Online Book Donation: Alone No More when You Are There
By Qian Lili, OCEF volunteer from Beijing, China
This morning I overheard friends in the Book Donation team say: “we’ve got really good feedback from Yonglong Elementary School this time. The kids are so happy and they’re all asking their teachers who gave them the books.”
Every time I hear things like this, I feel a tickle in the heart. We listed 500 books that we hoped to get for Yonglong on November 8, and a month later 326 have been claimed, some donors purchasing dozens of them. From donor meeting with us, through the selection of books and the delivery by the mailman with the tinkling bell on his bicycle, to the final distribution to each student, it was a long process filled with love.
Teacher Xu Yutang, our primary contact at Yonglong, is a book lover and she always enjoys leading her class in extracurricular readings. During the planning and delivery stages, she kept in constant touch with us and helped the book donation process move along smoothly. Her “Moments” in WeChat is filled with pictures of herself studying and playing together with the kids.
As she puts it: “Extracurricular reading is extremely important, but there’re very few books in rural schools besides textbook. Parents don’t always see the importance and feel like it’s enough to read the textbooks. Some poor families can’t even afford to buy extracurricular reading materials.”
In a little over a month, more than 300 books were delivered to Ms. Xu. She set aside time to read them with her pupils and encouraged them to write down their thoughts afterwards. The kids may not have enough vocabulary to express their feelings, but it does not mean that they do not feel the compassion or understand the meaning behind the books.
Ms. Xu explained to the kids where the books came from, letting them know that they were from loving people all over the country through online orders. The kids may not have fully grasped the idea but they certainly felt the love. Their big smiles, the curiosity in their eyes, and their eagerness in reading showed us that it was not just books they were holding in their hands, it was love.
Yonglong is just one stop on the long journey for the OCEF Book Donation Program, and the happiness and the companionship we felt at this stop will greatly strengthen all of us. With you by our side, we are more convicted to continue this journey. Please visit the OCEF online book donation forum and help us bring the pleasure of reading to children at the next school. For more information, please join the OCEF Book Donation WeChat group or QQ Group 466731058 and meet other loving, caring people.
I read the book “Before Leaving Home.” It is about a little girl going to a picnic with her parents. She has an idea. She takes everything out to eat and play. She wants to put on makeups. But she leaves behind everything her mom needs. After reading the book now I understand I should not slow down before leaving home and I should listen to my parents.
Raising Children’s Hope with My Running and Your Love
By Luo Zhaoju, OCEF volunteer from Austin, Texas
Editor: We launched the OCEF Team Program in 2013 and invited our friends to combine outdoor fitness activities with our school support initiatives, and let your dedication to self-improvement and helping others inspire rural children on their journey in life. Here we would like to introduce to you a group of new members of the OCEF Team.
They are a group of friends who enjoy running and thus formed the Austin Chinese Running Club (ACRC). The club was established a year ago and quickly attracted a large number of runners who aspire to stay positive and enjoy life to the fullest. It provided a platform for running enthusiasts to get together, learn from one another, and encourage one another.
Running can be very simple, just for a healthy body and for fun. Running is a conversation with your own body, with your inner mind, and with nature. It is about listening to the breeze whistling through while you run, and taking in the beautiful scenes around you. Running helps you unload everything and free yourself, and it gives you an opportunity to get to know yourself as well as the city you live in.
Running can also have special meanings—to pay tribute to someone, to support and encourage someone who is fighting an ailment, or to help someone realize their dreams. For example, there are many kids in rural China who still live in poverty and are hoping to change their fate through education. They are eager to enrich their minds from reading books.
February 14 was the Marathon Day in Austin, and many ACRC members, most of them engineers, dedicated their very first marathon to the children in an impoverished area in Gansu Province by raising funds to build a library for them. The remaining funds were used for 1-to-1 assistance on tuitions ($100 per year for elementary school, $150 for junior high school, and $350 for senior high school).
Their touching slogan was “Valentine 2016, let’s meet at the Austin Marathon and raise children’s hope with my running and your love.” All of the participants completed the marathon course or the half-marathon course, and they raised a total of $2,100, far exceeding the amount initially hoped for, so they were able to support a few students after funding the library. Bravo, ACRC runners!
Feb 23, 2016
Dear little friends:
We are a group of big friends in Austin, USA, who are running enthusiasts. Life is just like running the marathon. We started off where you are now, somewhere in China, a city or a village. Now we have run to the other side of the earth. The farther we run, the more beautiful sceneries we see. And you become the most beautiful part of scenery as you strive to create more beautiful things for the world and make the world a better place.
Please do your best, study hard, and stay fit! Never give up when you face challenges. Remember, we stand by you.
Best wishes for good health and happiness!
第24期（2016年4月）/No. 24 (April 2016) 组稿：杨敏 翻译：何雪炀 编校：汤柏 Compiled by Catherine Yang Translated by He Xueyang Edited by Tang Bai