KOC-031
 
326th Communication Reconnaissance Company
APO 301, SF California
14 Apr 1953 
 
Miss Sherry Jones 
5604 Second Avenue South
Minneapolis Minnesota 
 
Dear Miss Jones:
 
I am in receipt of your letter of the 7th of April. It was the first indication that I had had that George Grim used any of the material I sent to him. I truly appreciate your rapid response to my appeal for aid as printed in his column. 
 
Since I pulled Cpl. of the Guard last night I had the day off today to sleep or do as I wished. I took advantage of the opportunity offered and spent the day at the orphanage. On my way to the orphanage I stopped at 5th Air Force Hqds where I "begged" the services of an Air Force photographer. He will spend the day with me at the orphanage this coming Thursday and will take plenty of pictures so that I will have a variety to choose from to send to donors of gifts and to various newspapers that publish articles about our project.
 
After arranging for the photographer for Thursday I went to the Public Information Office at 8th Army Hqds to get permission, or rather a clearance for the publication of pictures that I have already taken. I shall have them back on Thursday also. After finishing my business with the "brass" I took off for the orphanage. 
 
I spent the middle part of the morning with Miss Robson, head nurse of the hospital and one of the administrators of the orphanage, getting down on paper definite amounts of material needed in the school. I am therefore in a better position to give you more specific answers to the questions in your letter of the 7th than I was last night when I initially received your letter. 
 
Paper: We figure that for 200 school age children with 5 subjects a total of 1,000 notebooks will be needed for a year. By notebook we mean one of those paper bound books, 8" x 11, or so with about 50 pages. This figure can probably be cut way back depending on the size of the books and the age of the child using it. All my figures will be quite general as I've never before tried to figure out just what is used in a school of such a size. All these goals are dreams, to be sure, but at the same time practical dreams that merit an effort for their accomplishment. 
 
Pencils: We have estimated that 1,000 pencils is a good number to aim for to have a year's stock or more. This again is a high number as many of the youngsters in the smaller grades will loose them more than use them.
 
Crayons: Here again we aim for a stock of 1,000 pk which we feel will be ample sufficiency for a year or more. 
 
Chalk: Blackboard chalk both white and colored. Estimating for a year's supply we give a number of 75 boxes (of 100 pieces). The majority of them being white. 
 
Thumbtacks: One dozen boxes should suffice as they are not quickly expended, but are rather saved to be used over and over again. 
 
Paperclips: Again one dozen boxes will suffice for a long long time being an item like the thumbtacks, useable over and over again. 
 
Grading Pencils: We feel that four dozen red/blue grading pencils for the teachers will be ample.
 
Erasers: Two dozen blackboard erasers could be well used but this item is, to a great extent, of secondary importance as a rag can be used in lieu of them. 
 
Two gross rubber erasers for the erasure of pencil lines would be practical. 
 
Maps: Outline maps of the world, or any part thereof, are excellent teaching aids. These people as a whole know very, little of the rest of the world. Notwithstanding their ignorance on the matter, they are greatly interested in learning all they can, adults as well as the children. 
 
Paint: Varnish and stain for the woodwork-and the desks will be needed in great quantity. This will be quite a project in itself as the weight and cost will be prohibitive to a small group. 
 
The interior of the schoolrooms will be whitewashed. Any Kemtone or similar water paint that can be mixed with water and used to lend a bit more color to the interior of the school will be a great asset to lend color and dignity to the mud brick schoolhouse. 
 
Books: We have figured it up to the amount of $600.00 to equip all the school age children with books for one year. This will be the initial cost. The following years there will only be the replacement cost of books that have passed their life, i.e. too beat up to be of further use. These books can be purchased on the local market. 
 
Rulers: I would like to see each of the school age children have a ruler for his personal use, in lining his notebook etc. that would bring the number required to 200. This again is an item, once obtained, need only a small amount of replacements per year.
 
Pens: Fifty straight pens with several boxes of points. A supply of ink could be used as the cost of the same on the local marked to great.
 
