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326th Communication Reconnaissance Company
APO 301SF, California
22 May 1953

Mr. Charles L. Bennett
City Editor
Schenectady Union-Star
Schenectady, New York

Dear Sir:

Recently Pfc Arthur Eifert passed on to me your letter asking for further Information about the orphanage supported by this company. As I an the corresponding secretary of the Orphanage Committee I have most of the facts and figures at hand enabling us to give you the necessary information.

First of all let me thank you for your generous assistance to our cause in giving our appeal such great coverage. So far we have received over 50 parcels of food, clothing, toys and other items from the people of Schenectady and neighboring towns. Our committee has acknowledged receipt of each of these packages and of the various donations of money also.

Our committee has undertaken several new projects. One is the equipping of a school for the children. About 175 of the youngsters are of school age. The United Nations, through its subsidiary, the United Nations Civil Assistance Command, Korea (UNCACK), has given money for the construction of a native style building to be used for a school. Construction is almost completed now.

The school is made of mud bricks, the mud mixed molded and dried on the property. We looked ahead and saw a school with no supplies. No paper and pencils, blackboards, or chalk, and no benches and desks. So we started writing. We sent out about 500 letters asking for aid in "Project Schoolroom". Since the benches and desks and such furniture had to be constructed locally we also solicited money for that purpose. So far we have received about three hundred dollars and numerous supplies from that project.

A Belgian United Nations unit gave an excellent portable radio to the children. Our committee is keeping batteries in it on the condition that every day they all listen to the one hour program of classical music on the GI station. Twice a week one of the members of the committee goes to the orphanage to teach English. This was started by popular demand of the children themselves.

You might wonder just how we stand now. Here 'tis. School will be started in the new building without desks and benches for lack of finances to build them. The money we received from our letters went to the purchasing of books. Supplies are enough to get started but are hardly enough to carry on without replenishing. By this we mainly mean paper notebooks.

At present water is drawn by use of a hand pump and carried up the hill to the house. We would like to get a gas motor and a water tank for them so there will be enough water for baths and washing and cooking and no excuse for going around dirty.

We can attempt these larger projects because the people back home always seem to come through with the food staples to supplement the rice ration and the milk for the babies when we are running short of the last shipment. We feel though that to keep the body alive is not enough and are trying to back this school project to the hilt. The spiritual education Is supplied by the mission which runs the hospital and sanitarium and orphanage. The children are well disciplined.

Since this company first started supporting 34 children near the company area, until the present time when we are helping to support 274 children, we have given, at our monthly pay calls, over four thousand dollars. The cost of maintaining 274 children adds up even over here where the U.S. dollar buys a lot on the local market, that is if you can find what you are seeking on the market.

We do all we can but we are limited in so far as almost everything must be shipped in from the United States or purchased in Japan. Our committee will make this offer, if anyone gets more supplies together than they can afford to ship, paper in bulk, for instance, weighs a lot, notify us and we will send a money order to your paper so that you can see to the proper disposition of the money.

We are deeply grateful to the people of Schenectady and other cities and towns in other states for their heartwarming support of our orphanage and its children.

Enclosed are six pictures taken for us by A/2C Dave Krupka. If possible will you give him a credit line for the pictures? He is not of our unit and does all this work for us gratis with the hopes of getting a few bylines for his efforts. He hopes to go into press photography upon discharge from the service.

Photo #1. Korean style see-saw. At the orphanage.
Photo #2. School children bowing in respect to the teachers before being dismissed for play.
Photo #3. Sleeping on the floor for afternoon nap. Blackboard shows room is also currently used for schoolroom. At night the children roll in a blanket on the floor as they have no beds.
Photo #4. Two orphan boys with Tuberculosis in a crowded hospital room.
Photo #5. When enough toys are received they are spread out on a low wall and the children come up two at a time to choose a toy. These two orphan girls are hospitalized with TB.
Photo #6. Some of the younger tots at the noon meal. This scene is far from the way they look when first admitted to the orphanage. They eat in two shifts as we have trays enough for only half of them to eat at a time.


George F. Drake
Cpl. RA 12344689
Corr Secty Orph Comm.



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