‘Christmas in July’ event kicks off orphanage gift campaign

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 22, 2015 - 19:07
  • Updated : Jul 22, 2015 - 19:07

Showing contempt for the calendar, expats in Gwangju are holding a Christmas-themed family event at the height of summer in aid of disadvantaged children.

Saturday’s “Christmas in July” event will raise money for Adopt a Child for Christmas, a campaign that provides gifts to children each Christmas at orphanages in the Gwangju area.

Christmas in July will include a Hawaiian shirt contest, paper snowflake lessons, Christmas card making, and a water balloon toss and other party games, while a concession stand will sell drinks and snacks. 

There will be no entrance fee, but each activity and game will require a ticket. Tickets will be available at the event for 5,000 won for 10. All proceeds will go to this year’s Christmas gift campaign. 

Santa gives out gifts as part of a previous Adopt a Child for Christmas – Gwangju event. (Relja Kojic)

“This is the first year we’re having a fund-raiser before September. The reason is that the organization has just gotten so big. Thankfully, the event has been well received so far. A lot of families are coming, and some kids from the orphanages will also be coming to the event,” said Calen Cygan, one of the event’s organizers.

The charity was founded in 2010 by Al Barnum, who had the goal of providing 56 girls at Sungbin orphanage Christmas presents. The organization has since grown and provided Christmas gifts and a visit from Santa to more than 500 local orphans in 2014.

The organization also let individuals sponsor a child from these orphanages for 30,000 won. Sponsors will receive the name, age, the orphanage and Christmas wish list of the child.

If the sponsor lives locally, they can buy the present, wrap it, and attach a card. If the sponsor lives far away, a volunteer will buy and wrap the present in the name of the sponsor.

The event runs from 1-5 p.m. at Geumnamno Park in downtown Gwangju, though the venue may change due to poor weather. Visit the Adopt a Child for Christmas ― Gwangju Facebook page for more information.

Contact Calen Cygan at for information about the event or sponsorship.

By Moses Kim, Intern reporter (