Wish you could be dining with two of Malaysia’s most gorgeous women? Make this dream a reality while giving back to society with Sold.my’s Charity Dinner Auction. From 25 February 2013 to 15 March 2013, Sold.my will be auctioning off tickets to an exclusive dinner with bubbly TV personality Jojo Struys and FHM’s Most Wanted Woman 2012 Patricia Knudsen in order to raise funds for the non-profit organisation, National Kidney Foundation (NKF). Ten lucky bidders will dine with both Jojo and Patricia at Sentidos in StarHill Gallery on a later date in March. Luckily for JUICE, both of the girls spared time for an interview with us to get a scoop on their thoughts being auctioned off for a good cause.
What made you get involved in this project?
Jojo Well, first I’ve never ever been auctioned off for dinner so this is a first time for me. When I heard that 100% of the proceeds go to the NKF, I thought this was a fabulous initiative to raise awareness on helping kidney sufferers.
Patricia I got involved because I think that it is important that we can all try in different ways to help make a difference! This is something different, but it is for a good cause and why would I not want to help others around me?
What do you know of the issue?
J I once went to a dinner and they were talking about dialysis machines and I realised that… you know when a person is actually dependent on dialysis, it is not a simple situation like, “Oh, let’s just try and raise funds and see what happens” because it’s so urgent. My take on it is if everyone can do their little part and if that means my having a little dinner that may help to raise awareness and raise funds, I think it’s the way to go. There’s a sense of urgency to it because it’s a matter of life or death. I mean if a person got an organ transplant for them, it’s a second chance to them. And the machines are so expensive that’s why we need funds to run the centre.
P Kidney problems are caused by either diabetes or high blood pressure (also being run in the family or getting older), I think that it is important we learn and take note to all the risks and that it can happen to all of us! I read that kidney disease is basically called the ‘silent disease’ because you won’t feel sick till it is too late. Your kidneys have a very important job, they are there to filter waste out of you blood and remove extra water from your blood to make urine.
Have you contributed to National Kidney Foundation before this?
J Not to the NKF but indirectly, I have by attending a fundraiser about dialysis machines.
P To be honest, no I haven’t and I am actually very happy to be learning more about this!
Seems like you girls are quite passionate about the cause. What else are you passionate about?
J I would say I’m passionate about being healthy, like the overall well-being of body, mind and soul. Which is why I launched a guided relaxation CD to help people destress. I am passionate about the works revolving around stress because everybody has stress from another walk of life.
P I am passionate about a lot of things. Living, experiencing, learning and working! One thing that I have always wanted to do is help others that are in need. Since I was young I have always given money to people that were sitting around on the streets, donated towards charities. I really mean it when I say I do wish I could help out as much as possible.
There are other causes that people are not fully aware of as well. What kind of causes do you think deserve more attention?
J Once I spread awareness about HIV and we, 42 celebrities, rallied together to spread awareness on HIV and we made it as big as we can. And it ran on multiple platforms like on buses, trains, mamak stalls, calendars, Body Shop. We used all our media connections to push it. There are other causes that need attention like children with disability or rare disorders even autistic children. To be honest, the list is endless. There are a lot of causes that always need help and awareness.
P I think that we should pay more attention to all the cruelty that is also happening towards animals. This is something that makes me so angry as well and before we all come together and actually go up against these inhumane cruel human beings that have in their heart to kill living creatures. Here in Malaysia, I love the Pertiwi Soup kitchen. I went with them to help give food out to the poor people out on the streets with no homes, or money to feed themselves and their families; it really opens your eyes and I really wish I could help them even more.
Are there any charitable activities that you practise in your everyday life?
J Yeah, I would say I recycle and I would print both sides of the paper. Charity also starts at home — sometimes it’s just being kind. Smiling to a person, communicating with them can make a difference. All the little things even random acts of kindness.
P Of course, I don’t litter and when I go grocery shopping or just shopping, if possible I won’t take the plastic bags and try to make sure I always have my bag with me to use. I also always donate money when I see the boxes around shops that are for donation.
People have donated money directly or contributed various activities for charity, but do you think that auctioning celebrities for a dinner will be effective to raise funds for National Kidney Foundation?
J Well, I can only hope that if a person felt that they wanted to donate anyway, and we can just sit down and have a meal and have a chat to a person you may want to know what they’re actually like. At least, it’s not a sleazy thing. It’s actually money being raised for a good cause. It remains to be seen, but it’s been done before around the world and it was effective.
P I hope that it can bring some people to donate because in the end, it is not about having a dinner date with Jojo and I. It is about the thought behind it which is, the money is going towards a good cause and coming for dinner is just on the side. I would hope that people find it in their heart to just trust that the money they donate will go towards people who need help.
Even though this is for a good cause but isn’t it sexist and demeaning to be ‘sold off’ to random strangers so that they could have dinner with you?
J No, I don’t think so because I think it’s always about the objectives and what you’re trying to achieve because if it weren’t for raising funds then forget about it. And I have got random phone calls, I don’t know how these people got my number, saying “Oh, would you like to have a meal with someone at this price” and I go, “this meal is for what?” and they’d be “They just want to meet you,” and I’m like, “Thank you very much but I’m sure you got the wrong number.” There’s no way I would do anything like that.
P You can put it that way, but yet again I think that what we are doing is not a focus on being sold off. We all find ways to create awareness and to bring different ways so people can take notice that there are less fortunate people out there. We are all going to be gathered, have a great time, enjoy each other’s companies, and get to know each other like normal human beings can do and on that night itself, the cheque will be handed over in front of everyone that have been so kind to donate to the NKF. I don’t think it is sexist at all; it is also how you think of the auction. If you can think beyond us being there, you should be focused on what you are doing when you donate that money and helping out people in need. That is what we should be focusing on.
Does it worry you that person you’re having dinner with doesn’t care about the charity; they just want to get a date with you?
J At least the money goes to the cause and its being done. But it would be nice if they were bidding generously because they want to. But I would say that, even if they don’t care about the cause, if that puts the money down at least I know my conscience is clear because I know I’m part of it and the money is going to go to the NKF.
P I am not worried, their money goes towards a good cause then I am happy to be there for the night. I would personally really hope that the people who are taking part are thinking with their hearts and I guess that is me being a little naive, but I would like to be positive and hope that there are some genuine good people out there and do care about other human beings than themselves. It is sad that we have become to paranoid around us to think that this is what will happen and not to have faith in the honesty of ‘strangers’ around us.
How have you been educating people about this cause?
J As it is, I’ve been actually tweeting and using social media to plug the fact that this is actually happening. I think that if go to Sold.my, it actually links you to information about NFK.
P I personally think that there are a lot of people out there who don’t know much about kidney disease or taken the time to read up about it. Our kidneys are very important for us. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to live! So, what I hope to do is for more people to learn and make sure that they do their checkups and never take things for granted.
Sold.my’s Charity Dinner Auction with Jojo Struys and Patricia Knudsen begins from 25 February 2013 to 15 March 2013. To join the auction, visit Sold.my and stand a chance to have dinner with one of the hottie!