Making Dreams Happen – Spring 2017 Scholarship Recipients

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Jun 142017
 

Spring 2017 College Scholarship Recipients

During the spring 2017 semester, KKOOM was proud to provide college scholarships to four students in South Korea, all of whom grew up at Samsungwon, an orphanage in Gumi. We accepted 2 new college recipients and awarded scholarships to 2 continuing recipients. Every semester, we ask our recipients to provide a brief update on how they’re doing and what they hope to accomplish this semester and in the near future. Read below to see what they had to say.

Yeonhwa, 2nd year, at Yeungjin College, Major: Business Management. KKOOM is happy to continue supporting Yeonhwa’s academic studies as she hopes to start her own business in the future. During her vacation, she enjoyed company events at her full-time job such as New Year’s Party, employee workshops, and a picnic. In five years, Yeonhwa sees herself as a 27 year old with a stable life in a steady job, striving for a successful life. With KKOOM’s financial support, she has more opportunities to give back to those who are less fortunate and she is thankful for the support. She wants to live with a positive mind and more dignified life. Yeonhwa says “I love KKOOM supporters and stay healthy.”

Mingyu, 2nd year, at Gumi College, Major: Hospitality and Cooking. Mingyu hopes to become a chef or baker. KKOOM supported Mingyu during his 1st year in college. In his spare time and during his vacation, he practiced his baking skills. He is very optimistic about the future; even if there are setbacks, he wants to continue building up his career to pursue his dream. He really appreciates the help from KKOOM.

Min-yul, 1st year, at World Cyber University, Major: Pastoral Studies. Min-yul is a non-traditional student, who spent several years working in factories and small businesses after he aged out of Samsungwon. In 2015, thanks to KKOOM supporters, like you, he had the opportunity to travel to the US with a couple of other grown-up Samsungwon young adults. This travel experience helped inspire Min-yul to pursue a college degree. In his own words, Min-yul’s dream is to become a global praise minister who is following God’s will. His reason in choosing his major is to know the word of God more deeply. He is very happy when he sings praises to God. Through his studies, he wants to learn how to pray and learn more about the Bible. Min-yul’s hobbies are to sing worship songs and stay fit.

Yonghoon, 1st year, at World Cyber University, Major: Social Welfare. While living at Samsungwon Orphanage for 14 years, Yonghoon says his mother and brothers and sisters helped him a lot, even though his grades weren’t very good growing up. Since they took such good care of him, he wants to pursue a social worker license. His dream is to become a social worker, and he currently has three computer certifications. He is willing to learn new things, study hard, and listen to the professors’ lectures. He says with enthusiasm, “I would like to thank you for your support to me. I think it will help me a lot. I sincerely hope that my dreams will thrive.”

Links:

 Posted by at 9:17 am

12 Days of KKOOM – Day 12 – That’s a Wrap!

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Dec 262016
 
The kids at Samsungwon Orphanage in Gumi had a great time at the 2016 KKOOM Christmas Party

The kids at Samsungwon Orphanage in Gumi had a great time at the 2016 KKOOM Christmas Party

Well, it’s already Day 12 of our 12 Days of KKOOM blog series. We hope you’ve enjoyed all of the posts. Whether you’ve been a KKOOM supporter for years or just stumbled across this page today, we hope you can get a sense of how regular people, like you, help make life better for Korean orphans in a variety of ways throughout the year. We invite you to contact us to learn more about our work and encourage you to consider making a year-end donation so we can continue the things we wrote about for the past 12 days in 2017.

Before you go, please check out a video compilation of photos from our 2016 KKOOM Christmas Party at Samsungwon in Gumi, South Korea.

In case you missed any of the previous posts, here are direct links to go back and check them out.

Day 1 – Holiday Giving Kick-off
Day 2 – Summer Fun
Day 3 – Lucky to Be Where You Want to Be for The Holidays!
Day 4 – Samsungwon Christmas Party
Day 5 – Welcome Boost Program
Day 6 – Arts and Crafts Camp
Day 7 – Preschool Program
Day 8 – College Scholarship Program
Day 9 – Children’s Day in Korea
Day 10 – A Special Day with Special Children
Day 11 – Christmas Celebration with Emmanuel Children’s Home

Thank you! May you have a fabulous year-end and an even better 2017! See you in the New Year!

 Posted by at 5:46 am

12 Days of KKOOM – Day 11 – Christmas Celebration with Emmanuel Children’s Home

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Dec 252016
 

Christmas Celebration at Emmanuel Children's HomeKKOOM celebrated Christmas with the 93 children at Emmanuel Children’s Home in Gimcheon, South Korea this month by providing the opportunity for each child to buy a Christmas gift of their choosing at a local superstore. KKOOM gave each child a gift certificate, and the children went to the store with their house parents to pick out their presents. As you can see from the pictures, the children had a great time.

