“Trending Idols” EXO, Here They Become “Uncles”
Precisely a year ago on February 22, 2013, <ohmystar> joined the site of EXO’s community service. And one year later, former rookie EXO made ground as pop music’s trend with “Wolf” and “Growl.” EXO created celebratory stages at various awards ceremonies, and with the singer of the year award, they spent a busy end of the year.
The so-called “risen” idol group has no choice but to change. This is because no matter how much they try to emphasize their intentions and maintain their balance, their environment and the people that surround them become different. EXO seemed to be like that as well. Nevertheless, this rough guess only gave light, speaking of the EXO members who were bare-faced without any BB cream.
Bathroom, cafeteria? EXO Mops Diligently
This last February 27 at 3pm, two cars came into Eden I Ville, a child welfare facility. Those who got out of the cars were EXO-K members Suho, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, D.O, Kai, Sehun, and EXO-M members Lay and Tao.
EXO-K has been doing community service at Eden I Ville since 4 years ago during their trainee days. Although they came again after February of 2013, the members who visited again were excited, including Lay and Tao, who had not visited last year. The 8 young men seemed to be familiar with this place. They were talking with Eden I Ville’s director Lee Soyoung when they took out a photo album on one side of the room.
“Director, is XX doing well?”
“Ah, you mean XX? He/she went to a different place a while ago”
“Really? I wanted to see him/her…”
EXO-K, who came to Eden I Ville consistently, remembered each of the children’s names. While EXO was catching up in detail with the children, they took on cleaning duty. Like last year, Chanyeol volunteered to clean the bathroom, but this time with Suho. D.O and Baekhyun headed toward the cafeteria. The members, wearing rubber gloves, showed the managers where the mops were.
“EXO Fans Consistently Send Gifts and Help Out with Community Service”
Once EXO began to clean earnestly, elementary and middle school aged girls came saying that they would help. Although the children were happy to meet Lay and Tao who came for the first time, they said “we thought Xiumin would come” and made the members laugh. Even the reporters followed ‘community service seniors’ EXO in perfect order by putting on rubber gloves and helping to clean. Suho worked under Chanyeol’s command in cleaning the ladies’ bathroom.
Eden I Ville is not the only place where EXO does community service. They also go to nursing homes and centers for the disabled, but they enjoy Eden I Ville the most because they can run and play with the children. When the reporter said “it seems hard for you guys to make time,” Chanyeol replied with strength that “it’s something we absolutely must do.” Suho added that “to us it’s like a type of habit” and admitted that “we learn more through community service.”
Once word got out that EXO was volunteering at Eden I Ville, fans began to send gifts and volunteered to follow their ‘oppas’. Eden I Ville’s director said that “fans send gifts for the children” and “each time, they take pictures and send their thanks to EXO.” One aspect of Eden I Ville is that “EXO is our pride” and that “the children greatly await the hyungs/oppas.”
Playing and Playing Again with the Children… “I’ll take a taxi and come back”
To newcomers, initiation is a must. After cleaning, Lay and Tao introduced themselves to the many children. The other members greeted them with “You know my name, right? How have you been?” and boasted the dignity of being ‘superior’. After a moment of hesitation, the members paired up and began to play with the children. Kai went outside to play soccer with the boys, and the rest laughed as they played marbles.
One girl who played the role of Eden I Ville’s ‘mascot’ only followed Baekhyun. Baekhyun affectionately called the girl’s name and took care of her wherever she was. Tao and Sehun played rock paper scissors with the boys and flicked each other. Things became hectic with 8 EXO members added to the 30-something children. The foster parents gazed delightedly at the children having fun.
Time passed quickly, and it became time for EXO to say goodbye. The members expressed their regret by saying “we’ll come again.” D.O said “there were more children (than the last time we came)” and that “it’s sad that we can’t spend much time together.” Lay, who came to Eden I Ville for the first time and even secretly made a donation, said that “it would be nice if we had many opportunities to come” and that “I’ll even take a taxi and come by myself,” showing his strong will.