I was waiting for my mid-term exam to start.

Dreaming away, as I usually do when I am waiting for something or someone, strange ideas seem to suddenly pop into my mind. Some seemed so audacious, I just wondered where in the world they could possibly come from. Idealistic ideas, perhaps. But still, it definitely sound crazy to me at that point.

How’s this one sound to you – organise a leftovers recycling campaign (heck I even had a name for this: Feed the Poor, Recycle Food Today campaign), that is go from restaurants to restaurants and ask them to donate their leftovers and we channel the food collected to people in the slummy areas of KL who are barely able to feed themselves.

Rather than letting these poor people rummage through rubbish, why don’t WE ask the restaurants to play a part in helping to feed the poor? That way, the enormous amounts of food that might be wasted will not end up in the trash. There are so many people suffering from hunger in the world today, most of them children in Third World countries. Something has to be done to help these people, a small effort goes a long, long way to help these people.

You may think “Why collect leftovers? Just pitch in some money and cook for them!” Yeah, through, that could be another way…but considering the huge excess of edible items that used and disposed by the restaurants, it seemed to be more logical if we collect leftovers, preserve them in some way and distribute them to people in the slums once we identified the locations of where the poor and less fortunate people are. Beggars, drug addicts, poor families, old folks – all are welcome to partake in the food that is collected from the restaurants.

We always talk about corporate social responsibility – wouldn’t this be an ideal way for restaurants to do their part for society?

Another idea that popped into my head require just as much effort and it has been done before by some authors although I don’t remember their names now. It involves me writing a series of books for children ages 12 and below that discusses certain topics deemed to be sensitive in nature, such as questions regarding racism, sex, divorce, abstinence, terminal diseases such as cancer & AIDS, death, bullying, abuse and a lot more topics.

By working with an illustrator, I want to try and write books in English and Malay that help parents or teachers to discuss these issues with their kids and students in a straightforward, no holds barred way. Children need to aware of these issues as it will some day affect them and living in a society where a lot of things are still considered pretty taboo to discuss with kids, this is just one way for adults dealing with kids to open up to their kids. A handy aid to help kids be informed and aware of the situation and things that revolves around them.

The thing is, I’m gonna need a lot of supporters and helpers as well as budget if I am serious in carrying through one of these projects. Hell, may I try to set my sights on carrying out one of these projects in the near future. I might be calling up a few people to do this and see if it’s viable. And if you’re an illustrator or like to draw – want to help me out? ^_^

Why am i doing this? Simple. Just to make the world a better place, I guess. I have no ulterior motives. I just want to do my part as a member of this community to give something back to the community. When I leave this world some day, I can’t take anything with me – but I know I will be leaving behind a legacy. Someone I know from long ago told me this: Some people dream dreams, but there are those that stay awake to make a difference. Who do I want to be? The dreamer or the realist?

Who do you want to be?

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  1. Your “Feed The Poor” idea is basically what Food Not Bombs have been doing for years. They collect still-edible food from dumpsters (for instance, overstock or cans with dents or something) and cook them for meals for the homeless once a week.

    There is a Food Not Bombs group in KL; you might be interested in checking them out.

  2. Ah so, guess I am already late coming up with this idea! Heh, heh… well, it’s the thought that counts, right? I’m definitely going to check them out! Thanks for the info, Tiara!

  3. Sora

    Actually, you could take the Food Not Bombs concept further by keeping the food from getting to the dumpsters. Here in the U.S. there are many “soup kitchens” who have an agreement worked out with nearby fast food restaurants to recieve their leftover prepared foodstuffs, such as biscuits from the breakfast shift, or even burgers that were not sold by closing time, etc. Most of the time, the food can be had just for the asking. Perhaps that’s a campaign into which you could channel your efforts. Bear in mind though, as in all other aspects of life, rejection is part and parcel of the whole process; if they flat out refuse, just thank them for their time and try the next place. Leaving them on a positive note should make them more receptive the next time you ask. (I said thank & move on, not give up on them totally.) The trick is helping the restaurant manager realize that donation is no different that disposal, except their refuse will help someone who will not refuse. (hey, kinda catchy huh? 😉 ) Anyone with a humanitarian bone in their body should be happy to help.

  4. Samster

    Um… Hate to break it to you , Phil, but I believe there are people who are already working on both ideas as we speak.

    Saw a children’s book explaining sex in a detailed yet wholesome way complete with crayon illustrations on the Doulos. Great ideas, dude. And though you may not be the first, doesn’t mean it can’t happen.




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