Having received help from strangers – and their act of selflessness – during difficult times, Fitri Azura Selamat wanted to pay it forward.
The homemaker opened a booth of pre-loved items for the needy outside her HDB home and shared this in a Facebook post last Sunday (Sept 12) – which has garnered over 900 shares.
At the booth, you can find a number of everyday items – from children’s toys to pre-loved clothes – neatly organised at the common space outside her home at Block 185A Woodlands Street 13.
The 29-year-old told AsiaOne: “When I was going through a tough time, I sought help [from] a Facebook group for diapers and milk [for my children].
Strangers came forward to help purchase my kids’ essentials, some included money and even groceries.”
Having had that experience, she promised to do the same for someone else in need she added – hence the name ‘blessing’ booth.
While items at the booth are completely free, Azura said it would be best to only take what you need so that others can have a chance. It is open 24 hours and she monitors it via a CCTV camera.
“Since I have a three-month-old baby, I’m usually inside the house. If I have time, I will go out to organise the items. If not, I’d just get my neighbour Joanne to assist me,” she said.
Reaction to her project has been positive so far, catching Azura off-guard.
“I did not expect such a response from the community or even having the support of our MP here,” Azura said, referring to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Member of Parliament Zaqy Mohamad’s recent post.
She plans to continue this for as long as she can and would like to have large storage bins so that those who donate can assist her placing the right items at the respective bins.
This isn’t the first time such an initiative has been done at a HDB home. In April, a Muslim family began a gifting store at the doorstep of their home during the holy month of Ramadan.
Similarly, a variety of items are packed and left outside a home for anyone to come by and pick up for free at any time of the day.