Summer in Boston!

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Jun 162015
 
Jindong "JD" Kim  will be in Boston this summer

Jindong “JD” Kim will be in Boston this summer

We’re excited to announce that JinDong (“JD”) will be coming to the US at the end of the month. JD has been a KKOOM scholarship recipient since he started college at Pusan National University in 2012. JD is now a junior majoring in business management, and thanks to your help, he will be coming to Boston to study intensive English at Boston University for six weeks.

Most Korean males have to serve in the military for two years, but JD, like others who grew up in orphanages, is exempt from this requirement. This has given JD some extra time for his studies in comparison to most of his male friends who are currently on university leave in order school to serve in the military.

Thanks to financial support from KKOOM, JD was able to use this extra time by taking a leave of absence from school this year (beginning in March) in order to focus on improving his English skills. The job market will be extremely competitive for JD when he graduates from college (expected Feb. 2017), so this year off will give him an opportunity to build his resume by acquiring skills and experiences that will set him apart from his peers.

Coming to America will give JD the chance to use and improve his English skils in an immersion setting, which he is both excited and nervous about. During his time here, he will also get to visit a few American companies and see what the business world is really like. We’re still lining up his schedule for mid-to-late August, but if you happen to be in the Boston area and would be interested in hosting JD at work for a day – or know someone who might – please send me an email.

When asked what he’s most looking forward to, JD said “getting to travel and going to New York!” We believe it will be an unforgettable summer for JD, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your support! We plan that our next update in a few months will be written by JD himself, so stay tuned!

 Posted by at 4:58 pm

Jinyoung Starts Preschool at 19 Months Old!

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May 072015
 
JY_Grid7

Jinyoung and his house mom

Our newest toddler started preschool this March, and he is doing very well! Jinyoung is just 19 months old, but he is a quick walker (runner) and has a huge appetite. We were worried that the preschool would ask us for additional money to support his lunch expenses — but so far, they’ve just laughed it off. 😀

At first, the staff members at both the orphanage and the preschool were a little worried about his adjustment because of his young age. They decided to start him off on half days for the first month to let him get used to preschool. After the first week, everyone — including Jinyoung himself — had determined that he was well adjusted, playing with the older kids and following along to the teacher’s instruction.

Jinyoung’s house mom (pictured with Jinyoung on his first day of preschool) says, “I am so thankful to KKOOM for their support and for sending Jinyoung to preschool. He is a very curious and smart little guy, and I have huge hopes for him to do well. He’ll get to experience so many new things in preschool that he wouldn’t be able to do at (the orphanage) home.” When asked about his strengths, Jinyoung’s house mom says that he has good motor skills. He likes to stack blocks and play (or pound on, as the case may be) the piano; he also seems to have an interest in soccer, kicking and chasing after the ball with great enthusiasm.

If KKOOM did not send Jinyoung to preschool, Jinyoung would probably be bored at the orphanage home without proper education or stimulation. Volunteers might come in to play with him one-on-one or teach him at the home, but he would not be surrounded by other children his age. This is because all of the 4 year olds and up go to preschool and regular schools, so he would be left, essentially, home alone with his house mom. Houses parents at orphanages are not generally trained in early childhood education, rather having degrees in children’s social welfare, so it is especially important that toddlers like Jinyoung get to go to preschool like the rest of Korean children their age.

Hence, we’re glad to be able to give Jinyoung and his energy a new outlet by being able to send him to preschool with your support. We are sure that he is building a solid foundation for his future educational success.

20150427_171403_resized_Grid7

Jinyoung enjoys dinner

 

 Posted by at 7:31 pm

Happy New Year!

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Jan 012015
 

Watch one of the kids you’ve helped support wish you a Happy New Year! Thanks for all you’ve done to support the kids in Korea through KKOOM in 2014. We look forward to a wonderful 2015.

 Posted by at 11:20 am

12 Days of KKOOM. #12 Merry Christmas!

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Dec 252014
 

12. December, 25, 2014. Merry Christmas!


2014 KKOOM Samsungwon Christmas Highlights
From our hearts to yours, we wish you a warm and merry Christmas. Please enjoy the video above, which highlights our KKOOM Christmas party.