I will pause here to say that as this is the first time that I have ever engaged in such a project I am quite capable of making overestimates and misjudgments. Please forgive me for my innocence in such matters.
 
I am giving you a complete picture of our needs. From it you can choose that which the girls feel will be of the greatest importance and will give them the greatest sense of satisfaction. I go on now to answer more of the questions you posed in your letter: 
 
Amputees: I have checked more carefully into this matter and find that the various GI units here in Korea have set up a fund for the rehabilitation of children who have lost limbs due to the situation as is over here. It will take more checking to see whether or not we can make use of that fund for these two children. At any rate they are not ready for artificial limbs as their legs are not sufficiently prepared to receive them. As a matter of interest, the orphanage has been asked to receive three more children who are missing a leg. These three have been bouncing between orphanages and hospitals for some time. Our set up, the orphanage being in close relationship to the parent institution, the hospital, is ideal for any such cases that require close medical attention.
 
English: As of yet there has been no effort to teach English. As soon as the new school is finished, (ground was broken today) a teacher who can speak good English will be hired for that purpose. In the interim a number of GIs of this unit are going to see if they can be of use to them in that field. 
 
Games: Sports equipment of any nature enabling a number of children to play would be well appreciated. Package games, entailing the usage of the English language as monopoly, etc. have not been popular. Card games also have not gone over big. Balls, dominos, checkers, chess (for the older ones), all are liked as the game is universal. The girls have been given jacks before but are lost quickly and they revert to stones for jacks, the ball still being used. The boys like marbles. 
 
Soap, Etc.: both laundry and bath soap is needed in great amounts. We currently have towels for only every other child. I.e., two to a towel. The same situation holds true for washcloths. Toothbrushes cannot be obtained over here and are in dire need. 200 could be put to use today. So far we have been able to scrounge toothpaste from the army. Just 
how long we will be able to do so I do not know. Combs we have not and could well use. the same with hair brushes for the girls. 
 
There is your list. Quite formidable isn't it? I am indebted to you for your clear concise questions, This is the first time that I have had to put the above information on paper. Up to this time it has been generalities.
 
When we receive toys for the children we save them up until we have enough to give one to each of the children. Today we decided that we had enough. We therefore packed all the boxes in a jeep and rode out to the school-residence. (They sleep, eat, and attend classes in the same rooms). We lined the children up and put all the toys out on the ground and allowed two children to go up and choose a toy at a time. The expressions of deliberation and seriousness when choosing were amusing to see. Once chosen, the child would run off to play with his new treasure. They were all well pleased, but it made me do some thinking. I thank God that as a child I was not in the position where once every several months I got in line and chose a toy which was to be my pleasure and joy until lost, broken, or tossed aside for other means of entertainment. 
 
That is looking at the picture in a negative manner. To look at it in the positive manner is more heartwarming. Lots of these children were taken from death's front door and even in their present position are much better off than thousands more of their countrymen.
 
Here enters the age-old question of quantity versus quality. I have chosen to spend my time and efforts to this one orphanage in an effort to help bring the children up in a happy Christian atmosphere, with a good education. We will be providing the quality necessary for the foundation of a citizenry that comprehends the part of Korea in the world and the part of the individual in the country, A good citizen who will have the intelligence and the training necessary to give aid to his countrymen in the development of the nation. 
 
A dreamer? Yes, you might say so, but also an actor. I dream, then I plan, then I act. So far all that I have set forth as a goal for myself I have been able to attain. Therefore I keep setting higher and higher goals. Someone once told me "Aim high. You might win!" And I do so. 
 
I work on one basic premise, that being a great faith in my fellow man. (I mean to say that one of my basic premises is such, not by any means my only one though). Do forgive me for this bit of philosophizing.
 
Rest assured that any and all. aid that you and your girls club can send will be greatly appreciated. Someone once said that "Gratitude is the memory of the heart" and I am sure that all those Americans who help our children will rate a place in the heart of all of us connected with this project as well as the children themselves. In Korean we would say Ko Map Sum Ni Da, meaning Thank You.
 
Yours truly,
 
 
George F. Drake
CPL. RA 12344689