Korea Kids

For volunteers and allies of the Daejeon Salvation Army Children's Home


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Thanks, Mr. Moon!

Posted by Marissa on February 20, 2011 at 12:11 AM Comments comments (0)

A big Thanks to the CSHS computer teacher Kwang-sik Moon, who helped me navigate through Korean tech sites and evaluate computers, monitors, and warrantees.  We're on track to buy those computers as soon as the donations are cleared through KKOOM!

Mr. Moon is going to help us install an OS and some basic word processing and spreadsheet programs the kids will need for schoolwork.

We found an HP computer and 오리온 monitor that are within our budget.  I can't wait to post pictures when they're delivered and ready for the kids!

Websites About the PC Project

Posted by Marissa on January 3, 2011 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Zack Langway put in quite a bit of time this weekend teaching me about the social media tools that are available to non-profit organizations.  Here are the websites that we chose to help us accept donations for the PC Project.  Check those pages out to see how the fundraising is going in real time, and for bonus photos of the kids!

Crowdrise (PC Project Page) 

Causes (PC Project Page) 

Donations directly through KKOOM

Added together, donations from those 3 sources bring us to an incredibly exciting grand total of $860, or 57% of our goal! 

Check back here or on the crowdrise page for updated information about the PC Project's progress.

Thanks for the Support!

Posted by Marissa on January 2, 2011 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

A big "thank you!" to friends, family, and even strangers who have donated to support this cause. With some volunteered time and help from my friend Zack, social media master that he is, we've been able to get the word out about this project, and the response has been extraordinary.

Thanks so much to the following people, who have donated in the last 3 days:

Matt Meeda

Christy Brooks

Susan Har

Jevera Hennessey

Grace Jung

Jeremy Kaye

Zack Langway

Joshua Leight

Ayla Schlosser

Louisa Sullivan

Rob Warner

Stephan Wollenburg

Thanks to you, we're much closer to our goal of buying 3 computers for the orphanage.

Thanks, Chris!

Posted by Marissa on December 21, 2010 at 9:12 PM Comments comments (0)

If you're coming here from the Greenwich Time article or Chris Fountain's blog, welcome, and thanks for checking us out!  Click on the links at the top of the page to see photos of the kids and orphanage, to read about the work that volunteers do here, and "donate" page to learn about the projects we've got going on right now.

First Impressions

Posted by Esther Kim on December 21, 2010 at 8:46 PM Comments comments (0)

About two weeks ago, I visited Daejeon’s Children Home for the first time with my friends and fellow ETAs Dara and Sonja. This being my first time volunteering at an orphanage, I didn’t really know what to expect. However, from the moment we stepped inside, we were welcomed with open arms. As we waited to speak to the director, the people who worked there even served us dinner upstairs where the children also eat. We met the director of the orphanage who was so kind and provided us with a lot of information on the children and the orphanage itself. Although there is a language barrier, we were able to communicate well, and I think our first trip there for the semester was quite a success. We were able to ask a lot about the children’s family backgrounds and what we could do to help them out during our visits.


After discussing some of the logistics, we were given time to see and hang out with the children. The children instantly recognized Dara, who began to volunteer here last year in her first year teaching in Korea. The kids were so happy to see her as they screamed “Hi!” and jumped around to get her attention. I was also pleasantly surprised to see how sweet these children were. They treat visitors and the adults so well and are equally polite to each other. I know that we unfortunately don’t have the time to go and visit all the time, but I hope that our short visits really do bring them happiness. These children at the home truly are a family, and I hope our visits to the orphanage continue to make a positive impact in their lives.


Greenwich Time Article

Posted by Marissa on December 20, 2010 at 12:06 AM Comments comments (0)

My hometown newspaper, the Greenwich Time, just ran this story today.

In it, the reporter summarizes something I said during the interview:

"When she is not teaching, Kaye volunteers at an orphanage run by the Salvation Army, so she sees a deep divide."

I wish I had spent more time talking about that "deep divide," and about its effects on kids in Korea.

