For the third year in a row, Jeju Furey set out to make Christmas special for some very special children across the island with the Jeju Furey Orphanage Drive. The mission was simple: to provide gifts for children in Jeju orphanages.
This year, Furey’s elves contacted four of Jeju’s orphanages, JeNam, HongIk, Jeju, and Cheonsa, to find out what their children wanted for Christmas. With 304 orphans to buy gifts for, Furey needed to raise 6.08 million won to provide each child with a 20 thousand won gift, yet the target was not only met, but surpassed. Furey ultimately raised 6,618,128 won with the money flooding in thanks to 125 unique donors from Korea, America, Canada, China, Philippines, and the Cayman Islands.
▲ A lucky boy meets Santa at Samyang. Photo by Mary Rager
However, there was another special gift. Albert Oh from the Jeju Free International City Development Center (JDC) organized a bowling tournament fundraiser to unite the forces of Jeju Furey and the JDC and raise more money for the cause. The bowling tournament, in which JDC members and Jeju Furey representatives competed, was held on Dec. 7 and raised an ADDITIONAL 4.5 million won that was added to Jeju Furey’s efforts, making the total amount raised for the 2013 Orphanage Drive --- 11,118,128 won!
With the additional money raised by the JDC, Furey decided to see how far they could spread Christmas cheer this year. More elves were called in and numbers were hunted down for the island’s hospitals as well as the names and addresses of other in-need families across the island. When all was said and done, Jeju Furey had a list containing 304 orphans, approximately 290 sick children, and 14 families with 22 children to buy gifts for. The elves set out with wish lists in hand to buy over 600 gifts.
▲ Troy MacLellan and Jung A hunt down the gifts. Photo by Melissa de Sole
On De. 22, the elves delivered the gifts to the workshop – Bagdad Café – where an additional 40 elves worked to wrap and label them all. Another gift was given that night as JDC and Nuri Communication, Ltd. joined forces to not only help wrap, but also to buy dinner for all the diligent elves. Once the gifts were wrapped and ready to go, delivery elves picked up the gifts to keep them safe and sound until midnight on Christmas Eve. Another elf, Sofia (Jihyon) Kim worked and worked to make baked goodies for all the orphanage kids as well.
On Christmas Eve, eight drivers and a total of 22 deliverers worked through the night to deliver the gifts to four orphanages, seven hospitals, and 14 families. On Christmas morning, over 600 children awoke to a special surprise. Then on Christmas Day, approximately 45 of Santa’s helpers went to three of the orphanages - the Jeju Orphanage party will be held Dec. 28 - to hold Christmas parties for the children. With gifts, games, treats, caroling, and even tree decorating, the children, and elves, had a very special Christmas.
A big THANK YOU and MERRY CHRISTMAS from all the elves at Jeju Furey!
▲ Elf Kim Hye-jin wraps the gifts. Photo by Melissa de Sole
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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