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Volunteers Bond Over Habitat For Humanity Builds In Korea

Korean actor and Habitat ambassador Seojin Lee worked with fans; Korean Air staff got together to build despite busyness


08_31_2012_volunteers_bond_over_habitat_Seojin Lee (right) talking to his fans and fellow volunteers during a Habitat build in Jochiwon, South Korea. Photos: HFH Korea.08_31_2012_volunteers_bond_over_habitat_
Working on a Habitat build gives Korean Air staff members a rare opportunity to get together.

SEOUL, August 31, 2012: For a celebrity like South Korean actor Seojin Lee, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity is not a publicity stunt. The goodwill ambassador of Habitat for Humanity Korea said previously: “Volunteering shouldn’t be done for publicity. Volunteering itself should become a part of one’s life.”

Since 2006, Lee has volunteered annually with Habitat, including the 2009 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project where he worked at the main site in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.

His latest stint was at a one-day build in Jochiwon, about a two-hour car ride from the capital Seoul. Thirty of his fans joined another 50 local volunteers to cut and build 250 wall frames which will be used in Habitat houses in Korea.

Busy flight and ground schedules mean that Korean Air staff members hardly get to meet each other. But a Habitat for Humanity Korea build helped to bridge the gap.

A total of 120 staff members volunteered with Habitat in northeastern Gangwon province, about 1.5 hours by car from the capital Seoul. About 30 volunteers were mobilized daily over two days a week in late July and early August. They carried bricks, installed heat-insulating materials and did woodwork.

The partnership between HFH Korea and Korea Air first began in 2001 with donations from the carrier. About 900 Korea Air staff members have been volunteering with Habitat since 2004. To date, 11 houses have been built with volunteer help and 970 million Korean won (about US$860,000) donated by Korean Air.