Former Peace Corps volunteers continue their love for Korea

November 17, 2014

The Friends of Korea holds its first annual meeting in Los Angeles and donates $2,000 to city’s Korean Consulate General.

Los Angeles Korean Consul General Kim Hyun-myung speaks at a Friends of Korea meeting at the Korean Cultural Center Saturday. (Park Ji-hye/The Korea Times)

Los Angeles Korean Consul General Kim Hyun-myung speaks at a Friends of Korea meeting at the Korean Cultural Center Saturday. (Park Ji-hye / The Korea Times)

By The Korea Times Los Angeles staff

An organization formed by former Peace Corps volunteers who served in South Korea from the 1960s to 1980s held its first annual meeting in Los Angeles Saturday.

The Friends of Korea, gathered inside the Korean Cultural Center, donated $2,000 to the city’s Korean Consulate General.

If the organization was more like a reunion for shared memories until now, its new goal is to grow outreach and help the Korean American community, Friends of Korea President Nancy Kelly said.

The group is based in Washington, D.C., but hopes to expand in size and in activities, Kelly said. It agreed to open membership to anyone who loves Korea.

A panel discussion on Korean American identity, culture and community featuring former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang and University of California, Riverside ethnic studies professor Dr. Edward Chang was followed by a buffet dinner at the residence of Korean Consul General Kim Hyun-myung, who gave the keynote speech at the meeting.

Kang, a member of the organization, said he received a lot of help from Corps volunteers while in college studying English.

According to the Friends of Korea website, almost 2,000 volunteered to serve in Korea as teachers and health care workers.

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