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Oklahoma man leading charge to send books to children in Uganda

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Posted at 11:08 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 22:36:07-04

TULSA, Okla. — "They had a couple of sheets of paper, they will erase and re-write every day, and they had one chalkboard."

Sandra Flippo is talking about a school in Uganda with no books and very few learning materials.

Ten years ago, her daughter led an effort to get books from the U.S. to fill its empty library. Her son Christopher was very young at the time.

"We painted the walls of this two-room library and we put the shelves together ourselves," Christopher Flippo said.

"We put the books in there."

Now 10 years later, Christopher is spearheading another Herculean effort to more books into the hands of students there at two more schools.

Photos: Oklahoma man looking to help children in need get books

"One is outside of Jinja, the other is about three hours outside of Jinja," he said.

A friend he made 10 years ago, contacted him about the need for even more books.

"Our Ugandan friend, her name is Brigy, reached out to us over Facebook and asked if we were still doing this," Christopher said.

"And yes, we are!"

Last time, they delivered 9,000 books.

This time, they're sending more than 11,000.

"We're measuring it in weight now, so that's one and a half tons at this point," Christopher said.

At only 17 years old, this young man should be focused on graduation and getting into a drama school, but he's working as hard as he can to get as many books to those who need them.

He's now head of the nonprofit "Open The World With A Book."

"We've mostly helped homeless shelters, charities here and there, and even put books into prisons," he said.

But his next mission is his biggest, so he's being very careful about what books are chosen.

"Literacy is the foundation for education," he said.

"So you want to send the stuff that's going to give them the best chance to pass after elementary school."

Christopher knows the impact these books will have.

"The people in Uganda, the kids I've met are engaged and hungry and want to learn," he said.

And because Oklahomans did what Oklahomans do best, "People in Oklahoma, they've just sent tons of books - churches, schools," Sandra said.

Fifty-five boxes of books are now headed halfway around the world to an elementary school and a high school.

"This isn't for the resume or anything like that," Christopher said.

"This is to make the situation better, to improve lives, to help people who need it."

"I'm so proud of him," Sandra said.

"He's good-hearted and he recognizes that there's people that just don't have."

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