Whether you’re a regular KKOOM supporter or you’ve stumbled upon this blog for the first time, thank you for joining us here. Every dollar donated, every Facebook “like,” and every “share” is a new opportunity for us to spread the word about the good work being done in orphanages and children’s homes in South Korea. And in a way, that’s the meaning of this holiday season — spreading love, sharing the good things in life with others, and helping to make the world a little better than it was yesterday. To the hundreds of you who have helped us do that, in ways big and small this year, thank you so much!

Merry Christmas from KKOOM!

Highlights from our 12 Days of KKOOM series

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 2014 12 Days of KKOOM blog series. Here’s a recap in case you missed any.

1. First Impressions, part 1
2. First Impressions, part 2
3. Joy for Kids
4. Commitment: A Volunteer’s Perspective
5. Jerusalem Ministry’s Camps
6. A Korean adoptee visits with KKOOM
7. Growing Up in a Korean Orphanage
8. English Teacher Meets Her Students at Samsungwon
9. Annual KKOOM Christmas Party
10. A House Mom’s Note of Thanks
11. Access to Preschool
12. Merry Christmas!

If you’ve liked this, please use the “share” links below to let your family and friends know. As always, feel free to connect with me at ajachym[at]kkoom[dot]org. I’d love to hear from you! ~ Aimee, KKOOM Co-founder and President

 Posted by at 10:52 am
Dec 242014
 
NJS (3 years old) has been in preschool for 2 years thanks to KKOOM's support

Jisu (3 years old) has been in preschool for 2 years thanks to KKOOM’s support.

11. Wednesday, December 24, 2014 – Access to Preschool

Those of you with little ones in your lives know how much joy they bring, especially this holiday season. KKOOM’s tiniest angels are no exception, so we wanted to give you an update of how they’re doing in preschool.

Many of you know that we’ve been able to send Korean orphan toddlers to preschool starting in the year they turn 24 months old, which is when most Korean children begin. The Korean government, however, only pays for toddlers living in orphanage homes to go when they turn 4, which is 2 years later than all of the other kids. Common sense tells us (and our intuition has been verified by our child development expert friends and volumes of unrelated studies) that the earlier children get access to education, the better off they are in the future.

Suzy (age 2) has been in preschool this year and will receive another year of KKOOM support to go next year. The government will pay for her preschool the following year.

Suzy (age 2) has been in preschool this year and will receive another year of KKOOM support to go next year. The government will pay for her preschool the following year.

We started this program about 3 years ago, and so far, we’ve been able to send 6 (18-month-old to 3-year-old) toddlers to preschool. Through a partnership with a local Gumi preschool, we’re able to get a 50% discounted tuition rate, and it costs us about $200 per month per child for all-day preschool (8:30 am – 3:30 pm). The children attend year-round.

One of first 6 children is starting 1st grade next year in March, when the Korean school year begins. He’s already shown early signs of learning disabilities, so he’s also been able to receive extra help learning to read and write his alphabet. We’d like to think that, by helping go to preschool earlier than he would’ve otherwise been able to, some of his learning challenges may have been detected early as well.

KKOOM has helped Minho (3 years old)  attend preschool and receive extra therapy.

KKOOM has helped Minho (3 years old) attend preschool and receive extra therapy.

Right now, there are two children in Gumi, South Korea attending preschool with KKOOM’s support. Jisu and Suzy are both doing very well in their respective classes. Jisu, however, doesn’t really like strangers. Recently, he asked his house mom to call the preschool and ask Santa not to come the next day! Santa was due to make an appearance to pass out presents. When asked if he didn’t want to receive a present then, he said, “Yes, I don’t want a present. Just don’t let Santa come!” Suzy, on the other hand, is outgoing and likes interacting with others. She even let an international volunteer paint her face at the Christmas party last Saturday!

KKOOM also supports one toddler living in a special needs orphanage home in Daegu, South Korea and helps him receive special therapy. Minho was born with renal dysplasia (small kidneys) and has experienced stunted development. For 2.5 years, Minho lived at Samsungwon in Gumi and then was transferred to the home in Daegu earlier this year, because the Daegu facility is better equipped to support his special needs. KKOOM’s financial aid helps Minho receive one-on-one sessions with occupational and educational therapists to help him on his way.

Next year, Jinyoung, now 16 months old, will start preschool in Gumi in March. He’s an active little guy, and when the preschool van comes to pick up his older brothers and sisters every day, he goes out to watch. Sometimes he tries to climb in with everyone else. Soon it will be his turn too.

