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Pacific Stars and Stripes, May 3, 1953

"Foster Parents" Sought For Korean, Other Tots

New York, May 3 (UP)- The Foster Parents' Plan for War Children appealed for help in rescuing thousands of destitute Korean children from gutters, railroad stations, and garbage dumps they call home.

The organization, founded 16 years ago to care for young victims of the Spanish civil war, already has rehabilitated 72,000 victims of both hot and cold wars throughout the world.

Now it sees an almost endless task before it in South Korea, which has become the most densely populated and devastated area in the world.

MRS. LENORE SORIN, director of Foster Parents' relations for the plan, sent out a call for "as much money as we can get," to provide housing and buy rice and shoes for South Korean children.

She wants-even more urgently-to recruit foster parents to "adopt" Korean youngsters.  The crew of the battleship Missouri has become the first mail-order "foster parent" in the Korean project, and Mrs. Sorin hopes thousands of individuals and organizations also will volunteer.

In other parts of the world-Greece, Italy, France, Germany, England, and Belgium-the plan spent about 1.5 million dollars last year on "remote control adoptions" of about 10,000 youngsters and for medical and surgical care. Now it wants to add thousands more in Korea.

The work in South Korea has just begun.  Robert W. Sage has started rounding up destitute children in Pusan, which he said is jammed to the rafters with five times as many persons as it held in its crowded prewar days.

HE AND HIS aides have started helping 300 children they found living in fruit markets, in dumps, or wandering hungry through the streets.  Most have been separated from their parents or are with parents too ill to work. Almost all the orphans are in institutions.

From now on Sage expects children to wander into his headquarters at a rate of 100 or 200 a week. For each there will be money to help pay for lodging and food for him and his family. Later there will be shoes, clothes, and shipments of rice, powdered milk, and soap.

Then will come the service for which the plan was organized-the establishment of a relationship between foster parents in the United States and the children in Korea.

Under the plan, a "parent" pays $180 a year to help support the child assigned him. He also may send food and clothing parcels to the child. Many organizations have "adopted" a number of children.

Actress Tallulah Bankhead has served as a foster parent to four or five European youngsters over the last 16 years Mrs. Sorin said, and an Italian girl receives help from Mrs. Gary Cooper.  C. D. Jackson, one of President Eisenhower's top aides, still finds time to write to his foster child, a little girl in Greece.

IN ADDITION to the aid given, Mrs. Sorin encourages the foster parents and children to correspond at least once a month.  They establish a relationship, she said, that gives a child a sense of security and the knowledge that someone really cares about him, she said.

"We are not a propaganda agency," Mrs. Sorin said, "but our work has a tremendous propaganda value. We will miss a big opportunity, if we don't do a good deed and help the Korean children.

By Claire Cox



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