At age 16, Sang Man (Sam) Han was adopted by an American WWII veteran named Arthur E. Schneider. This was after the Korean War so Schneider was given special permission to bring Han to the U.S. as his adopted son. Han then went on to study business administration at Stanford University and successfully started his own multimillion dollar chemical company.
However, in 2002, Han was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer, but he was determined to fight it. While the doctors told him he had five years left to live, he outlived that prognosis. Furthermore, he founded the Han Schneider International Children’s Foundation—an organzation he started in honor of his adoptive father and “to carry on his legacy of support for disadvantaged children around the world.” Han also campaigned to pass the North Korean Refugee Adoption Act (2011), and has sent thousands of dollars in clothing and food to North Korea.
According to The Korea Herald, the Southern California Chapter of Sister Cities International—the largest chapter of Sister Cities International—presented Han with the 2012 Humanitarian of the Year Award for his work with his foundation. The prestigious award recognizes brave individuals who “cross all political, religious and racial boundaries, sometimes at great personal risk, while trying to secure the safety and well-being of the most unfortunate and vulnerable members of our society.”
For more information about the Han Schneider International Children’s Foundation, go to: www.han-schneider.org
[Photo: (first) Southern California Sister Cities, (second) Han Schneider International Children's Foundation]