This month we are featuring the Rowan College Rescue Team based in Sewell, New Jersey. Under the leadership of Susan Glenn, this team recently raised enough money to fund a rescue for a North Korean refugee through creative fundraising events like Kotoricon. We asked Susan a few questions to get to know her and her team better. Get to know the Rowan College Rescue Team below:
Why did you decide to start or join a Rescue Team?
I became aware of the plight of people in North Korea after reading a book in 2012 called “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea” by Barbara Demick. I wanted to find a way to help these people and discovered the work LiNK was doing! The Rescue Team seemed to be a good way to have people understand that the work was actually helping an individual person’s life!
What’s your team’s story?
After reading “Nothing to Envy”, I started looking for a way to help and found Liberty in North Korea. I invited the LiNK Nomads to come and give a presentation in October 2012. We have had LiNK events every year since then (sometimes twice a year!) and have contributed annually to LiNK through fundraising activities organized by the students.
What was your most successful fundraising event?
Every year we organize an anime convention called KotoriCon. We use proceeds to support several charities, including LiNK. The event includes a charity auction, and we sell t-shirts and water bottles. We also charge vendors to come to the event and all that money goes to charity. We include a description of LiNK in the program every year to encourage people to find out more. We have around 1,300 people come each year in addition to smaller fundraising events.
What’s your favorite thing about being a part of a Rescue Team?
I love how this inspires us to reach out and help others. So many of the volunteers that contribute to our Rescue Team are aware that they can have a substantial effect on improving the lives of others.
Is there a special message you would like to share with the refugee that you rescued?
History has shown us the difficulties encountered trying to protect the freedoms and rights of all people. It reminds us of the imperfections in all systems and how we need to remember the value of every individual. Saving one person at a time is worth the effort. We want you to know that we care and that you were not alone in the world. Help us spread the word to assist others. Every single person is important and we are glad that you can start building a new life.