326th Communication Reconnaissance Company
APO 301SF, California
22 May 1953
Mr. Charles L. Bennett
Schenectady, New York
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
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.
FOR THE ORPHANAGE COMMITTEE
George F. Drake
Cpl. RA 12344689
Corr Secty Orph Comm.