Telling stories, changing lives

Reading meets fundraising in a Malaysia-wide effort.

By Wendy Rose Gould 

There’s magic in having your parents read you a book, but to have a celebrity flipping the pages in front of you is special too. That’s precisely what the SaveWithStoriesMY initiative is all about.

The Malaysia-based project was inspired by a similar program in the United States, pioneered by actors Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams. SaveWithStoriesMY is a collaboration between the Kiwanis Malaysia District and three other organizations: AFO Radio, TraqKid (a children’s health, safety and enrichment organization) and marketing/advertising company VGi Transit.

Not only does SaveWithStoriesMY help instill a love of reading in children, but it’s also raising funds to support programs that provide education and lifelong care to children with disabilities. 

“This fundraising campaign was initiated by AFO Radio and TraqKid, which both wanted to do something for communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains Malaysia District Governor Dr. Laurence Lim. “VGi has helped the initiative gain more exposure. They intended the funds to be used for children’s education affected by the pandemic and, recognizing that Kiwanis has been strong in projects for the kids and governance, approached our club to be the beneficiary of the funds.” 

Here’s how it works: Celebrities and other high-profile individuals are invited to tell a story for children and then post it on their social media platforms using the tag #SaveWithStoriesMY, along with a short appeal for a donation. Funds raised through these posts then are channeled into projects that provide educational resources to underserved children and help feed vulnerable families affected by COVID-19.

The target fundraising goal is MYR$100,000. The campaign’s initial stage raised 5% of the target goal. During the campaign’s next phase, the groups will seek corporate sponsorships in an effort to significantly boost the donation drive and help more kids.

This story originally appeared in the September 2020 issue of Kiwanis magazine.

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