Sun-hwa Kim, an elderly Korean immigrant woman, arrived in New York 35 years ago and became a U.S citizen. However, her early hopes for how citizenship would change her life faded as she continued to live largely unaware of the society beyond her Korean immigrant community. “I never even had the chance to learn the Star-Spangled Banner or the Pledge of Allegiance since I immigrated. It was always embarrassing for me to stand quietly at events when other Americans sang the national anthem or recited the Pledge of Allegiance.” Gradually, she started to avoid attending such type of events in the community.
Her experience is not uncommon. According to the Good Neighboring Campaign’s survey of Korean immigrants who lived in the United States for an average of 21 years, 72% said they never learned the national anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance. This is indicative of their larger lack of knowledge of the country they call their home.
Patriot Pocket Cards are small enough to fit in pockets and contain lyrics of the United States’ National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance in both English and Korean. To date, Good Neighboring Campaign has distributed about 500,000 copies of the Patriot Pocket Cards to Korean immigrants nationwide.
The demand for these cards has steadily increased. This not only allows Good Neighboring Campaign to connect to a different population of Korean immigrants but the card has also shown to increase a sense of belonging among those who have received and used them; The Good Neighboring Campaign aims to distribute 1 million more cards, expanding the target population to other Asian immigrants. Those who request the cards will be surveyed every six months to evaluate their effectiveness and the quantitative data on the number of people reached.