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Boy collector donates 20,000 Yuan to AIDS orphans
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A 12-year-old schoolboy in Harbin, a major city in northeast China, has donated 20,000 yuan ($2,700) he earned from collecting and selling 160,000 plastic soft-drink bottles to orphans in AIDS villages in Henan.

File photo: Sun Huixi collects plastic bottles on a street after school.

Sun Huixi, a student at Xiao Hong Middle School, began raising money two years ago when he heard the Chinese Red Ribbon orphanage, sponsored by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, was being built in Henan's Shangcai County, where many people were infected with HIV following botched blood transfusions and donations.

File photo: Sun Huixi shows hundreds of yuan he made by selling plastic bottles after school.

Sun first gave away 222 yuan ($30) of his own savings to the orphanage. In May 2005, the boy was invited to the opening ceremony of the Chinese Red Ribbon Home, where he donated all his savings - more than 4,000 yuan ($540) - including money he had made from collecting bottles and articles he had written for teenage newspapers and magazines. Since then, he has carried on collecting bottles and donating money along with 800 books.

However, despite his charitable spirit, he has found himself mocked and ignored by his friends, who have labeled him "the little scraps collector".

"I feel aggrieved," said Sun, "I'm doing a good thing. Why do they disagree with me?"

"I just want to give the AIDS orphans some warmth and love. They won't feel lonely if everyone shows some love towards them."

Sun's parents only make just over 2,000 yuan ($270) a month. His mother advised him not to spend so much time collecting bottles out of fear for his health and asked her son to buy something for himself.

Sun said he told his mother, "I also want to buy game disks and socks, but they are not necessities for me. But for those orphans, the money could help them buy food and go to school."

On Friday evening, Sun received a national award for his contribution to the country's anti-AIDS campaign when he attended a special program on China Central Television (CCTV) to mark the 20th World AIDS Day, which falls on Saturday.

(Xinhua News Agency, December 3, 2007)

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