A letter from our founder
We are passionate about helping Korean adoptees.
As a college student more than 20 years ago, I volunteered at a temporary shelter run by an adoption agency. It was here that I first met a group of babies waiting to be adopted. The children who looked up at me from their cribs, all packed together in a small room, seemed to be saying, "Please look at me," or "Please hold me." I sometimes think about them, and wonder how they are doing. Now, they might be living with a new family elsewhere in the U.S., Europe, Australia, or beyond, perhaps with families of their own. This experience has always stayed with me. It’s also what spurred my initial interest in learning more about the Korean adoptee community, as well as what I could do to assist it.
Since that first interaction, I have met hundreds of adoptees who were adopted internationally. Although it may be to varying degrees, I've found Korean adoptees frequently have questions about their identity, and these lingering questions have led to curiosity about Korea: What is Korea like? What if I lived in Korea? Where could my birth family be?
Me & Korea was established to create a bridge between the Korean community and Korean adoptees, in the hopes of helping adoptees answer some of these questions. We foster cultural unity, and provide opportunities and assistance to learn about Korean culture and history, along with each adoptees' unique family heritage and background. We also aim to help the Korean community understand the uniqueness of the adoptee experience, and embrace each adoptee as Korean. Through our various programs, we hope Korean adoptees will not only think of Korea as the country in which they were born, but a place they can return to and call “home.”
At Me & Korea, it's my goal to help adoptees discover and feel pride in their identities as Koreans.
— Minyoung Kim, Founder & Executive Director
Me & Korea founder Minyoung Kim, along with her husband (Me & Korea Director Kyutaeg Oh), and their two daughters, Christine and Eunice (who volunteer on the Mosaic Tour each summer!). The entire family volunteers for each session of SKAF.
Here's how Me & Korea used its donations in 2017
*Operational expenses include office expenses, tax advisors, credit card processing fees, and insurance costs. Me & Korea is an all-volunteer organization and has no paid employees. All officers and staff are volunteer and receive no compensation for their work.
** Includes conferences and other programming
How we're funded
Me & Korea is funded by donations from individuals like you. We are fortunate to have received donations in kind from organizations in Korea such as Hana Leader Tour, the City of Paju, and the City of Bupyeong. In some instances, such as with our Mosaic Tours, we rely on the generosity of Korean citizens who donate their time, services, or supplies to help adoptees.
Me & Korea, Inc. (“Me & Korea”) is a California, U.S.-based nonprofit organization that serves Korean adoptees and their families. Me & Korea strives to forge connections between the Korean community and Korean adoptees to help adoptees develop their Korean identity and to raise awareness about adoption in the Korean community. Me & Korea runs annual tours to Korea for adult Korean adoptees and an educational program for Korean adoptee children and their families in northern California. Me & Korea is an all-volunteer organization that receives the majority of its funding from individual donors.
Me & Korea was founded in 2013 after Executive Director Minyoung Kim helped run the first return tour for adult Korean adoptees in the summer 2013. After the success of the first tour, Minyoung decided that she would like to continue the tours and to set up a nonprofit organization to do so. She enlisted the help of 2013 tour members Jill Pfenning and Mary O’Donnell, who would soon join Minyoung on the Board of the newly formed organization.
Since its founding, Me & Korea has run eight tours and its tour alumni include more than 200 adoptees. In addition, it has co-sponsored two conferences on Koreans and Camptowns (one at University of California, Berkeley, in September 2015, and one at Seoul National University in September 2018). It also launched a language and culture school for Korean adoptee children in the San Francisco, California area, assisted with translating and promoting the Dazzling Hope book by Professor Keon-Su Lee, and launched Wings to raise money for orphaned children and birth mothers in Korea.