Books for Kids, Aid for Guimaras, Trees, etc.

Just a quick post to update any of you who are curious, have been following this blog for over a year and want to know what actual action was taken on the issues raised. Last Christmas, I did a post to wish everyone well and promised that for every comment left on that post I would donate a book to a school or orphanage. Folks must have been away for the holidays then because only 70 folks left comments. But RM, a friend of ours, doubled the offer, so essentially we were supposed to donate 140 books. Well, in February 2006, Marketmanila donated roughly 400 books (or 3x the promised amount) to a school in Tondo, Manila. Hopefully, thousands of kids will benefit from those books over the years. A few months ago, after the oil spill from the Petron tanker off the coast of Guimaras, I received a plea from Unicef for some help. I have donated to other Unicef causes before and I wanted to do so again. In my post, I promised to give 2 bubud kabogs worth (at cost) for every comment received from readers. I received a near record 279 comments on that post, short of the 500 I was hoping for (possibly affected by four days of lights out following Milenyo, the storm). But well over 50 lurkers came out of the woodwork for Guimaras, and I thank them. A few weeks later, Marketmanila donated 500 comments worth and quickly received a thank you from the Unicef folks…they are so organized with their fundraising efforts. Also, in a somewhat related move, since so many trees were felled by the recent typhoon Milenyo, Marketmanila has donated 50 live mahogany trees to a school in Batangas, hoping in some small way to make up for the shortfall in oxygen as a result of fewer trees on Luzon (actually a fallacy as most of the earth’s oxygen is produced in the sea, I think). And finally, on the advertisement(s) regarding the shittybank episode, I am still working on that and will let all of the readers know when I finally get the ads out… Again, many thanks to the readers of Marketmanila!

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32 Responses

  1. the mahogany trees are good water retainers so they can avoid floods. imho, trees are there to absorb the co2 we produce.

  2. shucks. i didn’t know about those times. i was pretty busy then. i’ll try my best to check out your blog more often. that’s a good thing marketman. i’m so proud of you naman. if ever you’ll need an extra hand for a good cause just post it on your blog right away. count me in. : )

  3. Bless your heart. Rarely would I meet a man with a big heart like yours. You’re one in a million. The world needs people like you. Hats off to a great man.

  4. You’re a man of your word MM, a man of integrity and credibility. You’ll surely get my vote if ever it’s needed.

  5. It’s always so encouraging to learn that there truly still are Filipinos like you, MM, who think of others before themselves, and are willing to go the extra mile to help. Every day we are confronted with the ills of this country, and reading posts like this renew my hope in the Phils.

  6. Hi MM,

    No need to post this comment, but I thought your blog today might help me in a little project I’m working on. I live in Toronto, and I’ve seen many children’s books sold at giveaway prices whenever I see garage sales. So I’m slowly filling up a balikbayan box worth of children’s books (people I work with who are doing spring cleaning have pitched in by donating their children’s old books). I have been asking around since I want to send the books directly to a public elementary school but am not sure which one. It may take some more months, but as soon as the box is filled up, I’ll let you know, and maybe you can give me a contact person/address where I can send it to. I will try to visit your blog more regularly, and if you have more worthwhile projects like the ones you’ve already undertaken, I hope to contribute in the future as well. Mabuhay!

  7. Chinachix, that is a wonderful personal project! Yes, just fill the box up and email me when it’s ready. There are so many schools that would welcome such a donation. At a small school in Batangas, my family and I once visited and they had 40 books in their “library” for 450 KIDS in the entire school! That Christmas we added another 400 books to their library and slowly more and more kids are reading that small improvement in their library… In fact, you may have started something even better…if more folks like you do this across North America, we can tie it in to a social action program at a school I am connected with (its a non-profit private elementary school) and they can help to find the right schools to send the books too… every little effort helps. And the public schools in the Philippines are woefully stocked with reading materials! Thanks!

  8. Chinachix, the more I think about this, the more I am excited. If only 100 Marketmanila readers across North America pledge to fill a balikbayan box as you have with cast-offs, yard sale books and donations and underwrite the freight to Manila, we could really start something positive. Imagine if each box had 200 books, that would be 20,000 books for public schools back home! If there is interest and we can get critical mass like a 100 generous folks, I would be willing to coordinate receipt on this end and distribution… come on guys, it’s almost Christmas…maybe it’s the year to do something really cool like this children’s book drive…

  9. MM – you have such a big big heart!! I hope there will be more people like you here in the Philippines and the world as well. It’s so nice to read entries like this.. :)

  10. you’re so right, MM and chinachix. we have been donating children’s books to a small community school (public) in the hinterlands of lake sebu (south cotabato), where the students are mostly T’bolis. before they had books in school, the kids’ passing rate from one grade level to the next was less than ten percent. only a year after a donation of a box of assorted books was made, the passing rate almost doubled! and these books were simply an assortment of textbooks, kids’ magic and mystery and adventure books, even back issues of Life Magazine, National Geographic, and even some inflight magazines, etc. It makes me cry when I think of all the kids wanting to read (by gas lamplight, usually), and having nothing to read at all. So, yes, my family and I are totally convinced that books are the way to go. Am also involved in a small literacy program that organizes volunteer Education students (2nd-4th year) to assist public school teachers in teaching kids to read. You see,most public schools have 50 kids per class, making it almost impossible for the teacher to teach skills like reading and writing and grammar properly.
    Anyone in Davao or hereabouts who is interested in donating books, or in knowing more about the literacy program, kindly e-mail me through the link. Many thanks, and padayon, MarketMan. Thank God fof people who enjoy and share their blessings.

