Star Foundation lends a helping hand to home
SEREMBAN: Leong Yeo Mooi and Chen Heong, who have been living at the Tong Sim Old Folks Home here for over a decade, can now look forward to a better Year of the Rooster.
Just a month ago, they were worried that the home might be shut down due to financial constraints.
“We thought that we would be separated,” said Leong.
Then came the good news for Leong, 85, who is the oldest resident at the home, and Chen, 73.
They were told that Star Foundation – which is the charitable arm of the Star Media Group – would donate RM15,000 to the home.
“We can now look forward to celebrating Chinese New Year together,” said Leong.
Chen, who is her best friend, would look out for her and their 11 “siblings” at the home as she was the most mobile of them all.
She said she was looking forward to help home founder David Chong prepare the vegetarian meal on the first day of Chinese New Year.
“He has been cooking for us for some time now as we could no longer afford to pay the former cook. Although he is a good cook, I would like to help him prepare the dishes to welcome the Year of the Rooster,” she said.
Five of the home’s 13 residents are mentally challenged. Others suffer from dementia and age-related illnesses.
The Star highlighted the plight of the home last month after Chong sent out an appeal for financial help.
Chong, who also runs a funeral parlour, has been managing the home single-handedly in rented premises since 2004.
“It has been tough to come up with RM6,000 a month to provide for the residents.
“I am grateful that some individuals including the Star Foundation have come forward to help us in our time of need,” he said, adding that a company recently refurbished the bathroom to make it more user-friendly for the older folk.
He said he would use part of the donation to repair an old van which he used to ferry the residents for their medical check-ups and to hire a caretaker as well.
MCA Youth chief Datuk Chong Sin Woon commended him at the cheque presentation ceremony.
“This is a man who has been looking after the needs of old and sick people on his own for so long,” he said.
He said MCA would also help the home register with the Registrar of Societies so that it could apply for government aid.
The home is currently registered under the Companies Commission of Malaysia.
The Star Media Group distributes a portion of its profits to societies and NGOs every year to help them in their social and welfare work.