Every so often, 32-year-old Stacy Gregory and her four children would bake. What used to be just a weekly affair turned into a daily routine after a disheartening encounter at a supermarket during the recent movement control order (MCO).
Helping people go through hard times
According to Stacy Gregory, her children always have a huge interest in baking. “They were excited watching me bake and the next thing I know, they were glued to the TV watching baking shows.”
From tiny fingers working at their home baking station, Stacy and her children started a business-for-charity project called ‘Tiny Hands’. Stacy shared that the name came about when she was watching her children bake at home, and the cookies always have different sizes, often smaller than the average, “It was because of their tiny hands and fingers moulding the dough!”
Stacy did not start ‘Tiny Hands’ to just sell cookies. Instead, it actually started from a disheartening experience that she went through during the movement control order (MCO). “I met this little girl who was not allowed into the supermarket with her mother due to the stringent standard operating procedures (SOP) then.”
She disclosed that she could only see the beautiful round eyes of the little girl as she had a mask on. “But in those eyes, I saw her fear.” Concerned for her, Stacy quickly entered the supermarket, purchased what she had come for, and a pack of candies for the girl. “Once I was done, I stood next to her as she was outside on her own, waiting for her mom. There was silence for the whole 10 minutes, but it was worse as there were stares and judgemental comments from passersby.”
Later on, Stacy met the mother, who was pregnant. After a little chat, she discovered that the mother actually ‘rented’ her neighbour’s motorcycle to purchase groceries. “She explained that she paid RM5 for a 10-minute use, and no one was willing to look after her daughter. Her husband had asked for an advance from his employer earlier to prepare for the MCO and he was working that day to cover the costs.”
After relaying the incident to her children, Stacy’s eldest daughter, nine-year-old Roxanne, suggested selling their baked goods to help the least fortunate. Always encouraging the children to be charitable, Stacy then decided to start ‘Tiny Hands’.
Having been in operation for the past few months, Stacy revealed that the motivation to continue ‘Tiny Hands’ were not from the profits made, but rather, it was from the smiles they get from the people that they managed to help during the hard times.
The business plan was to only take back the capital amount they spent to make the goods. “The rest of it, we will either donate to independent charity works such as Team Sedekah or buy more ingredients to bake cookies to give away.” More recently, ‘Tiny Hands’ donated assorted cookies for Team Sedekah to distribute in their Hari Raya charity love packages.
Stacy shared that she and her husband have been active in volunteering works for various organisations and programmes since even before they were married. “It all started when my mother blackmailed me! She said if I wanted to continue to see my boyfriend (now husband), we have to follow her to one of her charity works.”
Since then, Stacy and her husband became somewhat ‘addicted’ to the joy of doing charity. They even joined charity projects and donation drives in rural areas. Aside from that, they also went to schools in the outskirts to teach and share their skills with the students. “I conducted vocal classes, while my husband taught basic skateboarding skills.”
Exposing their children to volunteering work early, Stacy hopes that they would continue to help more people who are in need. In the future, she wishes to start a place where everyone can learn how to bake and cook while doing charity at the same time.
Referring to her family as her pillar of strength, Stacy admitted that while she had taught her children to be more charitable, at the same time they had taught her to be more patient, and not take everything too seriously.
“I can be very uptight at times,” she admitted. “And when my children noticed it, they would start making funny faces, and joke around, or just simply give me a hug and a kiss.
“But the hugs and kisses were not without a price! I had to pay them afterwards for it. I actually collect old 50 sen coins, and my children know. After the hugs and kisses, they would ask for one,” she laughed as she recalled the fun times.