Hope and Courage to the Flood Victims in Despair

On July 20, the foundation members, who had been sharing neighbors’ grief, volunteered to help the flood victims in Yangpyeong-dong, where the bank of the Anyang Stream collapsed by the heavy rain. Over 50 members arrived at the site around 10 am, bringing rubber gloves, detergents and cleaning tools and so on. Following the guidance of Disaster Relief Center, they went to the residential area where their helping hands were needed.

Through the prompt restoration work by military forces and fire stations, water was drained on the streets, but clothes and housewares were piled everywhere like trash, being covered with dirt. It showed how terrible the situation had been back then. This flood drowned all the houses that were located in the basement, and severely damaged the stores at the first floor as well.

The foundation members rolled their sleeves up and visited each household that was waiting for their helping hands in despair. On the walls of the rooms that had been drowned, water stain was left, which proved that the flood water rose up to the half of the walls. Most housewares became useless; and even the cement on the floor of the rooms became diluted and holes were made, which was still filled with water. The foundation members cleaned the damaged houses, washed wet clothes, housewares and electrical appliances like refrigerators.

Cho Gyeong-ok (36) got tearful and said, “Upon hearing the emergency announcement broadcast, I evacuated my children first to the Dangsan elementary school. When I came back home to bring some housewares, the sewage and the filth of the cesspit flowed backward and the dirty water filled the whole house already. I couldn’t get anything. I feel empty and sorrowful.” As a volunteer told her that she had to pick herself up because of her children, she said, “Thanks to your service, I’m comforted.”

A volunteer Shin Mi-gyeong (37, Yeongdeungpo branch), who was cleaning messy rooms in the basement, said, “I’ve been very astonished to find out that the damage is more serious than I watched on TV. I want to help the flood victims as much as I can.”

A factory, which had produced current transformer components in the basement, was filled with the components which were mixed with mud. It was chaos itself. The owner Choi Jong-un (81), who had been in despair, thanked the members who were cleaning the components. He repeatedly thanked them, “I’m extremely grateful to you. You all look like angels.” He even asked if he could be a member of the New Life Welfare Foundation, saying that he wanted to give back what he received to people in need.

A volunteer Yu Sun-hee (43, Yeongdeungpo branch) encouraged him, saying, “How frustrated you were when the transformer components became useless! Please do not lose hope, but start again with courage.”

The volunteers worked until 4 p.m., wishing the grief and pain to go away from the hearts of the victims just as the housewares mixed with mud were cleansed. All the scheduled volunteer service was completed by cleaning the glass windows and the inside of the senior’s center of which the restoration was delayed by the lack of workers.

A senior citizen Kim Gwang-su (72) shed tears, saying, “Volunteers are great help to us practically.” Another senior citizen Kim Yeong-ae (63) smiled lightly, asking the volunteers to help her with this and that. The victims saw off the volunteers even though they were so busy in fixing the mess, and said, “We will not forget your help.” The volunteers replied, “Do not lose hope and courage!”