STEPHANIE LEE, The Star
KOTA KINABALU: An outpouring of support and assistance continues for Catholic nun Sister Nora @ Mary Annunciata Marcus after news of her solo work housing people with mental and social issues in Tambunan district went viral recently.
The 61-year-old has been receiving lots of calls and texts from good Samaritans all over the country, asking how they could help especially after news of her work was published in newspapers.
“So many people came forward telling me they wished to help, many transferred money to the registered account we have while others gave clothes, food and other forms of assistance, ” she said Saturday (Feb 13).
Sister Mary said she is not sure how much exactly they have received thus far, as the registered account is held by three individuals and all must go to the bank together if they wish to check on the bank statement or withdraw money to use for the charity home.
As for the help she received, Sister Mary said these people were a godsend, making it possible for her to conduct her works more efficiently.
“I also now have a handyman hired by someone anonymously to help out, he does the maintenance, buys daily essentials and is also in charge of taking our residents to and from the hospital, ” she said.
The handyman is a 24-year-old hotel chef who was recently laid off due to the dwindling hotel business amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Without help from all of you, I would not be able to do this on my own in such a way that has become so much easier now, ” Sister Mary said.
However, she is secretly dealing with a lot of mental and emotional stress due to the condition of her residents, many of whom were mentally disabled and troubled as well as physically challenged.
She said she is trying her best to provide for them but hopes that someone who is specially trained to deal with such patients can render assistance.
Nevertheless, she is grateful for all the help she is getting now, and sends her thanks through her daily prayers.
News of Sister Mary’s works were shared on social media recently, where it was reported that she had started the charity home in Kg Makatip Pagalan on a piece of land belonging to Tambunan assemblyman, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, using her life savings of about RM30,000.
The retired nun had just returned from England where she was last based in 2018.
Those wishing to lend a helping hand can do so by contacting Sister Mary at 011-1421 3291 but might need to make several attempts, sometimes over days, before they can reach her due to the location of the charity home and poor phone lines.
The charity home is registered with the Registrar of Societies and has an account under Persatuan Kebajikan Makatip Sabah, Bank Simpanan Nasional account number 1213741100006512.