Eugene Cho

if [my daughter] had $100,000…

As Minhee and I work towards launching a humanitarian organization later this year [once the 501c3 is officially issued], we’ve been enjoying opportunities to speak to our children about why we’ve made the decision and how it will impact our family.  We share with our kids about our faith in Christ and our desire to be agents of mercy, justice, and humility – both locally and globally.   But in many ways, our children are the ones that often challenge us with their sense of compassion.

[During my current sabbatical, I’ll be reposting some old posts for your reading pleasure.]

My oldest daughter who’s in 4th grade had a homework assignment this week where she was asked to write an essay about how she would help others if she had $100,000.  What a coincidence since that’s the amount we’ve pledged.  Anyways, I read it on Sunday night and was floored.

Read her essay below and check out the “vision plan” that she drew out.  I’m so immensely proud and privileged to be a father to my three children.  Okay, so the amounts in the essay don’t exactly add up to 100K but you get the point!

copy-of-100kplan.jpg

If I had $100,000, I would send them to far away places.  I have learned about these places because my church has raised some money to Africa. 

I would like to give $500 to Uganda. $300 to India, $200 to Congo, $250 to Kenya and $150 to Sudan and $1,000 to Kyrgyzstan.  All the money is for schools in Uganda, India, Congo, Kenya and Sudan. I also like to help people, and animals. So I would give $400 to orphanages and $100 to build an animal shelter. I would donate $500 to let each orphan go to school and learn the same thing as other children.          

I want to help autistic children. Because I have a friend who need special help in public schools. I want to donate $300 to build a school for them. I also want to be a doctor. So I thought I could donate $200 to build a hospital in Kenya. I also thought of myself since I have a skin problem.  So do a lot of people in the world. There aren’t a lot of dermatologists in the world so I can donate $400 to build a dermatology hospital. I also truly want to help Whittier Elementary. So I want give $200 for the playground and $6,000 for supplies, school lunches and other things for Whittier.  

I also thought about Asia and especially for North Korea. My great grandparents and grandfather are from North Korea. There are so many people who don’t have food to eat.  So I want to give North Korea $200 to buy food and $50 to build a market because they do not have enough food. And I want to build a school that’s FREE in China. I also thought of the world we live in. So I want to donate $600 to plant trees and flowers. And the rest I want to give to families around the world that actually need money. The reason why I want to help all of these people, things and places is because I want to see more smiles on peoples’ faces.  I want the world to be a better place and I also want to see lots of happy kids.  I want to see many healthy and happy people all over the world!

Filed under: family, religion, ,

34 Responses

  1. J. P. says:

    i’m speechl…

  2. Ragamuffin280 says:

    That’s just awesome! Props to you on raising such a global-minded child.

  3. minna says:

    PE …
    my eyes welled up when i read your daughter’s essay. she is such a great witness! you and your wife really should be so proud to be a part of shaping her to be such an amazing little lady with such a heart for others! props, PE, props!!

  4. RyanBD says:

    Seriously, that’s a glimpse of why Jesus said “the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these” in Mt. 19. Go little Cho, go.

  5. Teresa says:

    She sounds a lot like you and Minhee:) Nice job!

  6. andrew says:

    Often times, it is because of children that I find much hope about the future. Somehow, maybe they’ll be able to forgive us. Learn the positives that we’ve been able to show and move forward with greater courage and grace.

  7. yglin says:

    she gave $6,000 to her elementary school and $150-$1000 to 3rd world nations. she knows that $6,000 isn’t as valuable here in the US as $150-$1000 in developing countries. you have a young economist on your hands!

    -yung

  8. david says:

    inspiring and humbling all at the same time…maybe thats part of what He meant when He said to become like children…

  9. e cho says:

    yglin: that or her school is brainwashing her!

  10. Stef says:

    out of the mouths of babes…

  11. Deanne says:

    she’s pretty much awesome.

  12. YK Yea says:

    wow. very precious and thanks for sharing.

  13. Becky Eemo says:

    How incredibly beautiful. I am tears after reading this. What a beautiful, beautiful heart she has.

  14. Jonghee Jo says:

    Wow she has a beautiful heart. You and Minhee must have been wonderful parents to her! I’m so impressed.

  15. Jessica says:

    Now that’s a leader in the making!

  16. […] I read what Eugene Cho’s kid wanted to do with $100,000 (all of it altruistic, for those of you who don’t click through), it gave me a glimmer of […]

  17. Blake says:

    Wow, PE… She’s incredible. You sure you didn’t just post this so you could get affirmation on your obviously awesome parenting skills? 😉 jk.

