USAG HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District coordinated a donation drive for Sungyook Orphanage in celebration of Children’s Day, May 5. The donation drive was FED’s second community outreach effort for the orphanage, following their previous donation during the Chuseok holiday, Sept. 13. This year, volunteers from the District came together for 54 Korean children with personalized gifts chosen by each child.
Sungyook Orphanage, founded in March 1954, is home to 54 children, ranging from ages 2 to 18. It was established to care for orphans who were wandering the streets after losing their parents during the Korean War. The orphanage is still caring for children with love and integrity in accordance with the vision they set forth 68 years ago.
Maj. Bryan Henson, an FED contracting officer, participated in the donation drive, and volunteered to help deliver the items to the orphanage.
“As a father, I realize not every child has the same opportunities available and I understand parents may not have the ability to be there, due to an array of circumstances,” said Henson. “I don’t take my family for granted and I show my gratitude by assisting other children in need, when given the opportunity.”
Daniel Carlson, an FED mechanical engineer, participated in the donation drive and delivery because he and his wife have a deep connection to children who don’t have their parents.
“Orphans hold a special place in our hearts. Both of our families have a history of helping and supporting children in need,” said Carlson. “Growing up, my parents decided to open our home to foster care for around four to five kids, at different times, for a span of about four years, even while raising four kids of their own.
“My wife’s parents adopted her around 5 months old from Korea and proceeded to adopt two more girls; one from Korea and one from China. We both have a deep connection with orphans and children in need. We will always try to help where and when we can,” added Carlson.
The Carlsons are one of the many from the District who are eager for the day when the COVID-19 restrictions are completely lifted, so they can visit the orphanage and volunteer on a regular basis.
“The children were very happy to receive the gift they chose. We are immensely grateful for the District’s support in purchasing gifts tailored to each child’s preferences,” said Lee Hyun-gwi, Sungyook Orphanage manager.
“We hope that the District and the Sungyook Orphanage would further enhance our good relationship through various interactive programs in the future.”