On Friday, November 1, Sean of the popular South Korean hip-hop duo Jinusean was welcomed by All Nations Community Church to speak about the importance of donating and helping others. Sponsored by Milal Mission, a non-profit organization for the disabled community, the event was called Milal Nights, and was a three-day event hosted at three different church locations throughout Los Angeles. As a volunteer for the program, I had the honor of experiencing this event.
Milal Nights began with a guest feature by Leanna Kang. Leanne is a young girl with Spina Bifida, which is a birth defect that is caused when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. After a series of feature videos, she sang a song with her mother, leaving the audience touched and in awe. Because Milal Mission is focused on helping those who suffer from physical or mental disabilities, I thought it was the perfect lead-in to the event.
However, the main guest of the night was Sean from Jinusean. Known as the pioneers of South Korean hip-hop, Jinusean is a hip-hop duo that promoted mainly in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Sean, the main rapper of the duo, was born and raised in LA, having moved to Korea under YG Entertainment to pursue a musical career. Though I was not familiar with whom he was, the audience, comprised mostly of middle-aged and older men and women, seemed to recognize him and welcomed him.
He began by introducing his family — his wife and four children — before describing the charity work he did. Partnering with an organization called Compassion that connects Koreans donors to children from third-world countries, he talked about his trips to places like Uganda in order to visit and support the kids in need. He described how he came to sponsor over 1,000 kids, doing so with his status and influence — in fact, the media has nicknamed him the “Angel of Donation” for all his good deeds. Sean also built the first Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Korea through his “Miracles of $10” campaign, which raised over $40 million through marathon running. As he showed us videos documenting his work and explained his story, he shared, “Many times, we think donating is giving away our own possessions. But the truth is, you receive far greater things in return.”
Following his speech, the audience was surprised with a mini-concert. Accompanied by a previous winner of the Korean show Fantastic Duo, Sean performed songs like “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Tell Me,” and “A-Yo.” After such a heartwarming presentation, the performances were a fun way to get everyone on their feet and singing along to the songs. Multiple rounds of encores, dancing, and cheering later, Milal Nights finally came to a conclusion.
Overall, although I had walked in with no prior knowledge of who Sean Noh was, I was left inspired and touched by his work and the things he talked about. I’m glad I got the opportunity to experience the event, especially since there weren’t many other young audience members other than the volunteers, and I would definitely go again next year.
Joyce Kim, Grade 10
La Canada High School