Welcome to our 12 Days of KKOOM! It’s an annual tradition to share blog posts leading up to Christmas Day that share how we impact Korean children every year. You will hear testimonials from volunteers and Board members, and unique ways your generosity helps fund scholarships and outreach activities to better the lives of Korean at-risk youth.
The holiday season is a busy time for KKOOM as we provide Christmas cheer to over 150 children every year at Korean children’s homes. This year, we will provide three Christmas parties for children’s homes in Daegu, Gumi, and Gimcheon, impacting the lives of 166 children.
December 14th kicks off the first of three parties for 56 children at Samsungwon. This year’s party was special celebrating the 15th year of providing Christmas presents, joy, and positive memories for children, ages ranging from 3 years old to college young adults. With thirty-four volunteers, it allowed the party to be more intimate having the students split into two groups, doing an assortment of games / activities or decorating cookies together.
Upstairs, you would find the boys playing card games with volunteers from the Fulbright Korea program, getting their face painted, taking silly photos with a Polaroid camera, or making cards for their house mothers. The girls meticulously made beautiful cookies which were shaped into a Santa Claus, Christmas tree, or circle ornament. The children enjoyed a Korean BBQ dinner, with older siblings watching their younger brothers or sisters, and had positive conversations with our volunteers.
There was a fierce competition of making gingerbread houses within their houses. There are about 7 to 9 children who live in a house together, or an apartment with two bedrooms, bunk bed style, kitchen, bathroom, and play area / study room. The children had 50 minutes to build a gingerbread house from a milk carton, with icing and an assortment of candies from marshmallows to kit kat bars, mini M&M’s, gum drops, twizzlers, and more. From the photos, you can tell how creative the children are!
Before opening presents, the children shared their talents through dance and musical performances. Afterwards, it was the moment the children were waiting for all evening – opening presents! Santa Claus came to surprise them and gave each child a gift from their wish list. We had amazing Santa Shoppers all across South Korea from Seoul to Mokpo who provided each child with the gift they wanted.
This Christmas party is something KKOOM and the children look forward to every year. The children are truly grateful for each of you for giving in small and big ways to make Christmas possible at Samsungwon. KKOOM is still trying to fund 18 Christmas gifts for children with physical and cognitive challenges, while also providing their Christmas luncheon. We invite you to #ShineWithKKOOM this holiday season by making a difference in a Korean child’s life!
Wishing you cheer and joy,
Grace Lee, Chief Administrator