Purpose in Service
Korea International School partners with Suji Love, a program in Suji-Gu dedicated to providing resources to families living in relative poverty. Usually students coordinate fall and spring drives that bring in thousands of non-perishable food items to help ensure families’ food security. Because direct service is limited by Covid19, students look for ways to sustain relationships with service partners. Suji Love student volunteers realized this time is an opportunity to learn more about clients and their needs.
"The people we are helping aren't simply numbers or names on a page, but valued members of our society,” says Lauren, a junior who has participated in the program for two and a half years. She and others are interested in increasing empathy for people in difficult economic circumstances. Rather than giving in to apathy or thinking that poverty is too big an issue to address, educate yourself about different economic challenges in society. And beyond the need, see the people involved. KIS service volunteers believe it’s important to consider all members of our community, each of us inherently valuable individuals.
KIS students began calling Suji Love clients to get to know the population through personal stories, creating a strong sense of community and purpose in serving. Now KIS student volunteers are better prepared to meet the needs of Suji Love clients. “Connection builds trust and care between us,” says Lauren. The practical help continues too: KIS is considering how to digitize food drives for direct shipment to Suji Love to distribute.
Contributed by Nate Samuelson and KIS high school student Lauren