The moment Allen Choi’s family saw the documentary, they knew they had to act.
Already active volunteers at the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry and with the Higher Vision Church congregation, Choi, his wife and their three children were compelled to act after watching “The Drop Box,” a documentary about a church in South Korea that has a “baby box” where parents can leave children for pastor Lee Jong-rak and his congregation to essentially adopt, according to IMDB.com.
For Choi, the film touched his heart, especially since he and his wife had lost a child.
“We lost one, and so we know the value of a life, and we want to leave that legacy to our kids,” Allen Choi said. “It’s about love and life, and that’s something we wanted to share.”
Choi wanted to donate as many diapers and sanitary wipes as he could to the overseas congregation, working with Shield Healthcare, which helped organize the purchase of more than $8,000 worth of product.
However, Choi’s initial plans hit a snag when he tried to export the diapers and wipes due to South Korea’s customs and importation policies. Choi then reached out to friend and former colleague Brad Lanfranco, The Signal’s advertising director, who put Choi in touch with the SCV Child & Family Center.
“The whole thing came about because I have faith, and God moved me to donate these diapers to a different organization than the (South Korean) baby box,” said Allen Choi, who’s also principle for Clean World Distribution, a Valencia-based industrial equipment supplier that works primarily with car wash businesses. “It’s not because He moved me — it’s something I wanted to do, and He prepared me to do it. But the real usage was here, and that’s why I’m standing here. He guided me.”
And Child & Family Center officials were more than happy Thursday to accept the delivery, which will allow them to provide for their clients, as well as sharing with agencies the center partners with to serve the community, everyone from the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers to Family Promise and the SCV Senior Center, as well.
Joan Aschoff, CEO of the SCV Child & Family Center, said she let other service providers know about the donation at a recent city of Santa Clarita Ad Hoc Committee on Homeless Issues meeting, and the response was immediate.
“It gave me a platform to say, ‘Hey, we’re all working with these families, and we have this donation,’” she said. “They all got a hold of me.”
It’s also a timely supplement for the nonprofit, as after the holidays, most organizations tend to see a decrease, to varying degrees, in donations, which is how the Child & Family Center supports its clients with services that aren’t covered by grant funding.
“Although the community is so generous,” Aschoff said, expressing gratitude for the donation, “the needs are just so much.”