Donating old textbooks to the needy
NTUC FairPrice, which launched its annual Share-A-Textbook project yesterday, is looking for volunteers and more textbooks
Instead of throwing away his children's used textbooks, a parent donated them to the under-privileged.
Mr Terence Kuek, 45, recently saw an appeal for used textbooks on the NTUC FairPrice Facebook page.
The father of three saw it as a chance to do some good, so he donated about 10 textbooks his children had used this year. This was done at Changi City Point yesterday.
Mr Kuek told The New Paper: "The books are still in good condition, so we are happy to share the books to help the less fortunate and also recycle the books."
NTUC FairPrice yesterday launched its annual Share-A-Textbook project at that mall.
You can also donate textbooks at 159 FairPrice stores islandwide from now until Dec 4.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, chief executive officer of NTUC FairPrice, said: "Each book we collect and each book we put into the hands of others is more than just an act of giving. It's a platform to share knowledge and even memories with those who receive it."
The project, now in its 34th year, targets to collect 400,000 books this year.
NTUC FairPrice has worked with volunteer welfare organisations and Community Development Councils to shortlist about 20,000 students, aged seven to 16, from low-income families for the project.
The shortlisted students can collect the donated books on Dec 10 using letters from their respective Community Development Councils or volunteer welfare organisations as proof.
There will be five designated distribution points - Gan Eng Seng School, Yio Chu Kang Secondary School, Changi City Point, City Square Mall and Warehouse Club.
NTUC FairPrice said that if your children are not on the shortlist but would like to get the textbooks, they can go to the designated places the following day to pick up what is available then.
What is not collected will be recycled.
Unlike previous years, you can now volunteer and be directly involved from this year onwards.
Mr Seah said: "There are many people who want to do good, they are just looking for opportunities and platforms to volunteer."
Mr Seah and Ms Low handing out appreciation plaques to partners of the initiative. PHOTO: TNP
Volunteers can help out in logistics, promotion, mass community collection, sorting and distribution of the books.
So far, there are about 450 volunteers. If you are interested, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest of honour Low Yen Ling, who is Parliamentary Secretary (Education, and Trade and Industry,) said: "NTUC's Share-A-Textbook is more than the giving of used textbooks. It's a community effort that recognises the needs of under-privileged Singaporeans.
"It's indicative of the kindness and care Singaporeans feel for those around us."
The search for textbooks extends to schools.
As part of their school's values-in-action project, environment champions from Hougang Secondary School, Khor Yong Kai, and Leong Jia Xuan, both 15, are in charge of collecting books from their peers for donation.
The Secondary 3 students said the project helps the environment because it recycles the books.
In his opening speech, Mr Seah said Singapore saw 1.1 million tonnes of paper disposal last year.
He added: "Every little bit that is reused and recycled can contribute. Nothing is too small."
"The books are still in good condition, so we are happy to share the books to help the less fortunate and also recycle the books."
- Mr Terence Kuek
How to donate
You can donate used textbooks at all FairPrice Finest supermarkets, FairPrice Xtra hypermarkets, Warehouse Club and FairPrice Xpress outlets until Dec 4.
There are also book dropboxes at 17 stores.
All seven FairPrice Xtra stores, the Warehouse Club store, the Changi City Point store, and eight other FairPrice Xpress outlets have the dropboxes.
Some FairPrice stores do not have them, but you can pass your books to the cashiers.