It’s been an honor and privilege to lead KKOOM for over 10 years. As its co-founder and president, it’s not surprise that, for the past decade, KKOOM’s story has closely intertwined with my own. A few months ago, I was asked to write an introduction for Emmanuel Children’s Home’s semiannual newsletter, which is published in Korean and distributed to Emmanuel’s volunteers and supporters. I’ll take the opportunity to share what I wrote below. I think it will give you a glimpse into my heart and my heart for the orphans we serve with the help of your gifts. May you all have a wonderful year-end holiday season celebrating traditions of new and old. Thank you for all you do for KKOOM! ~~ All my best, Aimee Jachym
Coming Full Circle By Helping Children. I don’t remember it being cold then, but it was the middle of winter, so it must have been. What I remember most is the warmness of the children and the loving staff at Emmanuel Children’s Home. It was February 2011, and I came to visit Emmanuel for a week, spending time with the children, helping with their English homework and trying to better understand their needs. This was the beginning of many new relationships for me, filled with love, laughter, and many life lessons. Through the years, the children and staff at Emmanuel have poured their hearts and lives into mine, and I hope that, in some small, way I have been able to give something back to them as well.
In 2007, I founded an American nonprofit organization, Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission, which is abbreviated, “KKOOM” or 꿈. The mission of KKOOM is to help improve the lives of children living in Korean children’s homes through volunteer outreach and educational opportunities. Since 2011, KKOOM has provided financial assistance and volunteer programming at Emmanuel. While KKOOM was established to help others, I must admit that in many ways, I have been the primary beneficiary of our work.
You see, I, like some of my friends at Emmanuel, was orphaned as an infant. I was born in Daegu and abandoned in front of someone’s house when I was about a week old. I was taken to a nearby police station and then to a local orphanage for babies. From there, I was adopted to a family in the United States and grew up surrounded by love and blessed with opportunities. But, I had a void. I didn’t know about Korea; I didn’t know my heritage; I didn’t know about the blood in my veins.
Coming back to Korea and establishing KKOOM gave me the opportunity to reconnect with my motherland, and with my family of brothers and sisters at Emmanuel and other children’s homes throughout Korea. Although KKOOM provides support and encouragement to them, these children provide so much more to me. They inspire and challenge me. They make me smile. They remind me of the hope that is our future.
I pray that all might find the same inspiration in and through the lives of these precious children, our friends at Emmanuel Children’s Home. As you continue to help them, may your lives be richly blessed; and as you are blessed, may you continue being a blessing for others.