Sharing the joy

Sam is an underprovided-for jovial 5-year-old. As the Puchong-based children’s home resident softly whispered Donald Gardner’s 1944 classic All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth amid the goings-on around him during a hotel’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony, you could see that Sam does not recognise his shortcomings.

Sam wants to study medicine; dreams of going around the world singing Christmas carols; live in a big house; travel round the world; and he wants to open his own clinic. From the resolve in his voice, I believe that my medical bills would all be coming from his office in the not too distant future.

As John Denver sang in The Christmas Wish; “Even though I never saw a Christmas star, I know there is a light I have felt it burn inside, and I have seen it shining from afar.

He added; “Christmas is the time to come together. A time to put all differences aside; and I reach out my hand to the family of man, to share the joy I feel at Christmas time.”

With Christmas just around the corner and New Year less than four weeks away, business organisations and PR practitioners are working overtime to leverage on the festive period ahead. Children’s homes and orphanages are inundated with routine visits. Old folks are getting their annual exercise when they have to put on a smile and don their best attires for the media photographers. The homeless are having more used clothes than they can pack in their shopping carts.

“Surely there must be entrepreneurs out there that is doing something good for Christmas that is not the from the standard PR 101 textbook?” I asked myself. A few taps on my iPad, and I got my answers in a couple of days.

“We will be teaching basic financial management skills to the community of a fishing village in Negeri Sembilan,” responded Alan, who runs a Seremban-based insurance and estate planning agency.

His team of 11 members would be providing free weekend classes to the villagers on the fundamentals of managing their income, as well as advice on investment strategies.

For magazine retailer and bookshop owner J.T, she has already started distributing old copies of magazines to various native and tribal communities in Perak and Cameron Highlands.

The 45-year-old explained, “We want to do our part in helping more Malaysians read. These segments of our country’s population are also important to our overall development and progress. By giving them reading materials, we hope to be able to better integrate them with the rest of the world.”

Plastic mould manufacturer and golf driving range buddy Rashid believes that the spirit of Christmas and New Year begins at home.

“I’m giving all my staff complimentary food and beverage vouchers to a well-known 5-star restaurant in town for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The only condition is that they must bring all their family members along, as this is designed for them to spend quality time with their family.”

The founder of the 8-year-old business has also extended a subsidised overseas holiday package for his employees who are interested in going for a holiday break with their spouses and family members.

From the 22 responses received from these entrepreneurs, the idea that seemed most meaningful to me was Collin’s. The CEO of a mobile application development company revealed that his team of mostly Generation Y workers are planning to set up notebook computers in several old folk’s homes around the Klang Valley.

“In addition to be aware of the Internet revolution, we want the elderly to stay connected to their family members or friends. We also plan to link up all these homes so that the residents can communicate with one another and share the festivities together,” said Collin.

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