We did it, again! On June 25, OCEF won the Microsoft YouthSpark Bonus Day competition hosted by GlobalGiving.org.
In just one day, we received donations from 314 donors, totaling $44,065, which earned us $5,406 in matching funds, $2,500 in prize for most funds raised, and another $2,500 in prize for the most donors. Among our competitors, the next highest total donation was $25,065 and the next highest number of donors was 121. With everybody chipping in, we were way ahead of the game.
We are so proud of our loyal donors, and of the grass-root nature of our team! We will make sure that all of the donations will be used properly and distributed to the areas and children most in need. If you have any questions or would like to specify a particular program for your donation, please contact us at
Thanks again for all your support! We also want to acknowledge our gratitude to GlobalGiving.org and the Microsoft Corporation for the awards and the matching funds. In the past 10 months, OCEF has received more than 1,000 donations by way of GlobalGiving, totaling over $118,000.
Great news comes one after another when the college entrance test results are released. Zhang Xiaoshuang, a student sponsored by OCEF, received a high score of 619, which leads all graduates from the Yanshou Senior High School in Heilongjiang. His twin brother, Zhang Dashuang, also scored over 590, well above the baseline for first-tier colleges.
The Zhang family has been in challenging financial situations, but both kids are great young men who are smart, hardworking, considerate and so frugal that they have saved all of their textbooks and exercise books since elementary school. When OCEF volunteers visited the Zhang family in the summer of 2011, they observed the brothers helping with household chores, tutoring their relatives’ kids on their homework and, in their spare time, reviewing materials for the high school entrance test that they had not been able to finish earlier. Tears came to their mother’s eyes when she talked about the twins, saying that they deserved a family in better situation.
In spring 2011, Dashuang fractured his leg in a traffic accident. There was no compensation as the liable driver was also a poor farmer. As a result, Dashuang was only treated in a local clinic and the family had to borrow a lot of money. In the end, they had no money left even to buy seeds for the planting season. Volunteers of OCEF organized donations spontaneously and helped the family out of the difficult situation. In that year, both of the brothers got exceptional results in the high school entrance test, with Dashuang ranking No. 13 in the county and Xiaoshuang ranking No. 25, and both were admitted to the gifted program by the county.
Since the first visit in 2009, the volunteers have always been impressed by the Zhang brothers’ positive attitude, whether through meeting in person or via phone calls or instant messages. Dashuang loves reading books of the detective genre, while Xiaoshuang prefers books about war heroes, popular sciences, and self-improvement.
Many thanks to all the warm-hearted people who have supported the Zhang brothers, and best wishes to both of them for enrolling in their dream schools and starting a new chapter of their lives!
In March 2014, OCEF launched a program to collect used smart phones, digital cameras, tablets and laptops for teachers and college students sponsored by OCEF. The initiative received great responses from our volunteers and donors, and from their friends and families through their promotion. So far we have received 5 digital cameras, 13 smart phones and 19 laptops. Among these, 1 digital camera, 6 smart phones and 10 laptops have been distributed to teachers in various schools in Shanxi, Guangxi, Guizhou and the outskirts of Beijing.
Not only do these electronic devices help maintain better communication between OCEF and the sponsored teachers while enhancing the teachers’ passion for and ability in teaching, but they also enable our frontline coordinators provide photographic feedback from sponsored schools. For the students going to college, they help reduce the disparity between modern gadgets enjoyed by these students and those common among their classmates from more affluent backgrounds, and thus contribute to closing the psychological gap.
If you have a used smart phone, digital camera, tablet or laptop that is still functional but is only colleting dust somewhere in your house, please consider donating it to OCEF. We will make it useful again, and we will periodically publish information on the collection and distribution of the electronics. The intended recipients are mainly teachers and college student sponsored by OCEF. For a device to be suitable, it needs to be in good working order, come with a charger, and meet the following requirements:
Smart phones: capable of running the WeChat and QQ apps, with camera, unlocked (i.e., not limited to a specific service provider), preferably GSM-compatible (with SIM card);
Tablets: capable of taking photographs;
Laptops: capable of running the MS Office software.
There is no requirement on battery life. If you have suitable electronics to donate, please contact
(for oversees donors) or
(for donors in China). For more information, please visit http://ocef.org/donation/edevice.