact with people who are less fortunate than us. Thanks to Pit Stop and Raleigh, we realized that there is no difference between any of us in the world. We are just simply, ‘we’. Pit Stop and Raleigh also taught us that we should be more conscious of what is around us so as to reach out for a sustainable change in the society. We, Team Bravo will definitely come and volunteer again.
A huge thanks to my fellow Bravo members – Rais, Rebecca, Yit Huan, Jean, Azmi, See Sing, Marcus, Sabrina, Jane and Cadence for executing their designated roles very well, and for contributing to the writing of this report. I have extracted the gist of all their input and present it here. Also a million thanks to Michelle, Alex and Precious for guiding us along the way. PIWP wouldn’t have been successful if it had not been for your continuous support, encouragement, and fantastic friendship!
Written by Saedah Zakirah