|Please donate to the Chinese American Friendship Forest|
Following the May 8, 1999 bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia by NATO forces, protesters took to the streets and assailed US Consulates in China, angered by what they interpreted as an act of military aggression against their nation. In response to the bombing and ensuing discord, the Virtual Foundation initiated the Chinese-American Friendship Forest project as a gesture of reconciliation and regret. The forest will begin with the planting of three trees on May 22 to honor the three Chinese journalists killed during the accidental bombing - Shao Yunhuan, Zhu Yin and Xu Xinghu. Randy Kritkausky, Virtual Foundation president, traveled to China to announce the Chinese American Friendship Forest project and will help plant the first trees.
Volunteers from the Virtual Foundation's partner organization in China, Green Earth Volunteers, will plant the first 100 trees for the project. Green Earth Volunteers will also tend the trees after the planting. The Chinese-American Friendship Forest is situated near the Badaling section of the Great Wall, in an arid region deforested over one thousand years ago during the Ming Dynasty. The Virtual Foundation planting will be the first American reforestation project to be initiated in the region.
The idea of supporting tree planting projects in China is not new for the Virtual Foundation. For the last two years, it has linked individuals, an American church, and several high school groups with Chinese volunteer organizations engaged in several tree planting projects in China. The American organizations have funded three projects:
The Chinese American Friendship Forest project will take dedication and hard work; the trees - as well as the water needed to sustain them - must be carried up steep hillsides and over difficult terrain. Local foresters have agreed to assist the Green Earth Volunteers and will dig the holes for the trees (which would take weeks otherwise, given the rocky soil) and supply water.
Your donation of only $5 will purchase one tree and cover the costs for its planting and care. We urge you to support this very important initiative. Individuals and organizations interested in supporting the Chinese American Friendship Forest may do so by making a donation through the Virtual Foundation website, or by calling our toll free number at (888) 801-7101.