Published on November 21st, 2013 | by Calen Cygan0
When the first cold nip of winter hits, minds immediately turn to thoughts of Christmas. For me, Christmastime is filled with the warm glow of twinkling lights, with the smells of evergreen and freshly-baked cookies engulfing me as I scour the department store shelves looking for the perfect gift for everyone on my list!
But not everyone has someone out there to buy them a present.
That’s where Gwangju’s Adopt-a-Child program comes into play. To adopt a child, send a message to the Facebook page. You can adopt as many children as you want, and even specify age range and/or gender. You will receive your adopted child’s details and their wish list, and then it is time to hit the shops! Gifts are around 30,000 won, and most of the children have requested winter apparel (coats and/or scarves) or school supplies, like book bags – things which orphanages may not always have the money to cover.
If you think time constraints prohibit you from participating in the program (“I work too late to go shopping!” / “I don’t know where to find such a thing!”), fear not!! You can also adopt a child by doing a bank transfer of 30,000 won.
Gifts do not have to be wrapped (but can be if desired), as there will be a team of wrappers at particular drop-off sites. Stay updated by visiting the Facebook page for dates and times, especially for the orphanage Christmas parties which every gift-giver is invited to attend.
In its fourth year, the program was started by Al Barnum in 2010. Daniel Lister took charge of the program last year, and this year, the program is being coordinated by a team of volunteers. With over 300 orphans to be “adopted,” this is the largest the Adopt-a-Child program has ever been.
So check the Facebook page to adopt a child (or two or more), and help make the holidays more meaningful for the orphans of Gwangju by giving them Christmas gifts they will never forget!