Additionally, on December 18, KKOOM Board members, Aimee Jachym and Bill Downey, joined the children’s weekly church service and then treated all of the children to a delicious duck barbecue lunch across the street from the children’s home for the third year in a row. The kids all enjoyed the meal, as they got to grill meat (which is always fun for them) and eat to their hearts content.

Emmanuel kids go shopping for their own presents with gift certificates from KKOOM

For us, it was a fun day and good to see all of the kids’ smiling faces and hear about their shopping excursion. We were glad to be able to bring a little holiday cheer to these 93 special kids, thanks to the generous support of KKOOM donors.

If you’d like to help us continue this work in 2017, please consider making a year-end donation by clicking the “donate” button at the top right of this screen. Thank you!

 Posted by at 7:46 am

12 Days of KKOOM – Day 10 – A Special Day with Special Children

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Dec 232016
 
Lunch with Children from Aemangwon, an orphanage for special needs children in Daegu, South Korea

Lunch with Children from Aemangwon, an orphanage for special needs children in Daegu, South Korea

Orphans with special needs are among the most wanting of attention and love this holiday season, and KKOOM was happy to be able to make today special for a few such children. Today we took six children from Aemangwon, an orphanage home for kids with special needs, in Daegu, South Korea to a nearby department store for an afternoon of lunch and shopping. We became connected with Aemangwon because of Minho, a child with special needs who lives there. You can read more about Minho in our previous blog posts here.

Except for Minho, who we also spent time with today, the children we took on this field trip today are wheelchair-bound and are rarely able to leave the orphanage home due to the challenge of transporting them in groups.  As such, they are home-schooled at the orphanage by teachers who come to teach classes, and they do not get to participate in field trips or other outings like “normal” children. For these children, an outing happens only two or three times a year and requires the assistance of one adult per child because the children do not have full control of their upper bodies to maneuver their own wheelchairs.

At the department store, we ate at a buffet restaurant, where the kids could eat as much of a variety of foods as they desired. For some, just getting to look at the variety of foods was a joy. You could tell that simply being in a restaurant and getting to do a “regular” activity like eat in public was novel and fun for these kids.

In addition to physical challenges, all of the children have varying degrees of speech difficulties, so communication was a little bit of a challenge at first. “Yes no” questions and body language, though, eventually worked just fine, and the kids quickly became eager to ask for refills of this and that and to try certain foods.

After a long leisurely lunch, we took the kids shopping for Christmas presents. One child wanted comic books, another wanted athletic shoes, another a jacket. One child couldn’t decide what he wanted — and is still thinking about it — so we promised to follow back up soon and get what he wants after he lets us know.

Today wasn’t an expensive day for us at KKOOM — we spent around $500 on this event — but for these children, we made memories that will last the whole year over. With your support, we will be able to make even more special memories for these wheelchair-bound kids at Aemangwon in 2017. We’ve already promised to return. If you’d like to make a year-end contribution to help fund our next visit, you can do so by clicking the “donate” button at the top right of this page. As always, thank you for your support!

 Posted by at 6:54 am

12 Days of KKOOM – Day 9 – Children’s Day in Korea

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Dec 222016
 
Kids at Samsungwon receive their presents on Children's Day, May 5, 2016

Kids at Samsungwon receive their presents on Children’s Day, May 5, 2016

Children’s Day is a national holiday in Korea on May 5, and kids and adults alike have the day off from school and work. Families spend time together and parents treat their children to special meals and presents to mark the day.

For children in orphanages, however, Children’s Day can be a sad reminder of the “typical” lives they don’t get to lead. At KKOOM, however, we try to help give these children “normal” experiences by celebrating holidays with them and providing personalized gifts that do not fit in the standard government-supported orphanage budget.

This year, we enlisted the help of a retired house mom who worked at an orphanage for more than 30 years to buy individual presents for each child at one orphanage on Children’s Day. The children submitted their wish lists, and like Santa Claus, the retired house mom meticulously went store to store and purchased gifts for each child. You can read more about Children’s Day and how we made that day special for kids, thanks to KKOOM supporters, in a previous post here.

If you’d like to help us continue to make lives a little more normal for kids in Korean orphanages, we invite you to make a year end contribution here on our website. Thank you for your support!

 Posted by at 6:24 am
Dec 212016
 
Some of the KKOOM College Scholarship Recipients since 2011

Some of the KKOOM College Scholarship Recipients since 2011

We started the KKOOM College Scholarship Program five years ago to help make going to college a little easier for Korean orphans. To date we have supported 14 students in their studies, and 12 have successfully either completed their degrees or are making good progress toward graduation.

