On my first day to volunteer, I joined the team in packing bread provided by a bakery, preparing kimchi on a huge container, helping prepare and cook a few kilos of vegetables and spiced bulgogi, which we all brought to the Yongsan Station, along with bottled water and snacks.
At that time, it was a regular weekend task to help serve free lunch for the homeless around the Yongsan Station, and there were always about 150 people who would show up for a plate of hot meal. And although we were tired after doing our assigned chores, we were always happy to have shared our time and effort.
Lately, I joined the group's other regular activity: spending time with the kids living in a foster home in Gwangmyeong-si in Gyeonggi Province. Some of these kids are orphans, some were abandoned, and some were taken away from their abusive parents, or from parents who are not capable of raising them.
Unlike most of us (or our own children), these kids are growing up not being cared for by their own parents, and not knowing how it means to be loved by your own father and mother. So, the group schedules to spend a day with these kids either by visiting them at their foster home, or by taking them outdoors for a fun activity. And if only for day, we try to be their big brothers and sisters; thereby, providing some semblance of normalcy in these very young lives. We may not take the place of a real family for them, but at least, we are trying to help raise them with good values, and provide them with some experiences and opportunities that otherwise they would never have under their current plight.
In our busy world (and work!), it is easy to overlook those who are not as fortunate as we are. And worse, it is even easier to overlook how fortunate we still are no matter how big we think our problems are at home and at work.
But those of us who share our time, effort and some of our blessings in life with those who have less, a little help goes a long way.