JY (16 months old) will go to preschool in March

JY (16 months old) will go to preschool in March

 Posted by at 12:15 pm

12 Days of KKOOM – 10. A House Mom’s Note of Thanks

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Dec 232014
 
Ms. Noh at Samsungwon

Ms. Noh (right) with one of the Samsungwon children. Ms. Noh has lived and worked at Samsungwon for more than 30 years.

10. Tuesday, December 23, 2014 – A House Mom’s Note of Thanks

This August, the children at Samsungwon had the opportunity to visit California Beach, a large water park in South Korea with KKOOM’s support, which covered admission, transportation, and food for 77 children, staff, and 5 ex-Samsungwon young adults who served as chaperones. On this first full day of winter, it’s fitting to reflect on all of the fun we had as we look forward to another trip in 2015.

This reflection was written by Ms. Noh, one of the house mothers who has worked and lived at Samsungwon for over 30 years. We have translated and edited it to improve readability, but the original Korean text follows at the end.

KKOOM took the Samsungwon family to California Beach in August 2014

KKOOM took the Samsungwon family to California Beach in August 2014


Dear KKOOM Supporters!

First of all, thank you for sharing with our Samsungwon children dreams and love through your efforts.

The financial support you’ve given our colleges students has been a huge help, and we’re enjoying the furniture you’ve provided us as well.

One of the Samsungwon children relaxes at California Beach

One of the Samsungwon children relaxes at California Beach

Additionally, we are thankful for your sending us to California Beach in Gyeongju, South Korea on August 11, 2014. Last year was our first time going, and we had a hard time even finding the cafeteria then. This year, however, we all knew where we were going, and the kids had a good time going where they wanted and playing happily.

The preschool and elementary school children played in the shallow wave pool and rode the slides. The older kids had fun on the really high slides, river boat roller coaster, and ocean wave tube ride.

Through this experience, I observed how our children could learn how to react in new situations. This whole day was an experience that we would have never been able to give the kids without KKOOM’s support. So I want to express my gratitude one more time. Because of KKOOM, our children have been richly blessed.

I hope that you would also be blessed. Thank you.

Samsungwon kids at California Beach

Samsungwon kids at California Beach

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:45 am
Dec 222014
 
A girl plays a ring toss game

A girl plays a ring toss game

9. Monday, December 22, 2014 – Annual KKOOM Christmas Party

On Saturday, December 20th, we had our annual KKOOM Christmas Party at Samsungwon, the orphanage (or children’s home, as we often call it) in Gumi, South Korea. If you have been reading the previous blog posts, you know that we do various kinds of work at Samsungwon, but the annual highlight for many of the kids is the Christmas party. One of the elementary school girls posted on her social media profile, “Can’t wait for Saturday at 3:00 pm! It’s going to be so fun!”

This year, several new children arrived at Samsungwon. Some came because a parent passed away; some because a parent abused them; some for entirely different reasons. In any event, these children, especially, were in need of better, positive memories to wrap up this 2014.

I can’t say that a Christmas party will take away the hurt and dry away the tears, but I can say — because I’ve seen it with my own eyes and felt them well up with gratitude — that this annual event is more than just a happy, temporary distraction. It’s something the kids look forward to, anxiously awaiting, as if the party was, itself, the arrival of Santa Claus (Santa does come to the party, by the way).

Last year, actually, we had a quieter, less elaborate Christmas event with the kids. We were somewhat lacking volunteers and time, so we just organized a gift drive and brought the kids their presents and some fried chicken. To us, it was still a good day, and the kids really did enjoy getting their presents. But one of the high school boys, who I’ve known since he was 6, called our quieter version “a sad party.” More than disappointed, I was surprised to hear that. I always thought the older the kids got, the less and less they enjoyed the somewhat childish games and activities we had them do, like pin the tail on the reindeer and singing English Christmas carols.

KKOOM President, Aimee Jachym, presides over the Christmas Party closing ceremony.

KKOOM President, Aimee Jachym, presides over the Christmas Party closing ceremony.

