Dec. 20, 1951
28 States Answer Plea Of Marines
WITH 1ST MARINE WING IN KOREA-"There
was a letter in our paper from a Marine, asking that toys be sent
to Korean children. My brother Larry and I are sending a box of toys.
They're used but in good condition. The toys are for boys."
That letter came to Korea from David Smith, 11,
of Omaha, Neb. It is one of hundreds making their way to Marine Sgt.
Frank W. Czezh of Chicago, Ill., and Lt. Cmdr. Joa Sullivan of Newport,
R.I., Catholic chaplain with the 1st Marine Air Wing.
With the letters has come a tent full of gifts for children of a Korean
orphanage near this Marine air base.
LEARNING THAT 200 Korean orphans were scheduled
for a scant yuletide, the chaplain, the sergeant and other interested
leathernecks wrote hometown newspapers describing the need for things
ranging from toys to toothbrushes if the children were to have a Christmas.
In Chicago, Irv Kupcinet, Sun-Times columnist, plugged the project
via newspaper columns, radio and television. In Omaha, the World-Herald
printed a letter and in Muncie, Ind., a radio station sponsored a
collection of simple necessities for the kids.
"After that, things got slightly out of hand,"
admits Father Sullivan. "We have received gifts from 28 states.
An Ohio school collected 40 cartons of clothing while a Boston marine
just home from Korea sent 25 sea bags full of clothes."
A MIDWESTERN toy manufacturer gave 25 miniature
autos and a Nebraska widow, 77, sent a $3 money order. A windy city
export firm volunteered packing and shipping of all presents through
them. Here a tent had to be set up to house the presents. Crammed
now to the door, it is overflowing.
Meanwhile, the two French priests running the orphanage
can only shake their heads. Bishop Mousset, with 52 years in Korea,
declares, "This proves all people are basically kind." Father Sullivan,
equally amazed at the snowballed project, reflects, "This is a lot
of little people doing a lot of big things."