I am not very familiar with the financial side of things at the orphanage. The are working on a new building, and apparently still fundraising for it. But periodically lots of other gifts show up. Occasionally, all of the kids will have new shoes…the same kind. Right now, there is a stack of roller blades. One of the first graders showed me his pair (which is really twice the size of this foot) and got very defensive when I asked him if they were really his. I tried to ask about the size thing, and he started screaming..
Most often the donations are food. One day a box of mini ice-creams from Baskin Robins arrived. Another time it was Dunkin Donuts. Occasionally, each kid will get a veritable treasure chest of junk food. Crown Bakery is a chain bakery in Seoul. Last Christmas they delivered about 90 crates stuffed with all sorts of goodies - each kid got his or her own! That’s pretty awesome, isn’t it!?
Some really interesting things happen though. I watched the first and second graders open their boxes and shout with glee as they pulled out the various treats. Then the oldest boys came in and said something I couldn’t understand, but immediately, all the little kids pulled something from their box and gave it to the older kids! It was like they had to pay tribute!
For the next day or two…yes, they eat it all that fast…wrappers and crumbs from those treats were everywhere.
There are two issues all of this brings up. Let’s try discussing them in the comments:
1. These kids have nothing, so giving them things is OK, but should they get so much junk food?
2. They already don’t have good habits, and these kinds of gifts come right before bed, after they “supposedly” brushed their teeth. They rip into them right away and never really get around to brushing their teeth again.