In any event, this year, even though our volunteer base has changed a lot over the years in Gumi, we endeavored NOT to have “a sad party” and, rather, to have a real full-blown day of fun like years past. Some of our 12 Days of KKOOM guest bloggers were instrumental in putting together this years’ event. Anna Orr organized the gift drive, taking care of receiving gifts purchased by volunteers and donors throughout South Korea and around the world. Marissa Segura (Anthony’s wife) handled the party activity logistics, creating from scratch games like “reindeer ring toss” and “pin the nose on Olaf the Snowman” and planning arts and crafts activities and snacks for the 70 kids and 12 volunteers. Without them, the event would have been impossible.

The party began with activity stations in the afternoon. The kids traveled from station to station in their houses (designated family units), spending 20 minutes at each stop, enjoying games, winning prizes, getting their faces printed, eating snacks, and doing arts and crafts. It’s always heart-warming to see the older kids take care of their younger house brothers and sisters, letting them win at games on purpose, and helping them complete challenging tasks, such as writing Christmas cards.

After a couple of hours of activities, we all had dinner together. With KKOOM support, because of readers like you, we purchased ingredients for a special meal, which consisted of carbonara spaghetti, salad, sandwiches, fruit, and rice wraps stuffed with beef and vegetables. And of course, there were ice cream sundaes for dessert, which the staff told me I had institutionalized as an annual tradition (true, I suppose) and which they were unwilling to give up. The Samsungwon staff spent all day, literally, preparing for dinner. To give them time to do this, KKOOM also bought the kids a special treat for lunch: hamburgers and fries. As they should, the Samsungwon staff doesn’t think fast food is very healthy for the kids, so the kids don’t get to eat it very often. They were pretty excited.

Each house dressed up one of their own as a Christmas present.

Each house dressed up one of their own as a Christmas present.

After dinner, the kids completed their last activity with their housemates. They had to dress up one fellow child as a Christmas present, using foil, a roll of wrapping paper, and any recycled materials they could find. The end results are best described with a picture (as you can see).

A little after 7:00pm, everyone gathered, and we had a closing ceremony. The kids showed off their Christmas present costumes, and judges gave each house a score based on creativity, following directions, and overall concept. We awarded prizes — the favorite, and first place, prize was cup ramen. If you’ve eaten Korean ramen, then perhaps you understand… Korean kids love ramen noodles. Anyway, the children also performed some dances for the entertainment of the volunteers and their fellow house members.

Finally, everyone’s long awaited moment arrived and the children received their presents. They were asked about a month ago what they’d like for Christmas, and each wish list was given to a shopper. Shoppers used their own money or money donated to KKOOM from others to go fulfill the child’s wish list. The presents were wrapped in colorful gift bags, and as we called up each child one-by-one, it was a joy to see their faces change from expectation to elation–at least I think that’s what the beaming smiles meant.

As KKOOM’s co-founder and president, of course I’m biased, but what confirms this  for me are the kids who posted pictures of what they received on social media, showing off their new stuff and bragging to their non-orphanage friends. The girls in my house, where I stay when I visit Samsungwon, were so full of energy that they wouldn’t go to sleep at night. I, however, was exhausted, so I fell asleep to the sounds of their giggles and spirited conversation.

The next morning, I was moved by one of the house mom’s comments. Two of her boys arrived to Samsungwon earlier this year: unrelated, but they’re both in elementary school and both from broken homes. She said yesterday (at the party) was the first time, since they arrived months ago, that she’s seen them laugh with joy, the first time she’s seen how beautiful their smiles are.

That really reminded me why we do this work. Yes, education is important, and KKOOM endeavors to do a lot of good sending kids to preschool, helping kids learn English, and supporting them through college. But what I’m reminded of this season is, that fleeting things, like a day of Christmas activities, are where memories are made, where a year of bad things for some of these kids, for a moment, turn into a smile, a hug, or a hope–and these are the fundamental rights of every child.

For me, it’s a joy, pleasure, and honor to continue to serve as KKOOM’s president and help facilitate this important work. But you, our supporters, and the ones who make it truly possible. Thank you. ~ Aimee Jachym

Samsungwon kids with their presents

Samsungwon kids with their presents

 Posted by at 3:50 pm

12 Days of KKOOM – Day 8. English teacher meets her students at Samsungwon

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Dec 212014
 
Anna (left) and another volunteer organize Christmas presents at Samsungwon

Anna (left) and another volunteer organize Christmas presents at Samsungwon

8. Sunday, December 21, 2014 – English teacher meets her students at Samsungwon

Today’s post is by Anna Orr, who lives in Gumi, South Korea, and hails from Illinois, USA.  She shares how she started volunteering at Samsungwon, an orphanage in Gumi, and what drew her back from regular visits — her former students!


