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Published in the Schenectady Union-Star newspaper in Schenectady, New York on 19 March 1953. Eifert sent one of Drake's letters to his home town paper with great results.

Rotterdam Soldier, 'Dad' to 274 Korean Waifs, Pens Plea for Aid in 'Fathering Needy Family"

The tragedies of war don't always occur at the front. In Korea where war has been raging between the forces of freedom and the Communists since June, 1950, many Korean children have lost their mothers and fathers - but they have not lost friends.

Pvt. Arthur J. Eifert of Rotterdam is one such friend. He and his buddies have taken time out from regular duty to play "dad" to 274 of these homeless youngsters quartered in a Seoul sanatorium and hospital.

In a letter to the Union-Star Eifert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur H. Eifert, 504 Curry Rd., expressed his concern for the tiny victims of war. He asked that his story of the aid to the orphanage be printed.

Eifert wrote: "Over a year ago our company started supporting 55 children in an orphanage located next to our camp. Even though we could not provide the close attention needed to have them brought up properly, we fed and clothed them the best we could.

Children Moved

"Since people of responsibility could not be found to run the orphanage for us we moved the children to Seoul Sanitarium and Hospital Orphanage where they were integrated into the larger household of over 200 children.

"Here are the true victims of this war. Thirty percent have TB; numerous others are hospitalized with communicable diseases. The most recent group to enter were twenty-four unfortunate tots suffering from malnutrition. They had been starving and freezing in their small orphanage while the overseer was stealing the money given by the government for their food! Now they are in good hands.

"Two Americans at the hospital, Mrs. Rue, the Director's wife, and Miss Robson, the head nurse, have accepted full responsibility for these derelicts in the sea of humanity. Some of the tots are brought to the orphanage by people who found them living in caves, eking out an existence by raiding garbage piles and begging. "Others, new born, were found in the gutters almost without life. The two American women have taken on the orphanage as additional duties besides their running the hospital. They are directly responsible for the raising and keeping of the children but what a task! Two people caring for 274 children! Our job has not been lightened by turning our charges over to Mrs. Rue and Miss Robson. This may seem contrary, but is true.

"We now have 274 charges and they are all in dire need of our assistance and all the help our friends at home can give us. Basic food staples are scarce, powdered milk, chocolate, cereals, dried fruits and vegetables, all are desperately needed. "Outing flannel for infant's clothes and corduroy and other material for larger children's clothing is needed. Shoes of all sizes, but especially for the smaller tots, are lacking. Some sort of waterproof material for the infant's cribs is needed to protect bedding.

Lack Pajamas

"Hardly any of the children in the hospital with TB have pajamas and such a thing as sheets for the beds is unheard of. And so goes the list."

Eifert added: "These children need your help and need it now. Won't you help us?" Anything that Schenectadians send will be greatly appreciated, he wrote.

The army man asked that packages be sent to him but marked "Orphanage" in the event he leaves the company before they arrive.

His address is:
Pvt. Arthur J. Eifert, US 51125789,
326th Comm. Recon. Co.,
APO 301 c/o P.M.,
San Francisco, Calif.

Eifert has been in Korea about four months. He entered service Oct. 9, 1951.

Printed in the Schenectady Union-Star 19 March 1953




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