Chinese New Year just passed a few days ago, and with this, all the four major festivals have gone through celebration amidst a pandemic. As much as we enjoy gathering and visiting family, loved ones, and friends, we had to adhere to SOPs.
It was a very low-key welcome to the year of the Metal Ox. In contrast to previous years, where malls would be richly decked in red and gold, lion dance troupes gracing homes and offices, loud crackers to ward off evil spirits, this year was a far cry from what we grew up seeing and experiencing.
With reunion dinners missing family members due to travel restrictions, celebrations this year were very muted. As much as we look forward to long holidays like this to spend with loved ones, certain members of our community simply light-up thinking of these celebrations. They anticipate gifts in kind and cash, and presence of visitors.
These are the children living in welfare homes. The absence of well-wishers at homes such as these this year would have dampened festive spirits, and the current economic downturn may have hindered organisations from carrying out their usual CSR efforts.
But one lady, was determined to not let these children walk down the road of disappointment. What initially began as an experiment, turned out to be a catalyst, spurring rewarding experiences across borders.
Siamy Tan, 54, and husband, Xavier Leung, 59, are both former architects. After spending many years in Hong Kong, Siamy, who was born and raised in Penang, and Xavier, a Hong Kong native, made the call to return to Malaysia.
Blessed with three sons, Zewin (27), Ziuwin (24) and Zywin (22), of which the elder two are still in Hong Kong.
Both Siamy and Xavier are well established members of Nu Skin Circle of Excellence. The business they built together, has empowered, and enabled them the pleasure of early retirement.
Just 6 weeks ago, a close friend, Yenni, posted a video of ‘chocolate bombs’ on Facebook. That piqued Siamy’s interest.
Being a big fan of hot chocolate herself, Siamy wasted no time putting on her thinking cap and apron. After many hours of poring through YouTube tutorials and trying to perfect the recipe, Siamy finally got it right.
Her first few batches of chocolate bombs were gifted to family and friends, all of whom were pleased. Along the way, came Michelle, her cousin’s wife, who nudged her to start selling these chocolate bombs online. With no interest in online marketing, and with no need of any funds, Siamy slept on the idea.
As she began toying with the possibility, she then realised that making these chocolate bombs would be an opportunity for her to raise funds for another community service project she was involved in.
Once every month, Siamy and family cook for six homes, preparing 130 meals. Fully funded by themselves, this altruistic family undertakes the buying of ingredients, cooking, and delivering of food packs, with the help of volunteers. It then dawned on her that funds raised from the sale of chocolate bombs could be used to give back to the community, through their feeding program.
Siamy then started ‘Share Me Treats’, a hobby turned into a fund-raising project.
Every RM10 ‘chocolate bomb,’ is able to sponsor a child.
As we speak, Siamy delightfully shared that Share Me Treats has secured their first corporate sponsorship for 500 kids, from one of the largest freight forwarding companies based in Port Klang.
When Share Me Treats first put up a post asking for sponsors of chocolate bombs for children’s homes around the nation, they did not expect much of a response. But they were floored. Anticipating funds raised from sales to only be sufficient for one month, the team now is grateful to have enough funds to last for an entire year.
In the past week alone, a whopping 1200 chocolate bombs were delivered to kids and caretakers in 36 homes, of which 5 were in Ipoh. This was also made possible by the generous, kind-hearted sponsors and volunteers, not forgetting her husband, son, and parents, Dr. Tan Yeap Leong and Yong Yoke Eng, who all played an equal part in making this possible.
As of today, Siamy’s chocolate bombs have travelled to Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, and Korea.
If you would like to sponsor a child, and to help fund feeding programs by Siamy and her family, connect with Siamy at +60134846233, or simply look them up on Facebook.
From February 2021 onwards, Share Me Treats is also running the #MEplusONE offer, where for each Hot Chocolate Bomb purchased, another will be gifted to a child in a welfare home. An added bonus, they provide the milk too.
Good News asked Siamy what keeps her going, and what she has to say to fellow entrepreneurs out there, “Don’t confine yourself to small dreams. Think big. Dream big. Achieve it.”
I quote Siamy,
“Together, we can make a huge impact being in service as a Force for Good! May we all be blessed in abundance, such that we can be a bigger blessing to others.”