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A Warm Way to Spend Your Vacation: An Interview with a Warmth Preacher

In the past, people were more generous to help each other. Today, however, people are busy concentrating on their individual lives, building qualifications for jobs or looking to earn money as much as possible. Namely, the individualism generation has arrived. Naturally, more and more people will lose the opportunity to keep in touch with basic consideration and help others. That being said, this December, why not look around the people who need a help? There are many people who are suffering from loneliness. In this respect, The Dongguk Post would like to introduce a special individual: Koo Jang-Hoo, a senior, majoring in Geography Education and also a member of Chamsaram Volunteers. The section chief of Chamsaram, Kim Jong-ae, said of him as “The best volunteer that I have come to know. He has participated in many volunteer works, and he is always sincere. Moreover, he always smiles at people and be kind to whoever is in need of help.”  

 

             Q: When was your first time of volunteering for community service? 

             A: It was when I was a sophomore. I took a social-volunteering class, and went to the Jongno Community Welfare Center to pass that class.

              Q: What is the best moment of your volunteering up until now?     

              A: That would be November 2012; I participated in volunteering for elders. My fellow volunteers and I visited seniors’ homes in advance to check the equipment that we needed to purchase. Then the following week, I visited there with more people than the previous week. After that, the seniors began to get up and went to the supermarkets to buy more snacks to give us. Although it may seem trivial to people, I was deeply touched. I went there to pass my own warmth to him, but I have received more warmth in return. The senior citizens’ small but considerate acts have touched my heart and kept it warm ever since.

             Q: What was the most difficult part of volunteering?                              

            A: It was also when I went to Kazakhstan. Many volunteers and I stayed there for fourteen nights and fifteen days to build a resting place at the hospital. The weather in Kazakhstan was very hot. The average temperature was 40 degrees Celsius. Several volunteers keeled over in the heat. Also Kazakhstani food was not suitable for most of us. I think the volunteering in there was the hardest up until now.

 

 

             Q: Despite the difficult times, what is the main reason for you to continue volunteering? 

             A: It is always worthwhile and brings pleasure. The cooperation of the volunteers is more fun than you would think. You would feel it worthwhile too. When I went to Kazakhstan, I was very tired because of the hard labor but every morning some disabled people would shake our hands with a smile at the entrance of the hospital. This gave me a lot of strength and was a definitely precious memory.  

 

             Q: What is the most valuable part of volunteering that you can take away with you? 

            A: That would be learning about the preciousness of existence. Volunteering has helped me to acknowledge how precious we are to the world. It let me know that I can pass on hope to other people and reflect better on myself. So I think the greatest value of volunteering is learning the preciousness of existence.

             Q: From your view, why is volunteering important in the world?

             A: It is the circulation of division. I try to give kindness to other people, and that is definitely returned. It makes the world a happier place. For these reasons, it is important to keep volunteering.

 

 

 

             Q: How has volunteering been a favorable influence on your life? 

            A: I believe that communication skills are the most essential in life. Through volunteering, I have met many people who differ from me. In the process of these activities, I could learn to have good communication with various people. 

             Q: What are your future volunteering plans?

             A: I am a member of "Haedami" which is a club for education volunteers. I will continue to do education volunteering. Then, once I start my profession, I will continue volunteering through CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

              Q: Lastly, do you have any final words for Dongguk students?

             A: Chamsaram volunteers plans many volunteering activities every semester and during the vacation. You can apply for volunteering rather easily. How about spending your vacation through volunteering? I assure you that it will provide you with positive memories.

  

According to the newscast, the coming winter vacation will be even colder than that of last year’s. In times of extreme coldness, volunteering could warm up out world. Although our bodies will be cold, our hearts will be warmed. Like Koo Jang-Hoo’s experience, our vacation can be filled with a sense of happiness.  

Kim Jang-won  wkddnjs1239@dongguk.edu

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