Stephen Kim's Family
Article about Stephen in the Des Moines Register
Stephen Kim was tragically taken from us on April 22, 2017 in a senseless act of violence. He leaves behind his wife, Esther Kim, three young boys and brother here in Des Moines, Iowa.
Originally a refugee from Myanmar (Burma), his family came to Iowa seeking safety from violence and a better life for their family. He was a caring father and devoted husband. He worked two jobs; one was at Cool Basil with his wife and brother. They earned their citizenships and changed their names, proud to be Iowans. They juggled their schedules working tirelessly to provide the best life possible for their children.
Stephen was a kind-hearted, soft-spoken and hard working person. He worked side-by-side with his Des Moinesian peers, always eager to help more than asked and always, regardless of all else, no matter how tired, with a smile. He was truly and uniquely a good, kind and selfless person.
We hope and pray for comfort for his family, especially his three sons who had to witness the unimaginable. We are asking those that can, to please help the family in this trying and awful time. We are hoping his family can take time to grieve, seek comfort and care for themselves without worry of funeral and some living costs. We are hoping this fundraiser will help Stephen's family with these specific needs:
* Education for their three young boys
- Now that Esther has been left to raise her children on her own, assistance in providing for their education in the years to come will be what is most needed.
* Funeral costs
- We are hoping to give relief to the family for the heavy funeral costs they must now take on.
* Helping Stephen's mother to come to the USA so she may attend her son's funeral
- Stephen was working to bring his mother, a refugee still living in Myanmar, to Des Moines so she could be with her son and grandchildren. Now that is too late, but the family is really hoping they can figure out the funds to bring her here at least for his funeral. We know it would have meant the world to Stephen.
Stephen Kim will truly be missed. May his family find some comfort and peace here in our home of Des Moines.
KCCI News Article
I wanted to post an update and finally send some thanks. Ester Kim has connected to gofundme and has successfully received donations. If the campaign receives more donations, they will be sent to her in periodic payments.
She will be putting the majority of her donations into a trust fund for her children's education and future. However all of her donations will be used to help her raise her three sons as she moves forward in life without Stephen.
As for me, Emily, I will continue to manage this gofundme page. All that means is I am able to post updates and receive messages sent through this campaign. If you do have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me!
Now for long awaited and much need thank yous:
First and foremost, we want to thank Ester Kim, her family and everyone in her community. We began this campaign the night Stephen passed away without the family's permission. We had no idea just how amazing the community here and at large would be in love, generosity and support. After the campaign took off, we contacted Ester, just days after Stephen had passed. Ester and the whole Zomi Chin local community were so very extremely generous in giving us their time and their blessings during such an awful, heartbreaking and tumultuous experience. They never showed a hint of being inconvenienced and generously involved us in their activities despite owing us absolutely nothing. That's really just how Ester and Stephen always were: selfless, kind and giving. Thank you to Ester, Ester's family and to the whole Zomi Chin community for all you have done for us.
We want to thank Mr. Martin Flaherty, principal of Holy Family School. We reached out to him early in the campaign and we are so glad we did! Mr. Flaherty has been instrumental in this campaign and supporting the Kim family. We know everything he has and continues to do, which is above and beyond what any one person should be expected, so we will thank him for only what he has done for us specifically. And that is so so so very much! Mr. Flaherty reached back to us immediately and has always only been a phone call away. He has mentored us when we needed advice, guided us in the importance of keeping updates and advised us on how to communicate with the community. Despite knowing our novice experience in managing a fundraiser, he only ever offered advice with utmostrespect. We thank him so much for his guidance and support, without which we may have failed in our mission completely.
We want to thank Father Ambrose of Saint Ambrose Cathedral for helping us to organize times to meet with the Kim family, for supporting us in our mission and for generously involving us in gatherings and prayers.
We want to thank Jennifer Howell of West Glen Town Center for organizing such an amazing and successful fundraiser for the Kim family. She took time out of her maternity leave to reach out to us and to organize such a beautiful event. We also want to thank all of the participating businesses for their generous donations.
