Here is a reflection piece written by our Chief Administrator Grace Lee:
Everything has come full circle. In December 2015 I was a KKOOM volunteer at the Christmas parties at Samsungwon Orphanage and Emmanuel Children’s Home. I gathered Fulbright friends together to give back to the local orphan community, not knowing I would come back two years later as Chief Administrator planning it. Even with the changing of roles, the one thing that remained the same is seeing the true joy of the kids as they smiled through activity stations and waited in anticipation to receive their Christmas present.
Many of the volunteers asked how I got started working for KKOOM. After volunteering at the Christmas parties in 2015, I stayed in touch with Aimee because of Fulbright Korea shared experiences and saw her as a mentor. I also personally connected with her because at the time, she was in the process of adopting a special needs boy. And I have always had the heart to adopt one day in the future. In December 2016, I joined the Board and helped increase social media presence with consistent weekly posts and created our Instagram account.
In February of this year, I reached out to Aimee to get professional advice as I was looking into graduate school options. I expressed concern that I didn’t want to work full-time as a teacher while going to graduate school. On that very same call, I was asked if there was an interest to help KKOOM. We had no idea whether it would be full-time or part-time, when I would start, and whether the Board would approve me but I said one word unaware of what the future held: “Yes.” Three months later, I was hired full-time as Chief Administrator.
Being grateful is an understatement. The journey with KKOOM from volunteer to Board member to now being able to advocate for South Korean orphans every day has been a blessing. It’s touching to build relationships with donors who love and fight for our mission’s cause just as much as we do. Thank you to our donors, friends, Board members, and KKOOM’s President for entrusting me in this role. Looking forward to seeing what our community efforts can do to help support these kids on a daily basis.
-Grace Lee, Chief Administrator