How a Massive Volunteer Movement Quietly Transformed 760,000 Lives, Shaping a Brighter Future

Members of the Shincheonji Volunteer Group helping to repair damages locally affected by a typhoon

Chicago, Illinois Mar 17, 2024 ( - Shincheonji Church of Jesus, marking the 40th anniversary of their founding, also continues with their volunteer service history for 38 years. 

According to volunteer-related data compiled by the Shincheonji Volunteer group, from 2017 to the end of last year, over a period of 7 years, 581,905 volunteers have toiled, and 755,851 beneficiaries have received help. When converting these volunteer activities into days, it amounts to 49,768 days. Including unrecorded volunteer work prior to this would make the figures reach a number, rarely seen for a single volunteer organization.

The volunteer services of Shincheonji Church of Jesus began 38 years ago. In 1986, the initial steps were taken to help the underprivileged and to promote South Korea in preparation of the 24th Seoul Olympics coming two years later.

Subsequently, efforts were expanded to assist the underprivileged, environmental cleanup, and beauty and grooming services. In 2011, the Shincheonji Volunteer Group was officially launched to conduct systematic and professional volunteer activities.

In 2007, to restore the west coast beaches covered with black oil, around 30,000 volunteers rushed to the Taean Peninsula in Chungcheongnam-do, rolling up their sleeves. The volunteers sweated in the cold winter while removing oil stains that had seeped into the rocks and sand.

Starting from the following year, in 2008, blood donation volunteering began at a full scale, with around 5,000 people participating in blood donation annually. Then, in 2022, a new national record was set for the highest number of people donating blood and the most blood donation certificates donated by a single organization in the shortest period. In just 17 days, 18,819 people participated in blood donation, and 32,324 blood donation certificates were donated, earning a new record certificate from the Korea Record Institute & Guinness World Record. Shincheonji Church of Jesus was recognized for its contributions to the life-sharing movement through blood donation, receiving an award from the president of the Korean Red Cross.

Not stopping there, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, 3,741 people donated plasma, making a tremendous contribution to the development of a Korean COVID-19 vaccine.

To provide structured service, the Shincheonji Volunteer Group has divided its activities into annual planned volunteering and monthly regular volunteering until last year.

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The planned volunteering includes (1) 'Visiting Health Doctor,' a free medical service started for foreign workers in Korea and the marginalized groups (2)'Wall Story,' a mural service to facilitate communication between residents and communities (3)'Love our Country, Sharing Peace,' an event to honor the spirits of the patriotic martyrs and to share peace that can be practiced in real life.

The regular volunteering includes (1)'More the Merrier,' a plant giving service (2) 'Nature, Lets be Green,' an environmental cleanup and conservation service (3)'Pinky Promise,' helping communication and harmony between disabled and non-disabled people (4) 'Arms over the Shoulder,' various services including beauty services and coal delivery for the marginalized groups.

Starting this year, the group plans to concentrate all efforts on customized volunteering focused on the problems and characteristics of the local area to create a newer and brighter world.

Why does the Shincheonji Volunteer Group carry out such diverse and consistent volunteering activities? The group introduced that it is to fulfill the role of being the light and salt of society and to practice the spirit of loving one's neighbor as oneself.

A representative of the Shincheonji Volunteer Group mentioned, "Heaven gives us light, rain, and air for free. Just as we receive these for free, we want to share them without expecting anything in return."  He was determined that "With the spirit of service of life learned from heaven, I will shine light and warmth in every dark corner of the world."

He continued, "For the past 38 years, we have been spreading love to our neighbors and serving first in places where our service is needed in society. We plan to continue fulfilling our role as light and salt without hesitation."

A member of the Shincheonji Volunteer Group Ulsan branch is participating in blood donationMembers of Shincheonji Volunteer Group conducting a coal donation to underserved familiesVolunteers and seniors are happily making hearts during the

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This article was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.

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