Last but not least, we want to thank YOU. Everyone who has donated, reached out, asked questions, given gifts, sent messages or even checked in on this campaign. We are truly humbled and we thank you so much for trusting us and allowing us to hold this fundraiser for the Kim family. We give all of the donations we receive to the family in person at least weekly. And we are keeping records of messages, e-mails, phone calls and donations so we may collect them and present them to the Kim family. We know all of your kindness and support will help comfort them in their time of need.
We are still striving to reach our goal and we want to continue to help Ester Kim and her family in the days, months and years to come. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas, please let me know!
Thank you from
Cool Basil, Thai Flavors and Banana Leaf Management
West Glen Fundraiser: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/local/2017/04/27/businesses-set-donate-family-slain-refugee/307207001/
News article: desmoinesregister.com: http://dmreg.co/2pd4Pdf
Wow. What began as a humble fundraiser with no expectations has become the most wonderful and moving act of support, care and love from so so many amazing people.
The Kim Family's story has reached the hearts of so many people here in Iowa and across the globe. While their story is unique and the manner of Stephen's death unthinkable, love for your family, your children, your community and fellow person is obviously universal. We have met with Esther, some family members and community leaders and they are truly in awe and thankful to every single person who has reached out. We will be collecting all comments shared that we can find and giving them in print as a gift to Esther and her family.
We are not finished yet! We are still accepting much needed donations. Funeral costs and travel costs for Stephen's mother to attend his funeral have already exceeded expectations. Stephen & Esther both worked two jobs each and now that income has been stripped by more than half. Their three young boys will still need support for education costs from here all of the way through high school, and that is not even taking saving for college into account.
Many people have reached out to help in a more concrete or sustaining way. There are indeed immediate expenses and sustained support will be vital as well. If you would like to help in this or another way, you can contact me via this gofundme page and I can connect you with the people who are helping Esther manage her expenses.
We also want to inform everyone that Cool Basil and Holy Family Catholic School are accepting check and cash donations. West Glen Town Center in West Des Moines is also holding a fundraising event this Friday, May 5th. You can find that information here: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/local/2017/04/27/businesses-set-donate-family-slain-refugee/307207001/
There are many thanks to share but for now we will keep working to support Esther in whatever capacity we can.
Thank you so much to every one of you,
Cool Basil, Banana Leaf and Thai Flavors staff
Summary of how this fundraiser will be used to help Esther Kim & her three sons:
* Funeral costs that have already exceeded expectations
* Travel costs that have also exceeded expectations for Stephen's mother to travel to Des Moines from Myanmar to attend her son's funeral
* Education support for their three young sons who haven't even reached high school yet
I want to introduce myself in case there is some confusion regarding this gofundme account. My name is Emy (Emily) and I am a manager at Cool Basil, Banana Leaf and Thai Flavors restaurants where Stephen and Esther Kim (Stephen's wife) work. This gofundme fundraiser was the idea of all of the managers and owners combined. So this gofundme is managed by Cool Basil, raising money for Esther Kim and their three sons. I was put in charge of creating this page and so I used my name so there was absolutely no confusion for the gofundme website as to where the money should go. I will be collecting the funds personally and signing over the funds via check directly to Esther Kim.
All donations will be used for the following:
* Education for their three sons
* Funeral costs
* Helping to get Stephen's mother to the USA from Myanmar (Burma) so she may attend Stephen's funeral
If you have any questions regarding how this fundraiser is operated, please don't hesitate to contact us.
