Note from Joseph Pagano, @joseph-f-pagano-jr
A little background about the breakdown of the various Faith Communities in the United States Military. Statistically Catholics comprise approximately 26% of the Faith Based Groups with the remaining 74% comprising the various Protestant as well as other recognized Faith Groups.
During the 14 plus years I coordinated the Catholic Community at the Yongsan Garrison we were very active with the Korean communities off base.
– We had volunteers that worked with Korean Churches is feeding the homeless with hot soup and rise near the Seoul Train Station during the winter.
– We donated used clothing to Catholic Churches that provided the clothing to the homeless in need.
– We identified 3 orphanages in the area that were in need of help, and the help took on many faces and activities from group visits to the orphanages to spend time with the children; donating food, clothing and toys to the orphans; and our largest event, the Annual Orphans Christmas Party. This was an enormous event where at the Christmas Party the orphanages would have their children entertain us with songs, dances and skits and out youth groups would entertain them with songs, and skits. A huge Pot-Luck Dinner followed the entertainment and then the excitement of Santa’s visit where each child, called by name by Santa received two gifts, an article of needed clothing as well as a toy.
– We established a relationship with the Salesian Missionary Priests who ran a home for boys. Most of the orphanages were populated with girls, but the Salesian Fathers established a home for boys. We provided group visits, items of clothing, school supplies as well as food to this home. We often had activities on base where we invited the boys from the home to partake in.
– Many of the families established short term relationships with the children often inviting them opportunities time on base sharing with them our American culture. I emphasize short tern relationships because of two reasons – 1. Most families were assigned for only 2-year tours, and – 2. Because most of the children in the orphanages were not really orphans. They had parents of relatives who could not care for them which made then ineligible for adoption.
I hope this little bit of info is helpful to you in some small way.
Thank you for all that you are undertaking with this project. I thank you are awesome.