For example, take my homestay family last year.  Because she showed an aptitude for English, their eleven-year-old daughter studied in a private English immersion elementary school, studying three languages in addition to math, science, and literature, and coming home to hours of homework every night.   Both of their 2 children went to after-school academies for math and English, their son to study tae kwon do, their daughter to piano. And, of course, they invited a stranger into their home -- me -- to help tutor their children in English. Next year, their family is moving closer to Seoul so that their children can go to better schools.

This is not atypical.  Education for the children takes a huge part of a Korean family's resources.  Every single Korean family I know pays for their children to attend at least one after-school private academy.  And while  we volunteers can offer supplemental conversation classes to help close the gap , there's a lot more to be done.

Hey Internet Land!

Posted by jj silverstein on December 16, 2010 at 10:44 PM Comments comments (0)

Hey Internets!

I want to tell you about these awesome kids I met last night:

No, not these kids:


Nope, not these kids either:


No, not Mariah Carey:


Dudes, I'm not talking about any of those people. Those are other people. I'm talking about the kids over at DSACH (are we using that acronym? I don't think it's appropriate).

Last night was my first time visiting, and these kids were super awesome, and not just because they can draw way better cats than I can. I was especially impressed by the level of compassion and caring they show for each other. The older boys and girls are always looking out for, and constantly helping, the younger kids. 

Not only is there a strong big brother/sister vibe going on, but their is also an amazing amount of respect for peers. Having seen high school boys fight over scratch and sniff stickers, I was amazed at the calm curiosity and creativity of these super chill children. 

It couldn't have felt more natural and relaxed if I had been at home with my personal set of crayons during my daily drawing time.

Basically, Internet space-land, I can't wait to go back.

Super Duper,


Arts & Crafts with the Kids

Posted by Marissa on December 16, 2010 at 8:56 PM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday, JJ and I visited the orphanage and spent two hours with the kids. 

First, we checked in with the orphanage director, who gave us permission to share some pictures of the children with you.  I struggled a bit -- it's still difficult for me to communicate in Korean when I don't have another Korean-speaker who can translate for me if I stumble.   But she was, as always, very patient and warm, and she graciously agreed.

After that, we met with some of the young girls downstairs in the girls' area.  JJ and I had brought some paper, markers, pencils, and stickers with us, and the little girls wrote their names in Korean and English letters (with some help from the older girls).   I couldn't believe how polite they all were when they were drawing and decorating -- even in my high school classes, arts & crafts projects often devolve into squabbling over particular colors or supplies.  But here were a dozen elementary school girls, saying things like:

"Can I have the panda stickers?"

"Yes, how many?" 


"One, Two, Three, Four, Five. Here are five stickers."

I was suddenly really grateful for every morsel of Korean language I'd studied, so I could understand even a fraction of the cuteness taking place!

The kids were excited to show off the English they had learned in school, and several of them made Christmas cards when they were finished with their name pages. Ko Eun's card says "I love you" and "Merry Christmas"!

Then, we had dinner with the kids -- the kitchen staff prepared soup, kimchi, octopus in spicy sauce, and rice.  It's clear that the home cares about preparing nutritious traditional food.  The children say grace together, and everyone eats well, with the older children helping the younger ones.  The high school-aged girls each seemed to take turns with Ji Soo, the youngest baby at the home, feeding and cleaning her.  A few of the elementary school kids caught sight of JJ, whispering "미국 사람" ("American person") or "남자!" ("man!")

Project Progress, 12/14/10

Posted by Marissa on December 14, 2010 at 10:59 PM Comments comments (0)

Here's a chart that shows where we are. I will update the chart with a new entry when new donations are received. Fingers crossed!


New Beginnings

Posted by Marissa on December 14, 2010 at 9:46 PM Comments comments (0)

Big news - we've got a website!  This is the place to come for information about volunteering, supporting, and donating to the Daejeon Salvation Army Children's Home in Daejeon, South Korea.

The next thing we've got planned is going to visit the kids on Thursday.  We'll have dinner with them in the cafeteria and work on an arts-and-crafts project.  Also, they don't know this yet, but JJ and I are baking some Christmas cookies for the orphanage staff.   I hope they like them!