Posted by: incywincy | August 15, 2006


I was just about to go to bed, when I saw my friend’s MSN nick:

“Pack-a-Smile telah tersalurkan! Amazingly, 1405 paket senyum telah tersampaikan. Sile buka untuk senyum-senyum adik-adik kita di Jogja.”

I went to the website, and read about it, then messaged my friend. I soon found out more from my friend Ainun about this particular charity project, called Pack-a-Smile, which was organized in wake of the May 26, 2006 earthquake in Jogjakarta.The earthquake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, killed 5,000 people, injured 36,000 people, and left more than 600,000 homeless. But I’m sure you all know that already.

What touched me was that this project, organized by a group of Indonesian students strategically positioned in various parts of the world, had attempted to reach out to the devastated residents of Jogja, and was executed brilliantly and so efficiently. No doubt, their passion was fueled by their warm and sincere hearts, and this was regardless of their individual beliefs in different religions. Some were Muslims, some Christians, some Buddhists, some Catholics. But they came together in times of need, and managed to Pack-a-Smile for 1,405 kids in Jogjakarta. I loved the idea!

It’s so encouraging and heartwarming to know that in the midst of devastation, people still come together, to try to put on smiles on others’ faces. Here’s how they did it:

By engaging friends in countries such as Singapore, Japan, Holland, Australia, USA, and various parts of Indonesia, they spread the word, and collected funds to make “Smile Packets” for the kids.

For S$8.00 / Rp 45,000 / €4 / Â¥ 600 / A$ 7 / US$ 6, people from all over the world could buy a “Smile Packet” for a child in Jogjakarta. This “Smile Packet” consisted of:

  • 1 school bag
  • 1 set of 12 crayons
  • 1 set of stationery
  • 4 notebooks
  • 1 picture book (story book)
  • 1 pencilcase

With the funds collected, the organizers/volunteers made cute “Smile Packets”, with stationery and bags and books with cartoons and pictures on them – just the things that kids love, and which would cause them to smile upon receiving.

When they concluded this project, they had a total of about 550 donations from website readers, and another 850 from a fund-raising event held in Japan, in conjunction with this charity initiative! Isn’t that wonderful? And it was all by word-of-mouth, that the word spread.

I believe that they could have reached out to more people, had they had the time to translate their webpage into English. But they worked on a tight schedule, so they did only the Indonesian version. Still, it was really well written, I must say. Too bad I found out about it only after it concluded.

Anyways. This is where I come in! I have volunteered to be on their team, for consequent projects (they are planning to continue this project, but concept is still shaky), and I’ll be helping to translate the website into an English version, and also with other stuff. Hehe.

So exciting isn’t it? It’s so meaningful, and what makes it better is that it’s organized by a group of student volunteers, and not a huge charity organization. Also especially heartwarming is that all their volunteers are the founders’ personal friends, and friends of friends, and so on. This made it possible for them to have “collection agents” in different countries and different continents all over the world!

I told my friend: “You have a wonderful network of friends.”

To the team of Pack-a-Smile: I salute all of you. I’m sure it hasn’t been an easy task, but you all gave selflessly. I look forward to joining you all in your next endeavour! 🙂

Personally, I don’t think I can get that many of my friends to participate in charity initiatives such as this! Well, I’ll try nevertheless. Stay tuned for the next Pack-a-Smile!

(click on picture to enlarge)

Putting a smile on their faces with cute and pretty “Smile Packets”.


  1. you mean i can just pay 8 bucks to do that? i’d gladly do it! 😀

  2. yes! 🙂

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