By Stephen Satkowski
Far East District
SEOUL, South Korea--For the ninth year in a row volunteers from the Far East District joined members of the Seoul Jung-gu Saemaul Women’s Club Nov. 18 to help make kimchi for the area’s needy and elderly.
In total, 2,500 heads of cabbage were converted into 500 boxes of kimchi, a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.
The volunteers, including Far East District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Richard Collins, joined Jung-gu District Mayor Choi Chang-sik in the making of the kimchi. Choi expressed gratitude to district volunteers in helping to feed the most marginalized in his community.
“Thank you Saemaul Women's Club members for preparing this event every year to help the elderly and needy,” said Choi. “I can't thank you enough. To make it even more meaningful, volunteers from the Far East District came again this year to support this event. This is why people in this district can have a hearty winter.”
Master Sgt. Kimberly L. King, Far East District operations noncommissioned officer in charge, volunteered to experience the Korean culture and give back to the Korean people.
“I wanted to learn from the Korean people how to make kimchi,” said King. “To learn about the Korean culture, I think you need to experience the many tastes and smells of kimchi. It is a side dish with almost every Korean meal and is often times used in the main dish. While applying kimchi base to about the 20th head of cabbage, I noticed that my lower back started to ache. I realized then that kimchi making was also a physically challenging process. I looked around at all the elderly women who were continuously slathering cabbage and moving boxes all without stopping. It made me appreciate how much is really put into making kimchi. When I eat it the next time, I think I will really be experiencing the culture of Korea.”
The kimchi will be delivered to more than 500 needy families in the local area this winter. District volunteers have come out to support the kimchi making every year since 2008.