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The joy of giving

FROM hospitals in Kuala Lumpur to landfills in Sandakan, social worker Jennifer Chua and her “Happy Caring Hearts Crews” have been putting a smile on the faces of terminally ill and underprivileged children.
For the past few years, Chua and her team had been visiting children in hospital to give them care packages containing “positive healing art” from KopiSoh and her collective of artists, snacks, a handmade towel and a “medal of awesomeness” in an effort to uplift their spirits.
During the visit, Chua and her fellow volunteers sit down with the children and their family members, and listen to them talk about their experiences.
It can sometimes be overwhelming to see young children suffering, but Chua finds solace in making them and their family members happy, even if it is only for a brief moment.
She was inspired to start this initiative following the death of her friend’s nephew a few years ago. The toddler died of cancer.
The child had received a piece of art from KopiSoh in his final days.
“That’s how I met KopiSoh and together we started this project.
“Giving the children art is our way of telling them, ‘you are not alone, there are people praying for you’.
“When we give the children presents, you can see them smiling. Even in pain, they can still smile.
“For me, that is priceless.”
Chua said she finds out about child patients by writing to the various hospitals. She and her team only visit the children after they obtain approval from the hospital.
They have provided cheer to sick children warded at Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Hospital Selayang, Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahi-mah in Klang, Hospital Duchess of Kent in Sandakan, and Likas Paediatric Hospital in Kota Kinabalu.
“We are currently planning to get Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Cheras, and Hospital Sungai Buloh to take part in our project,” she added.
Chua said her crew had also travelled to Gaya Island and a landfill in Sandakan – both locations in Sabah – to give art to underprivileged children and their families.
“We try to do this at least once a month. It’s worth it just to see the smile on the children’s faces.
“The joy and happiness we feel in doing what we do is just indescribable,” said Chua.
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