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Improving the Lives of Korean Youth Through Outreach and Education

[Day #7] Looking Beyond Joy

Christmas party for the Aemangwon children in 2018

As a child, I remember waiting for December with great anticipation. I could not wait to listen to Christmas music. I looked forward to seeing the Nutcracker with my parents. I counted down the days to bake and decorate cookies. I was especially impatient for Christmas Day to arrive so I could open presents with my family. 

Regardless of belief or geographical location, the joy of Christmas is something shared around the world. Which is perhaps why, in its humble beginnings, KKOOM started one of its longest traditions: hosting Christmas parties for children’s homes in Korea. There is truly something magical about spreading cheer on children’s faces and participating in long-awaited Christmas activities. 

While bringing joy to children is something KKOOM works towards, throughout the years KKOOM has brought much more than joy to Korean children. KKOOM’s programs now allocate donated funds to help provide children with basic necessities, access to education, as well as opportunities to participate in meaningful experiences (soccer camps, trips to Seoul, holiday parties, etc.). As KKOOM’s impact continues to grow, and its outreach expands to more children’s homes in Korea, it is clear that KKOOM’s mission and pillars are changing in a positive way. At its heart, the focus on Korean children remains; however, the support provided to Korean children expands beyond holiday celebrations and educational funding. Therefore, as this year comes to a close, KKOOM’s board will continue to update its mission statement and identify the pillars that guide the organization. 

KKOOM’s Christmas party for the Aemangwon children in 2019. One of the children had to carried out by a KKOOM volunteer.

One thing KKOOM hopes to do in the new year is provide children at Aemangwon (a home that serves children with cognitive and physical differences) with mobility equipment. As a KKOOM board member and special educator, I look forward to working with my fellow board members to make this hope a reality. 

-Laura Wilczek, KKOOM Board of Directors

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