The owners of a Western food restaurant are donating part of its proceeds to help an 11-year-old boy who has autism.
Miss Nurul Jannah Saharuddin, 23, and Miss Indah Nabielah Zulkarnain, 24, who run T Bob’s Corner in Bedok, are giving up 30 per cent of the eatery’s takings from Oct 18 to 23 to help the boy, Akid, after hearing about his plight from a musician who performed at their restaurant recently.
Earlier this year, The New Paper reported on how Akid had become more aggressive and violent because of his condition. (See report below.)
The women bought over the business at Block 527, Bedok North Street 3, two months ago with the help of their fathers.
Miss Indah said that donating a sizeable chunk of their week-long revenue would hit their take-home income, but both of them shrugged it off.
Miss Jannah told The New Paper: “We thought 30 per cent was a good number. If you want to help, it has to be a substantial amount, even if it hurts a little.”
Miss Indah said: “Well, businesses come with risks, right?”
Miss Indah Nabielah Zulkarnain TNP PHOTOS: AHMAD FARUQ ROZALI
Only their income will be affected as their staff of two chefs and three part-time waiters will continue to draw their full wages.
Miss Jannah, an RMIT University business management graduate, said: “It would demoralise them otherwise. So we both decided we would make the sacrifice so Akid can benefit from it.”
They estimate that they will lose about 15 to 20 per cent of their take-home income for that week.
It’s their way of giving back, they said.
Miss Indah, a life sciences graduate, became involved in fund-raising activities while studying at the National University of Singapore.
Her experience in volunteering at an orphanage in Indonesia five years ago also played a part in making her want to help Akid.
“Five years later, the children (at the orphanage) are still messaging me on Facebook, asking me when I’m returning to visit. The fact that these kids remember us means that they treasure every little bit we do, even if we didn’t do much,” she said.
Agreeing, Miss Jannah said: “My parents told me, ‘You don’t need money to be nice’.
“(Indah) didn’t have to fork out a million dollars to have the kids remember her. It’s just the things we do that matter.”
Miss Jannah’s path to volunteering was more personal.
A decade ago, she was a beneficiary of a South East Community Development Programme financial aid programme.
Her mother, who has fought thyroid cancer for close to two decades, was also a source of inspiration.
“She never saw her condition as something to hold her back. She still gave back by volunteering on weekends,” Miss Jannah said.
She plans to ask her musician father, Mr Saharuddin Jalil, to invite some bands to perform at the restaurant next week in the hope of attracting more customers.
Asked if they are worried about coping with the expected crowd, Miss Indah said with a smile: “That will be a good problem.”