  18. e cho says:

    i could pass for writing that. but for the drawing, i don’t have those skills.

    honestly, i really think that many of us as children think in these beautiful and ideal ways. the older we can, the more skeptical, cynical, and egotistical we can get.

    at least, that’s my story…

  19. tok cho says:

    I am so proud of being your grandparent.
    Great , juby

  20. JB says:

    Awesome! She’s got brains and heart. I’m completely confident that when the time comes she’ll find whatever other resources she needs to do great things.

  21. Dennis says:

    I can’t wait for her to start blogging like her dad… =)

  22. sarcasticredheadedgeek says:

    You have done a terrific job raising a great daughter!

  23. Donna says:

    Beautiful…that brought tears to my eyes. How blessed you both are to have such a daughter. God is so good.

  24. daphne says:

    What a kid!!!

  25. Will says:

    Bro. words don’t come close….

  26. Paul says:

    this post, like the last one where we couldn’t post anything (!!!), is about the heart. it’s about more than our treasures. jesus says where our treasures are there is our heart and its desires. don’t place the desires of your heart in earthly things where it will inevitably waste away. place our hearts in heavenly things. this precious girl’s heart is in the right place in my book! (an aside for church folk–when people give money, they’re actually being good stewards of their heart…not just their money.)

  27. rk says:

    pastor eugene, this is the best thing i’ve read in a long time! your girl just made me cry and i am going to talk share it in my blog!

  28. gar says:

    I like the mind-map. Good job to whatever teacher taught her the importance of pre-writing… haha. =)

  29. […] Eugene Cho has a nice letter his daughter wrote on what she would do with […]

  30. iy. says:

    that is amazing. i love that $50 goes to build a market in NK but $100 goes to animals and $600 to plant flowers and trees. i love that the numbers doesn’t make any sense! what an awesome essay. i hope her teacher is amazed and touched and laughs a lot. =)

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One Day’s Wages

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F A M I L Y. So grateful to be creating memories.

Confession time: I sucked in my belly like it's the end of the world because of the full solar eclipse and then stopped breathing until this photo was taken. Which is probably why my wife looks like she's punching me on the side. But...mission accomplished. #OldManTricks These are crazy, turbulent times. Fight the good fight. Run the race set before us.

But we also need you for the long haul. Don't burn out. Discipleship and justice work is a marathon. Learn to take care of yourself. Don't play the victim. It's far too tempting to blame others. Be rooted in prayer, Scripture, and community. It's okay to pause, critical to rest and retreat, and godly to practice Sabbath.

#NoteToSelf Everyone loves the idea of  reconciliation...until it involves truthtelling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, forgiving, and peacemaking. Charlottesville. So heartbreaking and infuriating. We weep and mourn over the hatred in the hearts of these white nationalists. We weep and mourn but we can't be defeated.

As I stare at this photo that's making its round on the internet, I'm reminded of the utter importance of showing up. I'm grateful for the news media, law enforcement, clergy, and peaceful protesters that are currently there to report, protect, pray, and protest.

And this is an invitation to us. May we not be mere bystanders. May we keep pressing forward. Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly. Commit to truth-telling, justice, reconciliation, peacemaking. Follow the ways of Christ. Every day. And it's important to note that we don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. In fact, it's more important that we do this exactly where we're at. May we live out the call to reconciliation in our churches, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and around our dining tables. Lord, may it be so... We don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. We have to do this wherever were called to be.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. /// Thanks to those who let me know that the photo wasn't actually from today but rather from last month in Charlottesville. - https://www.facebook.com/FrankSomervilleKTVU/posts/1551137301616258:0 Grateful for a spontaneous, last minute trip with Minhee to my old stomping grounds - San Francisco. 48 hours of visiting this special city that I called home for so many years.

Pic 1: Went to the Cliff House restaurant where we got engaged about 21 years ago to make out. Oops, sorry, I meant...to reflect on God's faithfulness over these many years.

Pic 2: Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge because it's such an iconic place - with some of the most incredible views.

Pic 3: Enjoyed a glass of some Cabernet Sauvignon and pretended to be wine connoisseurs at a vineyard.

Pic 4: Had lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Sam Tung, which boasts some of the best chicken in the country. And of course, we ate at In-n-out.

Pic 5: And finally, celebrated with the good folks at @thefreedomstory where @onedayswages received their annual Freedom Award. What an honor.

Grateful. Thankful for this sabbatical. Breathe.

Show yourself some grace.

We can't do everything for everyone in every situation. Do what you can and do it with a joyful heart.

Amen

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