I got involved with Samsungwon two years ago, when I signed up to help out at the 2012 Christmas party, but I’ve known a lot of the children there for much longer. Way back in 2009, when I first arrived in South Korea, I was placed at the Gumi elementary school that most of the Samsungwon children attend. Although my Korean coworkers would occasionally mention that some of my eight-hundred-plus students lived in an orphanage, I didn’t really know who any of them were.

By the time I saw the Facebook post asking for Samsungwon Christmas party volunteers, I had already transferred to a different school. I was aware that this was where some of my old elementary school students lived, though, and so the closer the day of the Christmas party got, the more I found myself second-guessing my decision to volunteer. What if my being there made the students feel awkward or embarrassed? What if I didn’t recognize them and upset them?

In the end I decided to go anyway, and as it turned out I shouldn’t have worried. Throughout the day, all I heard was surprised children yelling “Anna Teacher!” My old students were fine with me being there and were happy to see me – and to my relief, I recognized and remembered every single one of them.

A child dresses up as a Christmas present at the Samsungwon party yesterday

A child dresses up as a Christmas present at the Samsungwon party yesterday

For the past two years, I’ve become a regular volunteer at Samsungwon, visiting on Sundays and organizing two Christmas gift drives. I’ve watched my old students grow from elementary schoolers to young adults in middle school and high school. Despite the fact that they’re teenagers and like all teenagers everywhere have better things to do than sit and talk to adults,
they still run up to me and chat with me in a mix of English, Korean, and improvised sign language. I’ve heard fretting about English tests, questions about grammar, wardrobe critiques, makeup advice, endless jokes about whether or not I have a boyfriend, anxiety about applying for jobs or college, and recaps of quarrels with friends. I’ve had my nails done. I’ve even heard lectures about soccer rules and how I’m not following them.

Yesterday was the 2014 Christmas party. Rather than turning up a little worried and not sure what to expect, I walked in juggling an armful of gifts and shopping lists while some of the younger children trailed after me and tried to peek inside the packages. Over the course of the day I must have seen at least a dozen old students taking pictures, playing games, opening presents, and herding the little children to different activities. I still heard plenty of “Anna Teacher!”, but none of them were surprised to see me there this time.

If you had told me in 2009 that five years later I would be wearing a Santa hat and taking selfies with some of my old students – as they prepare to go to college, no less – I’m not sure I would have believed you. The fact that I have the chance to do things like that, and that I’ve become a small part of the older Samsungwon children’s lives, has been the best part of volunteering here.


Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about the Christmas party at Samsungwon…

 Posted by at 6:55 am
Dec 202014
 
Hyedong (left) grew up in an orphanage and now has a successful career in overseas sales for a large Korean company. His fiancée is on the left. They're getting married next year.

Hyedong (left) grew up in an orphanage and now has a successful career in overseas sales for a large Korean company. His fiancée is on the right. They’re getting married next year.

7. Saturday, December 20, 2014  – Growing up in a Korean orphanage.

People often ask us, “What happens to the children in Korean orphanages after they grow up?” “Are they able to find jobs?” “Can they get married?”

Just like it’s impossible to predict the average child’s outcome at birth, it’s difficult, at best, to characterize the thousands of children living in Korea’s orphanages today. Each situation is unique, and yet, people are often surprised when they hear us talk about the very successful young adults, who have grown up in Korean orphanages, and whom we’ve had the opportunity to meet and help.

We can’t take any credit for their success; these are very motivated and talented individuals who have risen above their troubled beginnings, often without a lot of support or resources. We all love these stories, and we need more of them.

We’re honored to share Hyedong’s first person reflection on growing up in a Korean orphanage and who he’s become. We need more Hyedongs in this world.


Hello. I’m Hyedong (Alex). I am currently working in the overseas sales department of LSIS (formerly part of the giant Korean company, LG). It’s been already 2 years since I joined this company.

Actually, I majored in electrical engineering, but one reason why I could apply for a position in the overseas sales division was because of your (KKOOM) sincere support and love. I met Aimee, who is the co-founder of this organization, many years ago when I was living in Samsungwon (orphanage in Gumi).