  11. Marketman, just a thought why don’t you try to set up a children’s book drive for your local readers this Christmas season. Maybe one place where we can drop off books which you might later send to indigenous people or to public schools. I am sure most of us will support this.

  12. Sali ako diyan. Over the years my three kids have amassed a LOT of books, some of them they have outgrown and will be perfect for the elementary school children. My original plan was to donate those to our city’s public library, but now I think they will be more appreciated in the public schools in the Phils. I’m sure my coworkers can donate more for this worthy cause. So how do we send these to the Phils again?

  13. Count me in for a book drive effort. I live in a part of New York City with a lot of families and that sees loads of stoop sales (like garage sales) every weekend as people clean out their closets. I’ll start seeing how many kids books I can pick up.

    Any age range in particular that is better to get books for? Earliest reading & teen books are ok too? Just any kind of books at all? How about old magazines that are kid appropriate?

    Any tips on cheap shipping from NYC-to-Davao/Manila?

    It’s a great idea Chinachix & Marketman & Millet. Cheers.

  14. Sorry, I should read through the posts before asking questions! :-) I see Millet’s post pretty much answers my questions on the kind of reading materials.

    If anyone has tips on cheap shipping, I’m all ears.

  15. Your good deeds are greatly appreciated by these children and the environment. Your name and your wife’s name are forever imbedded in their heart and mind. You bring a lot of joy to these children and broaden their spectrum of knowledge in doing so. You are closing the gap of illiteracy and who knows one of those children could be the future President of the Philippines. I heard a lot whatever you give, you will receive the favor back. I am counting all the blessings, I have just to be in good health its worth millions to me. I would like to make a cash donation to your worthy projects and I will email you to get the information on how to send my donation under your name. Good job on your philanthropic efforts.

  16. I think this topic (book donation) deserves another post so that many of your readers will read it. I agree with what Tulip said, let us have a book drive here and just name the place where we can drop off books.

    Our country is still a beautiful place to live in because of people like you who share his blessings for the betterment of our countrymen especially the youth. Thanks, MM.

  17. Hi everyone, YES, I think I will craft a separate post on this for next week. I am heading out of town for a few days so I won’t be commenting much but I have left posts for release over the next two days… thanks so much!

  18. What a great idea! I’m in! I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog and collecting books for kids. I have lots of gently used books that my kids have out grown plus there are great bargains and sales during the Christmas season at the local bookstores. Just let us know where to send them. Last year I participated in a similar drive that involved knitting hats and mittens for kids…heck this is a lot easier!

  19. Wow! Am glad the enthusiasm is catching on…reading is one of the best ways to encourage curiousity and creativity in kids. I am working on filling up a box and sending it through the balikbayan service in our area, but am just looking for someone to receive and distribute it directly on the other end. btw, what is the name of that school you visited in Batangas? MM has been generous enough to offer to coordinate receipt…I will email you once ready and hopefully, we can work something out. Salamat uli!

  20. excellent idea marketman!

    yey! we’ll all support your book drive! and this time we could actually do more than just leave posts! btw, what kind of books do you usually send? textbook types or storybooks?

  21. wow, am overwhelmed! i was gone for a day and look at the fantastic reponses to this post! frankly, i do not know a cheap way of sending used books. there is a chain of used bookstores here in davao (bookshop) and in manila (book sale), and sometimes their books come with “goodwill” stickers and all, but i think they ship them by container vans. as to customs duties, i do not know how much these people pay, but i know one charitable group that had some trouble getting used books in because of ridiculous customs duties. now, if anyone can help us get through these two major issues, that would be the greatest thing. keeping my fingers crossed….

  22. omigod! marketman! that’s so nice of you…i salute people who help save the our environment. :-)

  23. If only I saw your post earlier I couldh’ve commented as well, bless you MM for your good deeds! When I was in a book sale here in LA I heard the coordinator say that the books that were’nt sold were going to be donated in schools there in the Philippines. I just hope they did ahaha =]]

  24. In my house we have so many books (lots of people = lots of books) that one day I got tired of seeing useless volumes like “50 Prizewinning Woodwork Projects” and three copies of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that I pulled everything out and started cataloging it. We weren’t sure where we could donate the books but I was thinking we’d figure it out.

    A few days later some college students literally knocked on our door and asked if we had any books to donate because they were collecting books for donation to a public school’s library. We unloaded over a hundred books straightaway. =)

    In any case I think we still have a lot of reading material lying around in various black holes (as I’m sure many other households with grown up children do) … MARKETMAN: let us know what kind of children’s books you want to gather and I’m sure you’ll get a lot of donations.

  25. Way to go MM! You’re really an inspiration. Friends of ours in Manila have put-up a small daycare center, to reach out to the poor. In nation-transformation, they see the task as reaching out 1-family-at-a-time. We’re trying to be part of that project.

    Re books, we need them in nation-building — to spark imagination, to inspire young kids, to build knowledge … I’ll organize something with my friends in Manila, so those who can donate books know what types of book (maybe even age group of kids) will be suitable.

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