The vibrant and diverse communities staying around the cluster of flats at 3 ½ mile off Jalan Cheras, Kuala Lumpur held their annual Cheras Flats Charity Night in the open space at Sri Pulau Pinang Flats on Chap Goh Meh, Feb 14, 2014, the last day of Chinese New Year 15-day celebration.
Around 750 senior citizens, orphans and the physically disabled were all smiles, filled with joy and happiness as they were treated with vegetarian dinner, food packages and ang pow as they enjoyed watching performances by local recording artistes.
The event brought the festive cheer to deserving people with their smiling faces lighted up with joy and happiness.
This year, the Cheras flats communities had successfully raised over RM60,000 from donations by well-wishers and sponsors for the charity event.
Marking the 27th year of the annual charity night, Josh Chua Say Chin, the co-founder and organiser of Cheras Flats Charity Night said: “We are glad to be able to continue with this tradition of celebrating the Chinese New Year and reaching out to the poor, the unfortunate and the old by providing food packages and cash aid.
Although the amount was a small one, it was satisfying to the communities that whilst they enjoyed the New Year, they also contributed to a good cause.
The charity gathering ended with a dazzling display of fireworks over the night sky.
Chua said, since 1988, the charity event in conjunction with the CNY had been an annual activity to celebrate with the underprivileged such as orphans, senior citizens and the disabled.
“We have provided food and money to the poor, including adult diapers for the old and bedridden and to old folks homes and orphanages.
“On one occasion we paid for the funeral wake of the father of a very poor family who could not afford it.
“It was so sad that every time when we talk about, it make some of us shed silent tears.
“Today, it is amazing that we do not need to call for sponsors and donations. People come to us and let us know that they want to contribute.”
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councillor Sean Oon Chong Ling who is the adviser to Cheras Flats Charity Night since two years ago shaved his head bald to raise money in support of the charity night.
He said: “I like this particular event because it has no racial, religious or political agenda. Just Malaysians helping fellow Malaysians.
“These Samaritans have been faithfully doing this since 1988. Their stamina in serving the community is inspiring.”
He thanked all those who had contributed towards the charity event.
The annual Cheras Flats Charity Night was made possible through the collaborative efforts of a group of friends from the Cheras flats communities who have been hosting the event since 1988.
In that year, it was to celebrate the Chinese New Year and welcome the God of Wealth on the first hour of the lunar new year.
It was also an opportunity for friends and relatives from outstation and overseas to meet.
On that night, the festive mood brought out the children, adults and old folks and they had a really enjoyable time together with the food and entertainment.
Words were spread around the communities to raise funds and get sponsors. Others sponsored food and drinks, prayers peripherals, lion dance, fireworks and whatever was needed.
A charity collection box was passed around the crowd where everyone was welcome to contribute. The flat communities chipped in with as little as RM1 to as much as RM500.
When it was opened on Chap Goh Meh, the 15th day of the Chinese New Year, it had about RM1,000 which went towards helping a sick person who received care and treatment.
From then on, it motivated the Samaritans to celebrate and welcome the God of Wealth and raise funds for the poor and the underprivileged.
For 27 years continuously regardless of race, creed or colour, they give unselfishly of their time and energy in helping deserving people.