We find ourselves asking this question when we are approached for help outside of our current scope. What keeps us on the right track is actually asking ourselves how great the need is and how we can fulfill those needs with the given resources we have.
A simple example of this is when the school counselor from SMK Tropicana approached our Youth Services staff 2 weeks ago to inform that some of her students from low-income households had little to no food. On her own accord, she was trying to help her students but realised that with the MCO extension, she could not do it alone. When she reached out to us, we wanted to help but we also had to figure out how.
It's a similar situation for most of the partners or corporates we get in touch with when they hear about the needs on ground--"Should we help and how?"
Prudential Malaysia Assurance Berhad (PAMB), a partner we have always worked closely with actually started helping by sharing about Projek Sinar with their staff, rallying their staff to give personally and directly to the cause. Subsequently, they also offered to help us make calls to the community families since some of the families are under PRUKasih (a financial protection plan by PAMB for families in selected low-income communities). Although they already know the plight of these families, the calls gave them a deeper understanding of how the families were doing and whether the aid has really helped them meet their needs.
MPI Generali Insurans, a partner we have worked with for the past year to provide family education to low-income families, also provided GG with a great learning opportunity. We were able to hear from their global network of NGOs (through The Human Safety Net, THSN) on how to address issues on ground during this pandemic. The session gave us insight as to how NGOs in countries like Spain and Italy were coping versus how Malaysian NGOs were handling the situation. On top of that, MPI Generali also rallied their staff to give towards Projek Sinar and that amount was matched by the company so that they could support the needs on ground.
Zurich Malaysia shared that they were approached by low-income families from their previous CSR projects seeking for aid when the MCO started. This realisation of the needs in the B40 communities hit them and propelled them to not just help the families who reached out to them, but also raise funds from their staff and getting Z Zurich Foundation (their foundation arm) to match that fund to give towards Projek Sinar where the aim was to help other families in B40 communities weather the storm this pandemic has brought on them.
Drypers was another one that rose to the occasion to help when we told them about the high need for diapers amongst the low-income families. Under their parent company Vinda, they tapped into their existing CSR structure and delivered diapers to the families under Projek Sinar. One mother shared that she was happy to receive the 3 boxes of diapers and she was even able to share the diapers given to her with 10 other families she knew!
It's no doubt that as a corporate, to want to help during times like these takes a much longer process and there are approvals that need to be made. Hence we want to recognise the many efforts that these companies, and the many others not mentioned here, have made in order for them to continue to do their part in helping the society.
Back to the SMK Tropicana story, it just so happened that a contact from Pasar Grub reached out to us saying that they would like to help in any way with Projek Sinar. We discussed the possibilty of them doing deliveries to these 12 new families and they readily took on the task. They have been helping us deliver to these families for the past 2 weeks and will continue to do so as long as the MCO is still in effect.
So to answer the question of "Should we help?", our founder Daniel Tan shared with us, "If families are asking for help, it means they really need help. During this time of crisis, we should help as much as we can."