“Exchanging Books for Plants” nurtures green hopes

(VOVWORLD) - Old books, textbooks, and paper are exchanged for plants, plastic bags, and other environment-friendly products. These reading materials are sorted and sent to disadvantaged children. These have been regular activities of the “Fly to Sky” charity over the past 6 years.

“Exchanging Books for Plants” nurtures green hopes - ảnh 1Volunteers help a pupil exchange books for plants. (Photo: Vu Huong)

At weekends, many pupils in HCM city bring their old textbooks, comics, and notebooks to District 10’s Children's House to be exchanged for plants provided by the “Fly to Sky” charity group.

The students can also swap used toys, batteries, milk cartons, and plastic products for little potted trees, ornamental plants, seeds of all kinds, and other environment-friendly items.

Bao Toan of District 3, who learned about the “Exchanging Books for Plants” program through its Facebook fan page and the teachers at District 10’s Children's House, said his two children were eager to trade the schoolbooks they used during the past academic year.

“Exchanging books for plants saves parents’ money, protects the environment and teaches the children about the importance of practicing thrift and protecting the green earth,” said Toan.

The “Fly to Sky” team has set up 30 exchange stations nationwide, 10 of them in HCM city. The books that are received are sorted and sent to children in remote areas.

“Exchanging Books for Plants” nurtures green hopes - ảnh 2Pupils bring their old books at the end of an academic year to swap for plants. (Photo credit: Fly to Sky) 

Le Van Phuc, who founded “Fly to Sky” 6 years ago, said the Exchanging Books for Plants program collects 10 to 20 tons of paper each year.

Last year the program attracted 10,000 participants, received 16 tons of books and paper, and 25,000 clothing items and stuffed animals in exchange for 4,000 plants and other environment-friendly products, Phuc said.

He told VOV, “Each year we receive tons of books. We sort them and donate them to underprivileged students in remote areas. Tens of thousands of additional books have been collected by our ongoing ‘White Dove Bookcase’ program, which donates small libraries to remote schools, charity homes, and social protection centers.”

In addition, the program has drawn tens of thousands of volunteers and participants, according to Phuc.

“Exchanging Books for Plants” nurtures green hopes - ảnh 3In addition to succulent plants, it’s possible for students to exchange their books for straws or paper bags. (Photo: Vu Huong)

Tung Hung, an FPT University student, said he joined “Fly to Sky” 5 months ago for a charity program that collected leftover Tet candy to give to border children. Hung said the more he participates in the group’s activities, the more he wants to contribute.

“My initial purpose in joining was to make myself feel good and make my student life more meaningful. But now I really want to do more for needy children and other people around me.”

In 2 weeks, the program has collected more than 2.5 tons of books and paper. It will run through July 28 on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays to help build awareness of green living and encourage young people to get involved in community projects.