Winter Newsletter 2022/2023

MJ CWH Early Years Program

Hello OpenArms,

Happy 2023! We have been very busy with the Dulwich Christmas Gift Drive, Cirque du Soleil, AWC Gala and of course our usual programs with the children, so please read on to find out more! Thank you everyone for making 2022 such a joyous year for the children!

With thanks, gratitude and love to you all,

Sally and the Open Arms Team,

VP Administration

5th Annual Christmas Present Drive

Dulwich College Seoul

This year's Christmas Present Drive was another huge success thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Hosana Lee and MaryAnn Campos (who lead the Dulwich Primary Charity Club), PCC kids and the OA Christmas team of Joohee, Vanessa, Kathrine, Milee and Barbara. Getting 170 personalized presents (worth up to 30,000 KW each) into the laps of the children from 4 welfare homes was no easy task. If not for the passion and love for the children, it would not be possible. Ongoing supply chain issues made things even more difficult with emails and messages constantly buzzing but in the end, presents were safely delivered with Milee who even accompanied the delivery truck to ensure there were no mixups. The entire Primary Dulwich community, including staff and parents, opened their hearts and every gift was sponsored in record time! Thank you for all your hard work and outpouring of love. Open Arms is especially proud of the Charity Club children who are helping children less fortunate than them and learning to give back at such an early age. It only takes a spark to change the world!

Visit Dulwich Website

The project itself is a mammoth of a job but a labour of love so we do this whole heartedly - Hosana


Cirque du Soleil Alegria

December 16 & 29

200 tickets to the world renowned and fantastical Cirque du Soleil were offered to Open Arms thanks to the initial contact with OA volunteer Natalia! With the help of Katy and Joohee from Open Arms and Sarah Koh from Life Together, children and aged out young adults from Dongmyung, Dream Tree Village, Shinmangwon along with Changemakers, Joytopia, Korea Gospel Mission, Life Together, Korean Adoptive and Foster Care Association were able to experience a show of their lives! They were also given VIP treatment by the performers who greeted them after the show! Alegria is an all-time Cirque du Soleil classic reimagined for a new generation and particularly inspiring for our children. At the heart of a kingdom that has lost its king, Alegria witnesses the power struggle at play between the old order and new movement yearning for hope and renewal. Thank you Cirque du Soleil for the unforgettable experience and giving the gift of kindness and joy to those less fortunate in the Seoul community!

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Cirque du Soleil

잊지 못할것 같아요 환상적이에요 😭❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I don't think I'll ever forget it. It was fantastic

너무 멋있어서 눈을 뗄 수가 없었어요. 올해 본 것들 통틀어서 제일 최고였어요

It was so cool I couldn't take my eyes off it. Best thing I've seen this year

잊지 못할 경험이에요! 더 열심히 살고 싶고 저도 앞으로 누구에게 도움이 되는 사람이 되고 싶었던 생각 많은 하루였어요~ 연말에 이런 좋은 경험 만들어주셔서 감사합니다 ❤️💓☺️

It was an unforgettable experience! It was a day full of thoughts that I wanted to live harder and become a person who could help someone in the future. Thank you for making such a good experience at the end of the year

Our Programs

Katy Freeman, Education Director

What a fantastic couple of months we have had with our programs. I feel so privileged to be spending time with such amazing children and amazing volunteers. My thanks go to all our welfare staff who support us and to our volunteers who make this happen. From weekly Tuesday meetings at CWWC to monthly Saturday meetings at MJ, OA has been able to provide some fun packed learning experiences for the children as well as our volunteers!

It’s our volunteers who make this all happen so a huge thank you and I really can’t wait to start 2023 continuing on this amazing journey with some new programs coming, so please sign up and support us with these great opportunities.

Early Years Program


Our Tuesday nights at CWWC have involved pancake making, playing and learning about dinosaurs, creating Lego alphabets and learning how to program the Bee bots.

Thanks to Hosana, Louisa and Hannah for organizing some great Christmas activities with Ingrid, Junhwan, Maya, Kristina, Kathrine and Lauren's help.

Thank you to all the OA CWWC Volunteers: Katy, Kathrine, Kristina, Hosana, Ingrid, Lauren, Louisa, Hannah, Junhwan, Maya, Hanna and Ara!

Early Years Program

MJ Welfare Home

Our Saturday sessions at MJ are a huge success thanks to our volunteers and creative planning from James and Anna. The children are always so happy to see us and enjoy their time either playing games, joining in with some crafts, practising their English alphabet or just spending time with their friends from Open Arms - oh, and not forgetting the snacks at the end!

