By Stephen SatkowskiDecember 4, 2013
Volunteers from the Far East District joined members of the Seoul Jung-gu Saemaul Women's Club to make kimchi for the area's needy and elderly families Nov. 27.
The annual event, held at the Jung-gu district office just outside the district's compound, distributed five tons of kimchi to more than 550 needy and elderly families in the Jung-gu area.
Participants used more than 2,500 heads of cabbage to make the kimchi, a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. Master Sgt. Thomas D. Burns, a Far East District signal support systems specialist, was grateful for the opportunity to help.
"When you are doing something for others the feeling of accomplishment is great. This is what makes communities strong. When we help each other out life is better for everyone," said Burns.
About a dozen volunteers, including Col. Bryan S. Green, district engineer and commander, and Julie A. D'annunzio, deputy commander, joined Jung-gu District Mayor Choi Chang-sik during the event. Choi was delighted to see members of the district help provide a valuable meal to so many in need this winter.
"I especially want to thank soldiers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for helping. I believe that because they helped out today the elderly and needy will have a hearty winter," said Choi. "The efforts you have made to make this kimchi will add more flavoring to it, making it taste even better [and] bringing joy to the elderly and needy."
Richard Cruikshank, district safety and occupational health specialist, said the event gave him insight into the Korean culture and he hopes to participate in many more such events.
"I have traveled all over the world and have learned that you must immerse yourself in the culture to fully experience a new country," said Cruikshank. "I believe events like this one give people an opportunity to experience real Korean culture. Also, the kimchi was going to help feed people that were in need. I only wish we had more opportunities to help."
District volunteers have come out to support the kimchi making every year since 2008.