The giving season


The giving season

by: Ian Henderson and Jenny Na | .
Groove Korea ( | .
published: December 09, 2013

Get into the spirit of the holiday season by donating some of your time, energy or extra cash to one of these worthwhile causes. Whether you're looking for a quick way to contribute, have a dash of extra cash and a pinch of seasonal goodwill or just want the gift of a thank-you, there is no shortage of opportunities out there for those who want to spread a little cheer. You don't have to spend a lot of time or money to make a difference, and you may be surprised at what you get by giving a little.


Itaewon Christmas charity book drive
Haesim Orphanage ( in Yongsan District, a non-religious-affiliated home that opened in 1929, is home today to 57 children ranging from infants to older teenagers rescued from abusive living situations. They are seeking assistance in building a new library, collecting Korean books (new and used) for all age groups from toddlers to older teenagers and accepting monetary donations to purchase bookshelves.

When: Books can be dropped off at Chili King or Shenanigans in Itaewon until Dec. 16.
Where: Chili King or Shenanigans, Itaewon Station, line 6, exit 1
Donations: Cash donations can be made via bank transfer to Ian Henderson, KB Bank, 497801-01-414506. If donating cash, post a message on the Facebook page or send a message to Ian Henderson at 010-2398-5727. Donations must be made before Dec. 16.
More info: Search "Itaewon Christmas Charity" on Facebook

Le Marché de Noël
The ADFE-AFC is hosting its 11th Christmas Market with exhibitors selling delicacies such as foie gras, wine, chocolate and more. Children will be able to meet Santa Claus and give him their letters. All of the proceeds will go to charities, including the Banpo neighborhood office, which provide social services the people in the area.

When: Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Ginko Park in Sorae Maeul
More info: or

KUMFA holiday gift drive
The Korean Unwed Mothers and Families' Association is organizing its annual holiday gift drive for the children of Korean unwed mothers. KUMFA advocates for the rights of unwed pregnant women, unwed mothers and their children in Korea. Launched in 2009, the gift drive helps support unwed single mothers who are raising their children on their own by providing them with something beyond their budget. The children receive their gifts at a year-end party on Dec. 28. While the group has typically raised funds for about 75 families, it is shooting for 100 this year.

The wish list will be posted online. Contributors can either purchase a gift and have it delivered to the family's home or donate the price of a gift (usually around 30,000 won) and KUMFA will purchase one on their behalf. Gifts must be selected in advance to give the KUMFA volunteers time to buy, wrap and organize them.

The group can now accept monthly or one-time donations through Paypal at the website The donation can be as little as $5/month.

More info:,,,

Gwangju toy drive
This expat-community-led project aims to provide gifts for underprivileged children at orphanages in Gwangju. It was founded by Gwangju expat Al Barnum in 2009 and is now led by Daniel Lister. Contributors can either purchase a gift (20,000-30,000 won) or donate the price of the gift. The gifts will be wrapped and given to the children around Christmas. Last year, 200 children in the city benefited from the project. This year, their goal is one gift for each orphan in the city. Gifts should be dropped off at Gwangju International Center.

More info:


CLASH fundraiser for Angel House
The rock/hip-hop show CLASH is back with a holiday fundraiser benefiting Angel House Orphanage. This is the second time CLASH has worked with Angel House. The opening acts will be Sonya-Marie, Datura, Chris Cho and Gina Liscano, with the main acts being rock bands New Blue Death and Chanterís Alley and hip-hop acts Lux Luther, Black Tree and Deegie. The night will also feature DJ IT and emcees Jesse Day and Bronwyn Mullen.

When: Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.
Where: Freebird in Hongdae
Cost: Tickets are 10,000 won on Interpark, 15,000 won at the door
Sponsored by: CLASH and the Korea Conservatory
More info:,, or find them on Facebook

Justice for North Korea Christmas fundraiser
Justice for North Korea is having a holiday fundraiser with four bands including Pentasonic, Dongmyo Police Box and Triptych. There will also be a raffle and sales of books and postcards related to North Korea and JFNK. The group aims to raise awareness about the human rights situation in the North and assists North Koreans living on both sides of the border. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards saving a North Korean child.

JFNK is also running a campaign called Save My Friends Before Christmas to petition the Korean government to ensure the freedom of the nine young North Koreans repatriated to the North by the Laotian government.

When: Dec. 14 at 8 p.m.
Where: Rocky Mountain Tavern in Itaewon, Itaewon Station, line 6, exit 3
How much: 10,000 won
More info: or search for the group or the NGO on Facebook
Sign the petition at: and search for the group's name.

PSCORE’s Rock Out Vol. 6
Rock 'n roll with the sixth edition of PSCORE's music fundraiser. The event features some of the best expat and Korean bands on the indie scene, including Angry Bear, Magna Fall, Band Minha, Total Assholes, Wasted Johnnys and one surprise act. Proceeds from the concert will go toward funding PSCORE's North Korean defector education program, which helps defectors gain the necessary skills to be employable within South Korean society, and activities to raise awareness of the ongoing human rights violations in North Korea.

When: Dec. 14 at 10:30 p.m.
Where: Club Freebird in Hongdae
Cost: 10,000 won


HOPE’s 2ND annual Christmas for Children program
HOPE - Helping Others Prosper through English - is aiming to give the children at a local orphanage a chance to interact through activities with ESL teachers, make Christmas decorations and snacks, and wrap gifts - with the emphasis on creating an avenue for them to also receive surprise anonymous Christmas gifts and school supplies. The group is also accepting donations; last year the group raised 1,230,000 won, 50 percent of which was from bank transfers.

When: Dec. 15 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Yonsei University Hospital, Childrenís Cancer Ward in Seoul ; Dec. 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Goodtree Area Childrenís Center, Nowon, Sanggye-dong; Dec. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Mulmangcho Adolescent Center in Yeoju
Donations: Send to HOPE via Shinhan Bank, account number 100-025-517130
More info:,

Secret Santa volunteers
Dress up as Santa and bring some holiday cheer to a group of children at the Yongsan Center for the Disabled. Volunteers are asked to dress in their best Santa outfit and play games with the children at the center.

When: Dec. 20
Where: Yongsan Center for the Disabled
Sponsored by: Itaewon Global Village Center
More info:

Salvation Army of Korea
Those little red buckets are a sure sign of the holiday season and the money raised by the Salvation Army's corps of volunteers goes to a range of worthwhile programs. But you don't have to stand outside in the cold to help out. The charity also runs a Food Market where volunteers deliver groceries to people with physical disabilities who cannot do their own shopping. They also run a thrift store in Daehangno that accepts donations and is perfect for holiday shoppers on a budget.

Location: Hyehwa Station, line 4, exit 4
More info: (English and Korean)

Groove Korea website


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