Was on the phone this morning with Ustazah Raba'ah Abdul Aziz (pix) who, with her husband Ustaz Zawawi Ramli, some four years ago founded Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih (here).
It's an orphanage-cum-shelter for children, single mothers, abandoned wives, the terminally ill, and destitute senior citizens, in Puchong.
As always, each time Ramadhan returns, my mind inadvertently wanders to the shelter; vision of the creased brows of the good ustazah (here) and her soft-spoken husband desperately trying to feed some 200 mouths daily pricks my conscience.
We last met in April 2010 when I handed over a cheque donation on behalf of a client. They dropped by our place for coffee, as well as to collect an unused TV set that I had wanted to give to the orphanage.
I asked about her 'children', more than 100 boys and girls of school-going age, spread over three homes, and some 100 underprivileged women who depend on the shelter for their daily meals.
"As always, kak, there are good news and not-so-good news," she opined. I could almost hear the catch in her tired voice.
I remember my last visit to the Puchong shelter. Crowded with inmates old and new, it was bursting at the seams. The hospital-like iron beds, mattresses and pillows had seen better days.
The makeshift surau (actually the front portion of a terrace house) overflowed to the concrete yard during prayer times. The surau was a hive of activities at all times; children learned the Quran and did their homework in there for want of space.
Through some Good Samaritans, the couple had acquired the plot of land adjacent to the shelter and had planned to build a new hostel as well as a surau to accommodate the home's burgeoning number.
"Kak, our Prime Minister recently stepped in with a RM1.7 million grant for both hostel and surau. The money is being administered under a trust fund."
My heart skipped a beat upon hearing the news. Syukur Alhamdulillah!
"Foodwise, we are running on empty as usual, kak. A Ramadhan phenomenon, this. I am pleading for donation for foodstuffs; rice, vegetables, flour, sugar, anything. We can't touch the grant because it's for a specific purpose."
Ustazah Raba'ah also welcomes anyone who would like to sponsor buka puasa and Raya clothing for the children. You can also undertake to pay your zakat at the shelter.
Let's do our bit this blessed month. Every sen counts for the unfortunate and the needy.
Rumah Amal Limpahan Kasih
Lot 115, Lorong Bistari 5
Kg Sri Aman, Jalan Jurutera
Batu 13, 47100 Puchong
Ustazah Raba'ah Abdul Aziz (019-2227339)
Ustaz Zawawi Ramli (016-3627913)
Maybank 562777200627 "Pusat Pendidikan Limpahan Kasih".
(This account is specifically for the children's education. if you want to donate money for the foodstuffs, just call Ustazah Raba'ah).