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A Day of Volunteering, Years worth of discipline
Written by Jiewan Hong | Published. 2019.02.06 10:00 | Count : 2382
On January 14th, 2019, I experienced a life changing moment at the Eastern Social Welfare Society. The Eastern Social Welfare Society, also known as ESWS, is a Korean organization that strives to bring joyful lives to hundreds of relinquished babies currently within the care of ESWS. When I visited on that day, what I observed was absolutely heartbreaking. There were at least dozens of infants lying in little cribs, each baby lying right beside each other due to lack of space in the rooms; most of the babies were crying or sleeping. Some of the infants could not even open their eyes because they were born only a few weeks or months ago. Watching these babies in tight cribs and a noisy environment melted my heart as I watched them from afar crying for comfort. Unfortunately, my volunteering companion, Justin Suh, and I were not allowed to touch or hold the babies so we were transferred to a different area for our volunteer work. 
[Jiewan Hong’s mother caressing an infant at the Hongdae adoption center]
[Photo Credits: Jiewan Hong & Sponsorship Department of ESWS] 
We were led to the first floor of the facilities where we were given our first job. Apparently, the day we visited was the day when new supplies for the babies arrived such as baby handkerchiefs and diapers. There were massive loads of diaper packages resting on the first floor. Our job was to carry all the boxes up to the second floor. At first, Justin and I let out a distraught moan after looking at the overwhelming loads of boxes. It seemed like unnecessary labor that was forced upon us. However, I reminded myself that these diapers we were carrying up with our own hands were going to be worn by the infants we had seen upstairs. The idea that I was contributing to the infants’ improved lifestyles brought me enthusiasm and motivation to work even harder than before. After an hour or two of delivering the mountainous packages of diapers, my friend and I were completely soaked with sweat. However, this was not sweat due to frustration or anger. This was sweat of pride. We realized that our actions were a major contribution towards the well being of at least dozens of infants currently living in the confined facilities of the adoption agency. When we thought our job was all done, we were glad to hear that we had another task to accomplish. 
[Jiewan and Justin moving the diaper boxes up to the second floor]

[Photo Credits: ESWS Sponsorship Team]

We were to unfold at least hundreds of baby handkerchiefs that were delivered by donors and volunteers who had devoted their time to knit them. We organized the handkerchiefs into whether they were appropriately or inappropriately knitted for infants to use. We knew that this job required precision and caution. So we carefully unfolded the handkerchiefs one by one and cautiously inspected each of them to make sure there were no holes or sharp edges that could harm the babies. After a rigorous two hours of inspecting each handkerchief, my friend and I were able to successfully deliver the handkerchiefs to the ESWS organization.
[Jiewan Hong and Justin cautiously examining each handkerchief] 

[Photo Credits: ESWS Sponsorship Team] 

In the end, I have learned an important life lesson as I witnessed an unfamiliar area of life such as the poor babies who are currently living as minorities in the vastly growing world today. All this time, I believed that the well being of my family was the priority of my life. However, through this single day of volunteering for a cause other than my own, I realized the true value of selflessness, a lesson that I would cherish for years to come. 




Jiewan Hong
11th grade  
Asia Pacific International School

Jiewan Hong  student_reporter@dherald.com

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  • 유현영 2019-02-19 13:30:59

    학생기자로는 매우 뜻있는 보육기관 봉사였군요.
    의미있는 봉사를 통하여
    내가 어디 서 있는지
    내가 어디로 가야 하는지를 일깨울 수 있는
    좋은 계기가 되어졌으리라 믿습니다.   삭제

    • 고한경 2019-02-19 13:18:59

      그리고 보육시설의 수급 실태가 어떨지 궁금하고
      또한 걱정이 되는군요.
      이참에 함께 알아 보시자구요.
      사회의 관심이 세상을 바꿀 수 있으니까요.   삭제

      • 고한경 2019-02-19 13:16:07

        아, 멋진 기고를 이제 보았네요.
        아름다운 생각은 시작이 미약하여도
        큰 미래를 이끌어냅니다.
        홍지완 기자에게 박수 보냅니다.   삭제

        • 김기환 2019-02-17 22:23:53

          요즘 세상에 세간의 관심을 끌지 못하는
          보육원의 열악한 모습과
          사랑받아야 하는
          사랑 받기 위해 태어난 아이들을 위한
          너무도 유용한 기사입니다.   삭제

          • 정태영 2019-02-17 14:25:40

            묘목에 물을 주며 정성들여 가꾸면 큰 나무 되어지듯이
            사람에게 사랑을 버무려주면 필경 큰 사람 되어
            세상을 밝히게 될 겁니다.
            보육시설 영아들의 건강과 성장을 기원합니다.   삭제

            • 윤원철 2019-02-16 23:03:50

              가끔씩은 보육시설을 들여다 보고
              손을 내밀어야겠다는 생각을 하게 되었습니다.

              기독교 계통의 고교를 졸업해서 그런지
              손 내미는 사람, 함께 하는 세상
              홍지완 기자의 기고가 더 크게 느껴지는 저녁입니다.   삭제

              • 정상원 2019-02-16 21:41:53

                홍지완 기자 따뜻한 손길 힘입은 착한 아기들
                사랑의 온기로 무럭무럭 잘 자랄 겁니다.
                훗날 홍지완 기자처럼
                멋지고 가슴넓은
                세상의 리더로 거듭날 것입니다.
                "홍지완 워너비"들을 위하여
                힘찬 화이팅입니다.   삭제

                • 정지현 2019-02-16 21:20:18

                  주말이라 다시 한번 읽어 보네요.
                  매우 유익한 기사입니다.
                  홍지완 기자 고마워요.   삭제

                  • 최문식 2019-02-16 21:17:22

                    읽고 또 읽어도 참 좋은 내용입니다.
                    홍지완 기자의 기고로
                    이 사회에 작은 움직임이 이어났으면 좋겠습니다.   삭제

                    • 이중호 2019-02-15 14:17:24

                      학생기자들은 물론
                      열악한 환경에서 헌신하시는
                      보육시설 봉사자분들께 경의를 표합니다.   삭제

                      30개의 댓글이 있습니다.


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