“Senior citizens, we will be good sons and daughters who repay you for your favors.”

Hwaseong-si in Gyeonggi province bears the spirit of King Jeong-jo’s devotion to his father who is called the Crown Prince Sado. And among the counties of the city Hwaseong, Bongdam-eup is renowned as a village of filial piety. There is Hyoja-mun (which is a kind of gate) commemorating Hyoja [a devoted son] who moved heaven and found carp and cucumbers in the middle of winter when he looked for them for his sick parents; and there is also Hyoja-gak(which is a kind of tower) commemorating a faithful son who killed a tiger which had eaten his father.

On January 21, a few days before the Lunar New Year’s Day, the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation held a consolatory party for the senior citizens living alone in Bongdam-eup, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi Province. It was held to follow the will of Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah who said, “Although it becomes more difficult to live as economy get worse, we need to share more with our unfortunate neighbors, even dividing a grain of bean into four.” The reason why the foundation held the event in the village of filial piety was to enlighten the spirit of devotion to our parents, which is now disappearing, and to take care of the senior citizens who live in difficult situations and feel lonelier on holidays like the Lunar New Year’s Day. During the consolatory party, being held as part of the “14th Love Sharing Event Greeting National Holiday,” Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah, Chief Director Lee Gang-min and other board members and the foundation members served the senior citizens, volunteering to become their one-day sons and daughters. They served the senior citizens with festive food, massaged them and talked together with them.

After preparing the festive food—Yukgaejang (Korea beef stew), Bulgogi (barbecued beef), Japchae (fried glass noodles with various vegetables), Shikhye (traditional sweet Korean rice beverage) and so on—and arranging everything around at noon, Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah bowed politely before the senior citizens. She expressed her gratitude and honor to them, and wished their good health, saying, “Seeing you, I feel like I have come to my hometown. I believe you were all good sons and daughters to your parents, after the name of this town, ‘the county of filial piety.’ I also believe you raised your children with great devotion. Living in those hard times, you probably couldn’t eat food you wanted to eat, but gave everything to your children.” Jeon Jae-yeong the City Counselor of Hwaseong city, and Kim Jin-wung the Head of Bongdam county thanked the foundation and comforted the senior citizens, saying, “Our city government should hold a good event like this but we couldn’t, so we give thanks to the Chairwoman Zahng for doing the job instead of us.”

In this party, over 130 senior citizens living alone in the county attended. Most of them were at their ages of 70s or 80s, but they responded with innocent smiles like teenagers to the devotion of the Chairwoman and the members. They merrily followed the motion, “We Love You,” and enjoyed the dishes, saying, “Every dish is very delicious and tastes right to me.” Seeing the senior citizens having the dishes deliciously, the members were also very happy. As emcee told senior citizens to laugh a lot and live happy, a senior citizen, Go Mal-rye (83), said, “The people who live alone have nothing to laugh.” However, soon she took hold of the members’ hands with a smiling and said, “Today is a feast for me. Thank you very much. You made great efforts.”

Some senior citizens were living alone for some reason even though they had their children; and many senior citizens said that they were happy as if they had seen their own children. Their words touched the members’ heart deep. The members shared the love of a family with the senior citizens as if they had served their parents in their hometowns.

After finishing the party, Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah gave a “Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup Set” and “Tuna Gift Set” to the senior citizens one by one, wishing them to live healthy and happy lives. Ryu Jeong-im (93), who was the oldest in the senior’s house, was very excited and said, “I can’t be happier.” The members helped their return to their homes, carrying their gift sets.

“Happy New Year! God bless you!”
“God bless you more, because you do good things.”

Seeing the senior citizens delighted with small things, the members said, “We received many things from them, rather than gave them.” When we share, we become abundant: It is love, and the spirit of a feast.