Tony was selected to receive a $500 community development Greenheart Travel grant to further a community project in his community in South Korea. Below he describes his grant project.
Daejeon Paws is a local dog shelter in Daejeon, South Korea and is operated out of the home of a Korean woman named Ms. Jung. Her altruistic nature, enthusiastic volunteers and community donations are the means keeping the shelter (the only functioning dog shelter in the city) afloat. The dogs housed at the shelter have been abandoned or are strays, found on the street, thus saved from various dangers and spared from becoming food.
As a Daejeon Paws volunteer, I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with other volunteers who are equally as passionate about the shelter, as well as to assist Ms. Jung directly. The shelter allows its volunteers to experience civic engagement, exercise their love for dogs and, for foreign volunteers specifically, enjoy a fulfilling and enriching experience while away from their respective home countries.
Difficulties, though, can and do arise. Financial difficulties are among the most common for Mrs. Jung, as the shelter operates off a very tight and stringent budget. As previously mentioned, the shelter operates out of Mrs. Jung’s home, where she lives among the dogs she cares for. There are oftentimes miscellaneous, unexpected, and expensive veterinary expenses, which take away from the shelter’s budget for food, new equipment (collars, leashes, harnesses, cages, etc), and cleaning supplies. During my year of volunteering at the shelter, I noticed an enormous need for these kinds of new materials and supplies, and so was determined to assist Mrs. Jung.
After enlisting the help of fifteen Daejeon Paws volunteers and the community at large, cleaning supplies were purchased and the shelter was completely cleaned. New collars, leashes and harnesses of different sizes were also purchased, in order to accommodate the different sizes of dogs in the shelter. Mrs. Jung was completely thrilled with our efforts, especially since this was done as a surprise.
Daejeon Paws is an integral part of the Daejeon community. As the only operating shelter in the city, it is highly valued by locals and expats alike. The new equipment will be utilized and enjoyed for years to come, and the ‘cleaning day’ event generated great excitement within the community (we even recruited a few more Paws volunteers!). Needless to say, Mrs. Jung, Daejeon Paws, and all its volunteers, are extremely grateful for Greenheart’s generous contribution.