When money grows on trees, so to speak

When money grows on trees, so to speak

by UA&P News Desk on February 14, 2012 - 4:05 pm

by Nannie Flores and Febe Lomboy, IV School of Communication

There lives a tree planted out of hope  and continuously growing with every act of generosity. It is called “The Giving Tree”–a visible invitation to make each day a chance to reach out.

The idea behind “The Giving Tree,” launched on the last day of January, sprouted from the efforts of Project One, UA&P’s Integrated Marketing Communication’s (IMC) graduating Batch of 2012. This student-initiated cause seeks to help a young man complete a 3-year program at the Dagatan Family Farm School, and at the same time to give  local farmers means to better their livelihood.

Sowing another’s future

The fruits of the Giving Tree will ultimately transform the life of Jayson Alvarez, a local student from Batangas.

For years, it was his father’s meager income as a fruit vendor that allowed him and his younger brother to study but Jayson was determined to aim higher. When he graduated from elementary, Jayson was class valedictorian that will possibly allow him to be granted a full scholarship to the Dagatan Family Farm School through the help of Project One’s “The Giving Tree”.

To help Jayson enter the program, Project One currently sells packs of different vegetable and fruit seeds for P100.00 each. Patrons have the option to keep the pack of seeds purchased but are also highly encouraged to donate them to the hands willing to plant them: the farmers in Batangas.

How the Giving Tree looked like at the outset. Now, the branches boast of foliage standing for people's generous deeds.

The proceeds from the purchase of seeds will not only fund Jayson’s high school education. Donated seeds will go to the farmers who will in turn grow them as means for livelihood.

“The Giving Tree project allowed us to actualize all the theories we learned in IMC—through this project, our creativity and our business sense was put to the test,” Project One’s Chief Executive Officer Jolo Valdez said.

Beyond metaphors

But the Giving Tree is more than just a metaphor: Whenever seeds are purchased, a new leaf is added to the handmade tree to represent the good deed.

In its first week, about 500 packs of seeds were sold within the UA&P community. “To see the people’s generosity to bring the [Giving] tree to life is truly a beautiful sight to see,” Valdez said.

The beauty of the Giving Tree is that it can only live for as long as people give; it blooms from generosity. This effort serves as a visual representation of the powerful impact of individual acts of generosity on people’s lives.

For every seed of kindness there is a hand somewhere to receive it. The message of The Giving Tree is quite simple: to “let others reap what you have sown.”

Growing young farmers

The town of Lipa  in Batangas provided a fertile ground for farm schools in 1983 when Fritz Gemperle, a Filipino executive, brought home the unique agricultural school concept from Opus Dei members he met in an international seminar in Spain.

The Dagatan Family Farm School was then inaugurated in 1988 with 35 students. Being the first school of its kind in the country and in Asia, it has a system distinct from any private or public educational institution in the Philippines: students go through a year-long cycle of one week in school and two weeks on their respective family farms. This curriculum aimed to increase the number of farmers with at least a high school education.

Those who want more information or wish to make a donation can contact Project One through Jolo Valdez at 0915 983 86 69 or Nicole Miller at 0917 590 02 57.

You may also email us at thegivingtree01@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter @thegivingtree01
Like us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/thegivingtree01

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