On behalf of Cool Basil staff, thank you so so much,
Liam, Poy, Nee, Nicholle, Alex, Emy, Thanya, Keeley
စတီဖင္ Kim ကဝမ္းနည္းစရာေကာင္းတာကအၾကမ္းဖက္မႈလုပ္ရပ္ေၾကာင့္ ဧၿပီလ 22, 2017 ရက္တြင္ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ဆီကဘုရားသခင္ထံေတာ္သို႔ေခၚေဆာင္ျခင္းခံခဲ့သည္။ သူကဒီမွာ Des Moines, Iowa-၌သူ၏ဇနီး, ဧသတာကင္, သားေလးသုံးဦးနွင့္ညီအစ္ကိုတို႔၏ေနာက္ကြယ္မွထြက္ခြာသြားသည္။ မူလကျမန္မာ (ျမန္မာနိုင္ငံ) အေနျဖင့္ဒုကၡသည္တစ္ဦးျဖစ္ကာသူ၏တစ္မိသားစုစတင္ရန္ပိုေကာင္းတဲ့ဘဝေဘးကင္းလုံၿခဳံမႈရွာႀကံျပီးအိုင္အိုဝါသို႔ေရာက္ၾက၏။ သူကတစ္ဦးဂ႐ုစိုက္တတ္တဲ့ဖခင္ႏွင့္ခင္ပြန္းေကာင္းျဖစ္ခဲ့သည္။ သူႏွစ္ဦးကိုအလုပ္အကိုင္အခြင့္အအလုပ္လုပ္ခဲ့ျပီး တဦးတည္းကသူ႕ဇနီးႏွင့္အစ္ကိုႏွင့္အတူ Cool Basil မွာေနခဲ့ပါတယ္။ သူတို႔ကသူတို႔ရဲ႕နိုင္ငံသားျဖစ္မႈရရွိခဲ့ၿပီးႏွင့္ Iowans ျဖစ္ဂုဏ္ယူ၎တို႔၏အမည္မ်ား, ေျပာင္းလဲသြားတယ္။ သူတို႔ကသူတို႔ရဲ႕သားသမီးတို႔အဘို႔ျဖစ္နိုင္တဲ့အေကာင္းဆုံးကိုဘဝေပးမဆုပ္မနစ္အလုပ္လုပ္သူတို႔ျဖစ္ပါသည္(အခ်ိန္ဇယား juggled) ။ စတီဖင္တစ္ဦးၾကင္ၾကင္နာနာႏွလုံး, ေပ်ာ့ေပ်ာင္းေသာ-ေျပာၿပီနဲ႕ Hard အလုပ္လုပ္သူတစ္ဦးျဖစ္ခဲ့သည္။ သူဟာအၿပဳံးႏွင့္အတူမရွိဘယ္ေလာက္ပဲပင္ပန္းေမးလွ်င္, ထက္ပိုၿပီးအၿမဲတမ္း, မခြဲျခားဘဲအားလုံးတျခားမ်ား၏ကူညီေပးဖို႔အျမဲစိတ္အားထက္သန္, သူ႕ Des Moinesian ႐ြယ္တူခ်င္းအတူ side-by-side အလုပ္လုပ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ သူသည္အမွန္တကယ္နွင့္ထူးျခားျပီး, ေကာင္းမြန္ေသာစိတ္မ်ိဳးႏွင့္ႀကိဳးစားေသာလူတစ္ဦးျဖစ္ခဲ့သည္။ က်ေနာ္တို႔မသိမျမင္နိုင္ေသာသက္ေသခံရန္သူအထူးသျဖင့္သူ၏သားသုံးေယာက္, သူ႕မိသားစုမ်ားအတြက္ႏွစ္သိမ့္အဘို႔ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ျခင္းႏွင့္ဆုေတာင္းၾကေလာ့။ ငါတို႔သည္ဤႀကိဳးစားေနျခင္းႏွင့္အဓမၼအခ်ိန္အတြက္မိသားစုကိုကူညီႏွစ္သက္ေၾကာင္းလုပ္နိုင္သူေတြကိုေမးေနၾကတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ကသူ႕မိသားစု, ၾကင္နာဖို႔အခ်ိန္ယူႏွစ္သိမ့္မွဳကိုရွာျခင္းႏွင့္အသုဘ၏စိုးရိမ္ပူပန္ျခင္းႏွင့္အခ်ိဳ႕လူေနမႈကုန္က်စရိတ္မရွိဘဲမိမိတို႔အဘို႔ဂ႐ုစိုက္နိုင္ပါတယ္ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ေနၾကသည္။ စတီဖင္ Kim ကအမွန္တကယ္လြဲေခ်ာ္ပါလိမ့္မည္။ သူ႕မိသားစုကဒီမွာ Des Moines ကြၽန္ေတာ္တို႔ရဲ႕ေနအိမ္အခ်ိဳ႕ႏွစ္သိမ့္ျခင္းႏွင့္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးကိုရွာေဖြနိုင္ပါေစ။ KCCI သတင္းမ်ားအပိုဒ္ က်ေနာ့္ သူငယ္ခ်င္း Kimpu (Ka it luatna leh ka phawk na in )ေအာက္ေမ့ျခင္းျဖင့္ JnDalThang