CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea (Dec. 23, 2021) – More than 300 children received holiday gifts from the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Religious Support Office Dec. 20 to 22.
The Humphreys RSO hosted Operation Happy Holidays, a program to give gifts to military and South Korean children and to enhance community relationships.
The RSO set up holiday trees at four chapels across the installation. All units on Camp Humphreys provided names, ages, and genders of children to be added to angel ornaments that hung on the trees. Two hundred and fifty angels hung on the holiday trees at the end of November. Members of the Humphreys community adopted these angel ornaments and donated a gift for each child.
"Children are our hope and future. I hope to see a lot of children smiling as they receive the holiday gifts. Thanks to our chapel community sharing their gratitude, love, care, courage, and hope to our military children and needy children in the host nation,” said Chaplain (Col.) Charlie Lee, the garrison chaplain.
The sponsoring Unit Ministry Teams picked up the holiday gifts from the RSO and distributed them to Soldiers for their children.
Due to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in South Korea, the planned ruck march to the local Children Wellness Centers was canceled. However, the RSO dropped off the holiday gifts for 58 children at both Paengsung and Dream Tree Children Wellness Centers.
“We are so excited that the RSO supported and provided the holiday gifts for our children. This is the first time we receive the holiday gifts from the U.S. Army,” said Cho In-sook, the director of Dream Tree Children Wellness Center. “We are also excited for our children to receive these gifts. This means a lot to me, personally, and our staff. I appreciate the RSO preparing and providing these warmest gifts.”
Over 300 holiday gift donors and nine volunteers to wrap gifts participated in Operation Happy Holidays. It was an opportunity for the Camp Humphreys community to have a positive impact on military and South Korean children.
The Humphreys RSO worked hard to start this new program and to ensure it is sustainable for the future. They plan to make Operation Happy Holidays an annual event to continue to take care of military children and needy children in the local Korean community every year.