Time to Get Busy: June 2014

Time to Get Busy: June 2014

ENTER OUR SONG AND VIDEO CONTEST

Community Remembers Troops 2

It began with a Toy:

Over eleven years ago, while stationed in Iraq, I, Chief Wiggles, gave my first toy to a small crying child at the gate of the Green Zone.

Cheif Wiggle and First Toy

That was the humble beginnings of Operation Give and as they say the rest is history. We have since that day shipped over 140 forty-foot ocean container loads of toys and other items to children in over 17 different countries. We have continued to focus on giving items to US Soldiers in war-torn countries, who in turn have done exactly as I did that one day, spread love and understanding through the giving of toys to children (and of course shoes, balls, dolls, schools supplies, clothes and other supplies).

Operation Give recently received a video from Brettany L Bailey, who, with her students at the Three Chopt Elementary School, expressed their support for our troops through words, songs / video and pictures.

Click the button below to find out more about Operation Joys With Toys.

opJoysToys

Operation Give Wants to Begin A:

Support the Troops Video and Song Writing Contest.

Join in by writing a song and making a video for the troops in Afghanistan. Use the Song and Video with photos of the Project that you selected to do, such as Toys, Soccer Balls, Care Packages, etc.  Gather them up and send them free of charge to Operation Give, so we in turn can send them to our soldiers, airmen, seamen and marines serving our country in Afghanistan.

We are willing to give out a $100 I-Tunes gift card for the best song and video.  Contest ends end of Aug.

Select videos will be posted on our Facebook and Blog.

We welcome all your songs, videos and of course toys.

Thanks,

Chief Wiggles

They want to make sure the troops know they have not been forgotten.

Check out this link:    https://vimeo.com/96251435

Children Supporting TroopsMore importantly they were sending toys to Operation Give for the troops in Afghanistan, so our men and women serving our country will have things to give the children they come in contact with.

Through these toys our troops will be able to build bridges of love and compassion; spanning cultural differences and language barriers.

Operation GiveMesa Moving & Storage

2275 S 900 W Dock 49

Salt Lake City, UT 84119
Or Call:

435-512-4956

Email: elaine@operationgive.org

Posted by Chief Wiggles Monday, 16 June 2014

 

TIME TO GET BUSY

Time to Get Busy:

With the monsoon season right around the corner we have sped up our plans for additional humanitarian events during the month of June. It isn’t that we can’t go out during the hot and humid rainy days during the months of July and August, it is just that it is too hot and humid, intermittent with frequent down pours that makes things a little more difficult for both the giver and the receiver. Little by little we have been distributing the humanitarian supplies that arrived in our last container a few months back; with events here and there are as our busy schedules have permitted.

At times we pray for rain; given the terrible air quality that exists here in Seoul. The air is quiet a cocktail of yellow sand and pollution from China, exhaust fumes from millions of cars and buses, manufacturing exhaust from near by factories, with a chaser of 20 million people putting out whatever that many people can expel.  It is only after a good rain that we feel like taking in a good big breath of fresh air.

As our good fortune would have it, we (my wife and I) have finally hooked up with Mr. Moon to get all the contents of the container distributed to the right needy people.  My wife and I have known him for some time, but it wasn’t until recently that all of us decided to join forces. He was kind enough to handle the customs clearing and final movement of the container’s contents from Incheon harbor to one of his warehouses in Seoul. And being the like-minded individual he is, Mr. Moon has handled all the details in setting up the humanitarian events at different locations around the country.

The Baby Box:

The first one this month was at the Baby Box Orphanage, as I call it. For those of you who have been following my blog you might recall I have written about the “Baby Box” orphanage on two previous occasions. Here is a link if you would like to read more about this; http://youtu.be/p3Te5Mh1EtI

Mr. Moon hadn’t been to the Baby Box orphanage previously, but was interested in donating items after hearing about this orphanage on Korean TV. For good or bad, there has been a certain amount of publicity over the past couple of years both domestically and internationally regarding the Baby Box and the concept behind its creation.

Loaded with some 25 boxes of medical supplies, blankets, clothes, shoes, newborn baby kits and stuffed animals, we made our way through the congested streets of Seoul, Korea following the promptings of the GPS system in our car. Even after having visited the orphanage on previous occasions, I am still not able to find this place without some help.

Located in the middle of a very steep and narrow street, the orphanage appears to be no more than a house in a very crowded neighborhood of homes. It is only once you arrive at the front of the home that you notice the sign out front and the cross on the roof. The home functions as the founder’s private residence, a church (the founder is a minister) and an orphanage. The actual “baby box” is on the exterior wall of the home; you can access down the narrow alley in between the home and the neighboring house.

Due to the position of the house and the steepness of the hill, the only way to enter the three-story home above a narrow garage is up a very steep flight of stairs (which definitely wouldn’t meet building codes anywhere). It is these actual flights of stairs in and outside the home that prevent the orphanage from being registered as a legitimate facility for handicapped children. Even so the minister continues to keep his doors open and continues to accept unwanted handicapped infants.