Thank you to SIWA for providing the resources for the Christmas activities and for coming to help with the Christmas fun! The giant inflatable Santa and Instax camera will be used for years to come!

Thank you to all the OA MJ Volunteers: Katy, James, Sally, Kathrine, Joohee, Adan, Natalia, Nicole, Kristine, Janni, Sein, Ilse, Louisa, Maya, Manon, Marisa, Mrittika, Emma, Zahra, Anna, JunHwan, and Bernie

 Community Fundraising & Awareness


Hangul Day Fundraiser Dulwich College Seoul

October 9

In celebration of Hangul Day on October 9, the students and staff of Sejong House at Dulwich College Seoul wore red for a donation of 2,000 KW or more to raise money for Open Arms. Their collective effort and enthusiasm raised 800,000 KW! Thank you for turning an important holiday to commemorate the invention of the Korea alphabet into an event that also brings hope for a brighter future to Open Arms' children. 감사합니다!

AWC Charity Gala

November 26

The American Women’s Club held their 2022 Charity Gala at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel, Seoul. Open Arms members Nicole, Katy, Sally, Kathrine, Janni and Zahra were in attendance. The event helped support local Korean charities including Open Arms. The funds raised will help support our Early Years Program and future special events for the children. Thank you AWC for your generosity and Nicole for all your hard work organizing this extraordinary event!

HOPE Christmas Bazaar Seoul Foreign School

December 1

HOPE is an SFS high school student led group that aims to raise awareness about orphans, facilitate fundraising and donations from the SFS community for orphanages across Korea. They raised 300,000 KW at a Christmas bazaar selling baked goods. Thank you for supporting Open Arms!

Volunteer Voices 


Vicky Chung - Research, Graphic Design

Chicago, US

Open Arms truly is an organization fueled by collaboration and synergy. Every single person I have had the pleasure of speaking with is incredibly passionate about our mission, not to mention some of the loveliest people I have ever met! And no matter where you are in the world, Open Arms gives each and every volunteer a purpose and opportunity to serve, which I believe is just one of many reasons Open Arms is such a incredible community. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of Open Arms and its incredible mission! 

Goodbye 안영히 가세요

Miyong Lee - CWWC Toddler & Early Years Volunteer, Management Team

Miyong Lee was one of the original volunteers for OA’s first class of 10 toddlers in 2017. She has been an invaluable supporter of OA and a loving role model for orphans. We were waiting for her to return this year but she has permanently moved back home to Michigan, US with her (high maintenance and adorable) dog Rocky and husband to follow in the summer. We will miss her infectious laugh and smile and her caring and good-sense attitude. Thank you for all your years of dedication - we hope you will stay in touch. Our arms are always open!

Thank you Miyong for the countless hours you have spent with the children and times walking up the steep hill to CWWC. We have so many wonderful memories together from teaching English to the Dream Tree teenage boys after school, birthday parties and picnics to giggling and holding toddlers in our arms. You not only poured your heart into OA but also got your kids and their friends involved. I’m sad for OA Korea but happy we are on the same continent. Please visit me! - Barbara

Janni - MJ Early Years volunteer

Janni came to Korea on a one-year working holiday visa and, during her time here, volunteered at MJ Welfare Home. Her dedication and passion for the children was evident, and her caring and calm personality endeared her to them, as well as to other volunteers. After she left she recorded a video for the children and hopes to keep in touch as much as possible. She hopes to study early childhood education, and we are sure she will excel in her chosen profession! We hope she will come back and work with us again when she is qualified! No pressure Janni! We will miss you! Sally ♡♡♡

All our committee are volunteers!

Thank you for your time and commitment to Open Arms as we continue to learn and grow!

Visit our Website

Volunteering Opportunities

Be part of our Management Team

  • Korean Speaking Liaisons
  • Financial Controller
  • Volunteer Director and Volunteer Coordinators
  • Social Media Manager
  • Children's Birthday Gift Coordinator

Be an Early Years Program Volunteer

Click to see Criteria

We are looking for enthusiastic and enterprising members willing to take on the above roles. To see a summary of each role, click below. All roles require good English, some also specify ability in Korean. If you would like to be involved, or to see a full job description, please email Sally at

Instagram  Twitter  
#2173, 20th Fl, 149, Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03186 South Korea
ph. +82 10 5917 3214 (krn)
ph. +82 10 2716 5644 (eng)
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Newsletter Editor: Barbara Bai, Photo credits to: Kathrine Nielsen, Katy Freeman, Sally McEachen and all those who have contributed photos. If you would like to be given credit, please get in touch.