It has often been said that shopping and eating are the national pastimes of Malaysians. But imagine how much better it would be if both activities supported good causes? Well, the recent Balance Sheet Charity Bazaar, an initiative by The Edge, did just that on December 10.
The bazaar was, essentially, the coming-to-life of the Balance Sheet column, which is a regular feature in Options, the weekly lifestyle and luxury pullout of The Edge. Conceptualised as a dedicated platform to highlight and champion individuals, corporations and social enterprises that give back, its name stems from the team’s belief that, just as one takes, one must give in order to achieve true balance in work and life.
Over a dozen social enterprises came together to raise funds for their respective charitable organisations, including the Autism Café Project, Bake With Dignity, Cut X Dignity, Destination: Good by AirAsia Foundation, Dr Dog, the Fugee School’s new merchandise label Fugeelah, Helping Hands Penan, Kelvin’s Cookies, Picha Project, Recyclothes, SPCA, Sze Women of Hope by Pearly Wong and UmieAktif.
Popular Borneo-based accessories label Sereni & Shentel participated by pledging part of its proceeds to Make-A-Wish Malaysia while World Vision Malaysia, which is celebrating 20 years of good work in the country, took the opportunity to promote its child sponsorship programme that enables underprivileged children — both locally and abroad — to have access to a better life and education.
Desa ParkCity kindly provided its new commercial space at Plaza Arkadia for the charity initiative while the team at The Edge pitched in with a jumble sale, the proceeds of which will be used to support the back-to-school needs of Rumah Kebajikan Anbu Illam and Rumah Kebajikan Karunai Illam in Ulu Kelang and Kepong respectively.
Beverly Hon, author of the Borneo Animals children’s books series, which features Malaysian animals such as the tapir, slow loris and binturong, made time for a special book reading session for the children. Hourly giveaways of goodies, courtesy of L’Oréal Malaysia, F&N SEASONS and The Body Shop, added to the event’s festive feel while artisanal gelato maker Piccoli Lotti and popular bubble tea brand Tealive dropped by to distribute free ice cream and drinks, much to the joy of the gathered crowd.
Although it was Options’ first on-ground charity initiative, the team received overwhelming support, and would like to express its gratitude to all those who came and donated generously to all the causes present. After all, as Mother Teresa once said, if you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. We hope to do bigger and better things in 2018. Watch this space.