I’m now about 26 years old (international age) and lived at Samsungwon until I graduated from university. I still remember that I was very shy in speaking English with native speakers who volunteered to help me, through Aimee’s introduction. At that time [around 2005], I had just entered university. If I didn’t get that lucky opportunity, I couldn’t even imagine that I would work now with many non-Koreans, even though I still struggle with English.

Let me tell you my short life story begining with my childhood. I got to Samsungwon with my two older brothers when I was 4. I think I was a pretty naughty boy and made the orphanage a mess every day. When I was young, I complained a lot about my circumstances, especially when I had to tell my family situation to others.

I also didn’t really appreciate being loved and given many things such as scholarships, gifts, free private Academy lessons, and tutoring from volunteers, etc. I wasn’t a big fan of studying, but as I knew many people around me had been praying and supporting me continuously, I couldn’t really give up studying as my role and responsibility as a student.

Anyway, I had good grades at university, but I don’t think I achieved it only by myself. I think it was a part of God’s plan. I believe God led me this way, and he tells me that I need to return the favor and love in my lifetime.

I do have a dream to definitely accomplish, which is build a scholarship foundation so that I can at least share the many benefits that I received. I sometimes forget this huge favor and pretend that I got here only with my talent and ability. Yet, I know how ridiculous and silly I am.

I think I got off track, but what I really want to tell you is: thank you very much. Thank you for everything that you have given to us.

I’m going to get married to my beautiful fiancee next year on February 28th. I can’t wait for it to come. LOL. I hope all of my younger brothers, sisters and friends who I met at Samsungwon will have a loving family in the near future, as I’m looking forward to starting.

In the end, I appreciate that you read my story. Thank you.


Note: We edited Hyedong’s post with his permission to improve the ease of reading for our English language audience. However, these are his own personal thoughts and views, which do not necessarily reflect the opinions of KKOOM.

Hydeong (left) and his fiancée. They're getting married next year.

Hydeong (left) and his fiancée. They’re getting married next year.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

12 Days of KKOOM – Day 6. A Korean adoptee visits with KKOOM

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Dec 192014
 

6. December 19, 2014 ~ A Korean adoptee visits with KKOOM

Kara Waggonner is a Korean American adoptee who grew up in Michigan, USA. She’s currently teaching English at a women’s university in Seoul. She recently had the opportunity to visit two of the orphanage homes KKOOM works in. These are her thoughts on her experience.


Kara Waggonner with one of the toddlers

Kara Waggonner with one of the toddlers

I met Aimee (KKOOM President) back in 2004 during her senior year of college through a mutual friend.  I was immediately struck by how much she showed a passion for our homeland, like I did.  Within a few years, she started KKOOM and I was eager to help out in any way I could.  Being a Korean adoptee myself, I definitely believe in paying it forward.

When I visited Samsungwon and Emmanuel Children’s Home this past November,  I was immediately blown away by how kind the staff was and how receptive the kids were–and the other volunteers!  Many of the volunteers who were there when I arrived came to Samsungwon every Sunday.  What dedication! 

I fell in love with two young ladies in particular who took an immediate liking to me.  We spent the whole night just talking, taking selfies (and filtering them!), and drawing, along with lots of cuddles.  They reminded me of some of the students I taught at a private academy in Korea.  These two inquisitive young girls will be my motivation to improve my Korean, because I’d love to be able to communicate with them more.

Kara1

A selfie of Kara with two of the girls she met

The next day we went to Emmanuel Children’s Home.  Once again we were met by such an incredibly kind staff.  Then we met the toddlers.  I forgot how much energy it takes to care for one toddler, let alone a roomful of them.  It was so much fun playing with them and chasing around after them- I definitely got my exercise for the day!  Then came nap time.  Oh wow.  We would put all of them in their cribs and they would just crawl out!  On top of the cribs, under the cribs, behind the cribs, running out of the room!  It was frustrating at the time, but what a hilarious sight.

Many thanks to KKOOM for allowing me to volunteer and to the warm staff at Samsungwon and Emmanuel.  And of course, thanks to the children at both places.  You have inspired me to live life fully, give kindly, and laugh often.  I can’t wait to visit all of you again.

 Posted by at 8:00 am