By Kevin Whipps

On December 9th at 4 pm at First Historic Church on 402 W. Monroe Ave, Arizona Pain Foundation and AZ Medical Foundation will hold their fifth annual Children Around the World Christmas party. It’s a special event for all that attend, because this isn’t just about giving back to the community, it’s about brightening the lives of the hundreds of kids that attend. But who exactly are the kids that come?

Myanmar (formerly Burma) is the second largest country in Southeast Asia, and is bordered by India, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh and China. Since it became an independent country in 1948, the country has seen nothing but war — a civil war that put the nation under military rule from 1962 to 2011. The area is frequently cited for human rights violations, and the types of things that happen in Myanmar is deplorable. So much so that since 2006, there have been over 55,000 Burmese refugees that have moved and resettled into the United States.

There is a fairly large group of these refugees here in Arizona, and many of them attend the Children Around the World Christmas party. It’s a time when they can get away from it all and have fun with other kids and do something different. This year, the theme is based on the popular book and movie, The Polar Express.

The plan is simple: children will arrive in groups and will be taken by an “Engineer” to each train stop along the way. These include the activity center, arts and crafts, dining, and the Christmas play. They’ll also meet Santa Claus and a few elves, too.

This isn’t being put on by just one organization; it’s simply too big for that. Arizona Pain Foundation, Arizona Medical Clinic, City of Grace Church, AZ-Tech Radiology and several very gracious sponsors are all lending a hand in a partnership between all of them. The result is something truly special, that will bring happiness to the kids involved.

For information on how you can make a donation to these children and families, please contact Letticia Medina at the Arizona Medical Clinic, 602-274-2100

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