SEOUL, Republic of Korea --- Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District volunteered to help make kimchi for local charities Nov. 22 as part of the District’s Good Neighbor Program.
Seoul Jung-gu District Office made “Winter Kimchi of Love” for elderly and needy citizens at a small courtyard in front of Jung-gu District Office located near FED. Volunteers from FED participated in order to promote friendship between the Republic of Korea and the U.S.
“I appreciate FED’s support for kimchi making for the elderly and needy in Jung-gu,” said District Mayor Choi Chang-sik. “I’m impressed that you’ve been volunteering for this for five years.”
Choi came by with his wife and made kimchi at the table with Sam Adkins, Chief of FED Construction Division, and other volunteers from FED.
“As part of the Good Neighbor Program, we at FED have been involved in the event over the years,” said Adkins. “We are a part of this community and we want to give back a little to the folks that live here.
About 2,000 heads of cabbage was made into kimchi this year by all of the volunteers combined. They filled 500 boxes totaling about five tons of kimchi.
Over 150 volunteers including members of the Jung-gu Saemaul Women’s Club were willing to help make kimchi to be delivered to the elderly and needy.
“This event was a great effort to build relationships with the host nation and key city leaders,” said Christopher Shane, Logistic Specialist from the FED Logistic Management Office. “This is an excellent way to develop a stronger bond between FED employees, as well as between FED and South Korea. I am glad I could be able to volunteer for this event.”
Many of the volunteers from FED had participated in this event in previous years and knew what to expect. Basil Meyer, from Construction Division, Northern Resident Office, is a veteran kimchi maker. He has been volunteering to make kimchi for several years, but this is his first time to help the Jung-gu District.
“Kimchi making is always fun and tasty, but my wife and I find it rewarding to give back to the community when we volunteer for this kind of event,” said Meyer. “It’s becoming a tradition for us to do this every year, and another good reason to help is because we also get free samples to take home.”
Kim Tok-kyong, one of the Korean national Contract Specialist from FED Contracting Division said, “Everyone who participated in this event has dedicated their precious time to provide for the elderly and needy. The time I spent to help is very valuable, and would like to do this every year.”
Although the event was scheduled on a Thanksgiving Day holiday, FED volunteers were more than happy to support this good neighbor program. FED volunteers have come out to support this local effort every year since 2008 and have had an enjoyable experience working with the local citizens.