Pacific Stars & Stripes, Nov. 20, 1953
SEOUL, Nov. 20- More than 125,000 Koreans will
be guests at 275 Christmas parties to be given by Eighth Army soldiers
this year, it was announced recently by the chairman of the Army's
Christmas program, Col. Vachel D. Whatley.
Ninety-five percent of the Koreans attending will
be orphans and needy children. The others will be widows and underprivileged
Units have used individual methods to get material
support from social, religious and semi-military groups in the U.S.
They have collected thousands of dollars and pounds of clothing since
the program got under way early this fall when Eight Army Commander
General Maxwell D. Taylor asked his Army to voluntarily sponsor and
contribute to institutions for orphans and the needy.
Eight Army Special Troops alone collected more
than $4,000 in a 40-day period. In one mail call as many as 90 packages
including 4,000 pounds of clothing were received.
Distribution of items is controlled from the minute
they arrive until they are given to individuals under the supervision
of the sponsoring soldiers.
"Voluntary contributions and support by soldiers
has been remarkable," said Maj. R.C. McCracken of Eighth Army's
Civil Affairs Section and secretary of the Christ Fund drive.
"All approved institutions are being supported
100 percent by soldiers of the Eighth Army."
Among the troops, money and food packages have
been collected through the establishment of collection boxes and contracts
At each party there will be between 2,000 and 3,000
Korean guests and each will get candy, fruit, nuts and clothing. It
is also planned that each institution being sponsored by soldiers
will be given a permanent gift such as a sewing machines, sterilizers
and medical supplies and playground equipment.
Entertainment will be provided by children who
will sing Christmas carols in Korean, perform native dances and put
on skits for the soldier audiences.
Santa Claus will be present at many parties. Many
units plan to have him arrive by helicopter and then transfer him
with his bag to a jeep decorated to look like a sleigh.