We were greeted by one of his dedicated workers; who came out to meet us once we pulled up out front in our two vehicles loaded to the gills with supplies. Unfortunately, the minister had been called away and unavailable to meet with us.

With space at a premium at this overcrowded home, we unloaded all the boxes we had brought, placing them in a covered area to the side of the house. To their joy and excitement several other workers appeared from inside the home to assist us in moving the boxes. They were all very excited to see what we had brought the children.

Carrying a couple of the boxes with us, we entered the home and proceeded to show them a sampling of the items we had brought. With excited in their eyes several of the children assisted in opening and taking out the items one by one, of course as any child would went straight for the crayons spilling them all over the floor (All in good fun of course).

In that this was Mr. Moon’s first trip, I made sure that he was given a proper tour of the facility to include the Minister’s own son, now 28 years old, who has not been able to move since birth. It was his own son’s condition at birth that propelled him into setting up the baby box for unwanted children. To date he has taken in over 80 unwanted newborn babies, most of which he has been forced to subsequently turn them over to the state, but he still maintains about 20 children at his home full time.

It is always very difficult for me to not be affected emotionally when visiting the Baby Box orphanage. These children really pull on your heartstrings with their tender looks and simple desire for love and affection. We were all very glad to be able to provide the supplies we did, knowing they would all come in handy in the days to come.

Learning to Read and Write for the first time:

Right on schedule Mr. Moon pulled up to the front of our high-rise apartment complex to pick my wife and I up for our next humanitarian event or adventure. As usual everything was set up and prepared ahead of time and all we had to do was show up. I love it when a plan comes together and all the heavy lifting has been done by others before hand (just kidding).

We were headed to a humanitarian center in one of the smaller suburbs of Seoul for an event that proved to be quite unexpectedly touching and thought provoking. I had been told somewhat ahead of time what we were doing, but perhaps it hadn’t really sunk in. I guess the whole concept was so beyond my imagination that I really didn’t give it much thought.

After about 50 minutes of weaving in and out of the traffic of the city, we arrived in front of a large, what appeared to be, office building complex and from the looks of things it seemed to be relatively new. But, once I entered the complex I realized it was a large community center with programs of all types for all ages of people.

Several individuals were there to greet us and guide us into the director’s conference room, where she was waiting. With a warm hello and a hardy handshake the director motioned for us to have a seat. She obviously spoke English and informed us that she received her PHD from a University in Alabama, even so we continued for the remainder of the visit speaking in Korean.

She made us aware of the nature of the facility, touching on a number of the programs they offer for different age groups, but focused mainly on the program we were there to take part in. After a few minutes of pleasantries we proceeded upstairs to a large room where a sizable group of mostly elderly women had gathered. On our way upstairs she paused in front of the welcome sign for Mr. Moon’s organization and Operation Give, mentioning that we would have time to take pictures in front of this sign later on our way out.

To my surprise this was the graduation ceremony for some 200 elderly individuals, 60 plus years and older, who had just completed a course teaching them how to read and write Korean for the first time. For some reason these individuals, due to a variety of circumstances, had not been able to attend school when they were young. They had lived all these years not knowing how to read and write their own language.

Now you might not think much of this, but given how important education is to most Koreans and given how advanced their education program is; it is hard to imagine that these people have just been lost in the system all these years. Most of them grew up during the years following the Korean War and most likely, due to financial circumstances, were forced to stay home rather than attending school. For one reason or another, except for one sole male, all of the students were women.

I could sense the excitement in the air as we went through the graduation program. In traditional Korean formal fashion, ever thing going according to the planned schedule, with every “t” crossed and “I” dotted. As we moved into the awards portion of the program, Mr. Moon and I were called upon to assist in passing out the awards to the distinguished graduates. It was quite an honor and a privilege to be able to participate in acknowledging their accomplishments.

With the items we brought we were able to pass out a school kit bag to every student and even had extras for the next class of individuals desiring to learn how to read. Like school kids at lunchtime, they were each so excited to receive their bag full of school supplies. It was as if they were finally able to close that chapter they missed so many years ago, now able to read and write for the first time. I am sure you could say that this was on their bucket list and had been for a long time.

At the end of the program I was asked to stand up and speak to the group for a few minutes. At first they were totally surprised by the fact that I could speak Korean, the director having prepared for an interpreter to be on hand if necessary. Along with the other things I mentioned to them, I made a point of indicating that now, having learned how to read and write, the path ahead for them to continue studying has been prepared for them. We all made a commitment to continue with our studies for many years to come.

A large banner hung at the back of the stage thanking Operation Give for our support in providing each of the students a school kit supply bag.  Well-done Operation Give. Thanks for making this possible.

Thanks,

Chief Wiggles

“Doing it the wiggles way”

Posted by Chief Wiggles Tuesday, 10 June 2014

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