The first student we supported in 2012, Jindong, is now set to graduate in the winter and will enter the workforce immediately next year. He landed a dream job in Seoul at SK, one of Korea’s largest and most admired companies. Competition for prized jobs is fierce among college seniors, so despite Jindong’s strong grades and outstanding credentials, the odds were not in his favor to get a job at a major company. Yet, he did very well on both the written examinations and in-person interviews and was actually offered two jobs — one at Samsung Card and one at SK. We are very proud of Jindong and all of his achievements and look forward to following his success as he enters the working world.

Other KKOOM college scholarship recipients are also doing well. One young adult owns her own hair salon. It is small but successful, and she enjoys being in charge of her own affairs and clients. Another is pursuing a managerial career at a national chain restaurant. Another former student is working at a Samsung Electronics customer service center, where he fixes broken cell phones that people bring in. Recently, another got married and is working as a nurse in a nearby town.

The paths the KKOOM college scholarship recipients have taken are certainly diverse, but they are overwhelmingly successful, especially in comparison to the average young adult who ages out of an orphanage home without a college education. By encouraging young adults to consider going to college and supporting their financial expenses, we hope that the current college students can serve as role models for their younger “brothers and sisters” who look up to them in the orphanage homes.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our College Scholarship Program, you can check out previous blog posts here. We hope you will consider supporting our work by making a year-end donation so that we can help even more students go to college. As always, we appreciate your support.

 Posted by at 6:54 am
Dec 142016
 


KKOOM’s Holiday Giving Campaign begins today with our first of twelve posts — the 12 Days of KKOOM. You can help by clicking the donate button (at the top right of this page) and making a US tax-deductible donation of any size!

The first $5,000 raised will go to purchase Christmas gifts for children in orphanage homes in Gumi and Gimcheon, South Korea and help put on holiday parties at both homes. (Many gifts will be purchased directly by generous volunteers in Korea, but several children’s gifts will be purchased with KKOOM funds.) Donations collected over and above our goal will go in our general fund so we can help kids all year long.

If you donate $35 or more before December 31, 2016, you will receive a picture of and a card from a child in whose honor your gift is given. We’ll also send pictures and cards to our regular monthly donors as well as anyone who signs up to give a recurring monthly gift of any size.

We’re so grateful that you’re interested in helping us improve the lives of Korean orphans, and over the next 12 days, we look forward to telling you more about our work and recapping our highlights from 2016. If you’re ready to support our work this holiday season, please donate now! If you have questions, please contact us at your convenience.

We’d also be appreciative if you took a minute to “like us” on Facebook or let your family and friends know what we are doing. Thank you so much for helping us make 2016 a brighter year for hundreds of kids living in Korean orphanages.

 Posted by at 8:36 am

12 Days of KKOOM: #12 Christmas Recap from KKOOM!

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Dec 252015
 
A child at an orphanage celebrates Christmas with KKOOM.

A child at an orphanage celebrates Christmas with KKOOM in Korea.

Merry Christmas from all of us at KKOOM and thank you for your support all year long! We are still resting and recovering from a wonderful week of Christmas events at orphanages in Korea, but on this 12th and final installment of our 12 Days of KKOOM, we wanted to share with you a video from our Christmas parties in Gumi and Gimcheon. Check it out below!

We’ll be back with you in the New Year to share more exciting developments and our plans for 2016!

 In case you missed any of our previous posts, here’s a full list of our 12 Days’ topics.

  1. Post-high School Young Adult Travel: Our Trip to America, part 1
  2. Our Trip to America, part 2
  3. Reflection from Board Member, Bill Downey: An Exciting Year with KKOOM
  4. Update from JD
  5. Jerusalem Ministry Camps
  6. Who is an orphan?
  7. Christmas Parties
  8. Levi’s Donation
  9. Preschool Program
  10. Flashback to 2004
  11. Merry Christmas from all of us at KKOOM!
  12. Christmas Recap

If you haven’t already done so, we invite you to consider making a year-end contribution to support our work with Korean orphans in 2016. You can make a US tax-deductible contribution by clicking the “donate” button on the top right. Thank you so much for your generosity and interest in our work!

 Posted by at 10:00 am

12 Days of KKOOM: #10 Flashback to 2004

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Dec 232015
 
The first pre-KKOOM Samsungwon gift drive with Samsungwon staff members and KKOOM co-founder, Aimee Jachym (third from right)

The first pre-KKOOM Samsungwon gift drive with Samsungwon staff members and KKOOM co-founder, Aimee Jachym (third from right),

For the first Samsungwon donation project in December 2004 we purchased socks, underwear, hats and gloves at Namdaemun Market in Seoul and delivered them to the home in Gumi. This project took place 3 years before KKOOM was officially founded in 2007.

 Posted by at 3:58 am