May 5 was Children’s Day in Korea, and this holiday is widely celebrated by families throughout the country. Government offices and schools are closed, as are most companies. Children look forward to receiving presents and spending time with their families on this day. Kids at orphanages, however, often don’t have the same experience. For many, it’s just another boring day on which they stay at the orphanage without any special acknowledgement of the holiday.
For the last few years, KKOOM has tried to make Children’s Day special for the 62 kids at Samsungwon Children’s Home in Gumi, South Korea such as by providing special treats like pizza and fried chicken and also small gifts.
This year, we enlisted the help of Ms. Kyung Jo Noh, who recently retired from Samsungwon after more than 30 years of service as a house mother. We asked the children what present they would like to receive and gave the wish lists and approx. $900 USD to Ms. Noh to purchase the presents. Over the course of several days, she went shopping for all of the presents, checking the wish lists twice, thrice and many times over. We are extremely grateful for her time, care and effort, as we couldn’t have done this without her. We asked Ms. Noh to share her experiences with our readers, and what follows is her own reflection. We hope you enjoy it!
Guest Post by Ms. Kyung Jo NOH (translated and edited by KKOOM)
First, thank you to KKOOM for making it possible to provide Children’s Day presents for the children at Samsungwon. After receiving the children’s wish lists and funds to purchase the presents, I was extremely happy and also a little worried about how I would fulfill all the wish lists.
After sorting the children’s requests by item type and store, I went to a big box store with a few Samsungwon staff members, and we were able to buy many of the boys’ gifts such as toys, clothing and sports equipment. The next day, I bought most of the girls’ presents, which were mostly cosmetics and also phone cases and small purses. The girls wanted a variety of cosmetics from several different stores, so I was worried about how to handle this. I went downtown with a friend from church, and an employee at one one of the cosmetic stores helped us locate all of the other stores. It ended up being easier than I expected.
I also wrapped all of the kids’ gifts and finished fulfilling the wish lists with Aimee, KKOOM President, on the third day.
The day before Children’s Day which was on May 5, I went with Aimee to deliver the presents to Samsungwon. We gave the presents for the children to each house mother, and I could see that all of the mothers were really pleased. As I was shopping for all of the gifts over several days, I kept thinking about how happy the kids would be to get the present they had asked for, and this was really rewarding for me. I sincerely had a good time, as I wrapped the presents and wrote each child’s name on his or her present.
It was also wonderful to see the children’s happy expressions in the pictures after they received their presents. I would sincerely like to thank KKOOM for making it possible to give the Samsungwon children these joyful presents. May KKOOM continue to flourish. Thank you.
[Original Text] 먼저 삼성원 아이들의 어린이날 선물을 준비하게 도와주신 꿈 단체에 감사를 드립니다. 저는 62명의 선물금과 아이들의 선물리스트를 받고 한편으로는 아주 기쁘고 한편으로는 어떻게 해야 할지 약간의 걱정도 되었습니다.
전체리스트를 다시 선물의 종류별, 가게별로 만들고, 첫째 날에는 마트에서 주로 남학생들의 선물(장난감, 옷, 체육용품등)을 삼성원 엄마들의 도움을 받아 조금 쉽게 구입하였습니다. 둘째 날에는 거의 여학생들의 선물(화장품, 폰 케이스, 작은 가방 등)을 준비하여야 했습니다. 대부분의 선물이 화장품이었는데 종류도 많고 가게이름도 많아서 염려가 되었습니다. 내가 아는 사모님과 함께 시내로 갔고, 시내의 한 화장품가게에서 다른 화장품가게의 이름을 물었더니 잘 알려주셔서 의외로 쉽게 구입하게 되었습니다.
그리고 아이들의 선물을 개별로 포장을 하고 개별로 이름도 적어놓았습니다. 마지막 날 아이들에게 같은 금액으로의 선물을 주기위해 개인적으로 조금씩 남은 선물금으로 에이미선생님과 함께 과자를 구입하여 본인들의 선물포장에 넣었습니다.
준비를 다 하고 4일 삼성원으로 선물을 전달하러 에이미선생님과 삼성원에 갔을 때, 각 집의 엄마들이 아이들의 선물을 받고 너무나 기뻐하는 모습이 보기에 좋았습니다. 개인 개인이 원하는 선물의 리스트대로 모두 준비를 하면서 아이들이 선물을 받고 기뻐할 모습을 생각하니 힘든 것도 즐거움이 되었고, 아이들의 선물을 포장을 하고 이름을 쓰고 하는 것이 나에게는 진정한 기쁨의 시간이었다. 또한 아이들이 선물을 받고 좋아하는 모습의 사진을 보니 더욱더 나에게는 큰 기쁨이 되었다. 삼성원아이들에게 기쁨의 선물을 준비하게 하신 꿈 단체에 진심으로 감사를 드립니다. 꿈 단체가 진심으로 번창하기를 바랍니다. 감사합니다.