The joys of doing charity might not have been a very attractive concept in the past, but Singaporean millennials today are showing that things are about to change.
Social enterprises are becoming a popular startup route with apps like Involver, and more entrepreneurs are showing their generosity by donating back. Other names like wateROAM and The Goodwater Company bring safe water to people around the world while The Food Bank aims to fill hungry bellies.
But aside from startups helping people, these young entrepreneurs of today are also making a difference – one delicious dish at a time.
Catching Up With Jannah And Indah Of T Bob’s Corner
Nurul Jannah Saharuddin, 23, and Indah Nabielah Zulkarnain, 24, co-run T Bob’s Corner, a popular Western grill restaurant in Bedok.
On the 15th of October, these 2 women pledged to donate 30% of a week’s earnings in a fundraising for 11-year-old autistic Akid.
In a nutshell, the music therapy that Akid underwent reflected much success in his rehabilitation. Unfortunately, it also cost his father much more than he could afford.
In a generous display of altruism, the two women made the decision to donate 30% of their earnings from the 18-23 of October to the family.
Today, much of the furore has died down, and as the restaurant slowly segues back into its usual business, Indah takes some time to reflect on the entire experience.
How did you and Jannah, learn of the plight of Akid’s family?
Jannah and I are both very hands-on, since we need to know every inch of the operation. As a result, we spend a lot of time interacting with customers.
Akid’s father was a friend of a musician who performed live at T BoB’s, and from there, the idea on how to help Akid came up.
We both feel very strongly about community work. And since we had connections to Akid’s family, it made organising this charity drive even easier.
Have the two of you met Akid before?
I met him. Jannah did not. He hugged and smelt us before he started making a lot of noise and throwing tantrums when we started the interview [with TNP]. His mother brought him to the shop which made him happy.
When he returned, he was all smiles, and hugged and smelt everyone again. But the tantrums and hugging repeated throughout the interview.
What was it like during the charity drive at T Bob’s?
It was really good! We were really glad for all the support that we were getting.
People were coming forward asking how they could help. And other individuals who have taught autistic children, or parents with autistic children, also came to share their experiences.
In a show of support for the charity drive, Jannah’s father who is a musician also reached out to other bands to play at the restaurant to attract more customers.
And they were more than willing to help.
So it was like this drive was helping to raise awareness for autism at the same time?
Indeed. I too learnt more about autism, and that there are so many different types and functioning levels.
We invited Akid and his family over on the last day and I was initially worried about how he would react to the loud music and crowd, even though he loves music and enjoyed his sound therapy. In my mind, I compared it to what I read about how other autistic children could not even be touched by their own parents.
But Akid wanted to hug everyone and absolutely loved the musical performances. He grew restless once the performance was over.
So overall, it was a very educational and heartwarming experience. Do you have any words that you would like to share about being altruistic?
Always aim to give more than what you receive. Jannah and I both stand by the idea that you do not need money to help others. Sometimes, it’s just the little things that you are able to do, even if it’s not much.
Although I am taking a break from charity to focus full-time on T Bob’s for now, Jannah still keeps in close contact with the mentors and mentees of her programmes, mostly helping out with advice or in whatever way she can.
And for those who didn’t manage to make it in time to participate in this drive, you can always still head down to T Bob’s Corner to try out their bestselling beef and lamb ribs, as well as honey mustard chicken. We promise that your appetites will be whetted by the amazing dishes you see on their Facebook and Instagram sites.
You do not need tons of money to help others, because even through the smallest act of giving a bit of what you have, you’re already brightening someone else’s day.
Featured Image Credit: Nurul Jannah