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A Day of Volunteering, Years worth of discipline
Written by Jiewan Hong | Published. 2019.02.06 10:00 | Count : 911
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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  • 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

            • 김형철 2019-02-15 12:32:20

              그런데 태부족 보육시설은 개선될 수 있는건가요?
              아쉬운 마음입니다.   삭제

              • 최성옥 2019-02-14 15:08:50

                보람있는 땀을 흘린 학생기자들에게
                다시 한번 박수를 보냅니다.
                화이팅~~!!   삭제

                • 정한영 2019-02-14 14:52:53

                  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.   삭제

                  • 정태영 2019-02-14 08:58:35

                    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.   삭제

                    • 김기환 2019-02-13 15:23:56

                      좁은 보육공간, 부족한 시설에 수백명의 유아를 보살피는
                      봉사자 분들께 경의를 표하며
                      용기를 전해드립니다.
                      많이 감사드립니다.   삭제

                      25개의 댓글이 있습니다.

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