LA Korean churches use coinbanks to give back

December 10, 2015
Members of the Oriental Mission Church in Los Angeles with "always thankful" coinbanks (Park Sang-hyuk/Korea Times)

Members of the Oriental Mission Church in Los Angeles with “always thankful” coinbanks (Park Sang-hyuk/Korea Times)

By Kim Dong-hee

Los Angeles-area Korean American churches are using coinbanks to give back this holiday season, with goals of helping the homeless, the disabled, low-income seniors and other needy populations.

At Korean Canaan Presbyterian Church in Bellflower, a Los Angeles County city, the “Coinbank of Love” is now in its third year.

Church members each receive empty coinbanks at the beginning of each year with the goal of filling them with savings for donations toward missionary institutions.

Coinbanks were collected last month, and the church is currently choosing the institutions that will receive the money.

“It’s meaningful because the entire church works toward the same goal to help the needy,” a church source said. “We plan to continue the coinbank project next year.”

The Oriental Mission Church in Koreatown, too, handed out coinbanks and notepads to some of its members early this year.

The church asked its members to record every moment they felt thankful and to fill the coinbanks — named “always thankful” — when they did.

The contents of 1,000 Always Thankfuls, returned to the church last week, will go toward lending a hand to local community members and toward fellow struggling churchgoers.

“We are still discussing to whom and how we will deliver these donations and may end up buying necessities or food instead to give out,” said Park Hyung-eun, head pastor. “Through these preparations, our church members have another chance to be thankful and to think of helping our neighbors.”