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TODAY news for Thursday, December 14, 2006

Loma Linda University news

SIMS holds adopt-a-kid Christmas party

Priscilla Tall, MA, third-year dental student, and her �adopted kid,� Alisa, 6, take a breather while designing a Christmas card after playing in the bounce house.
Priscilla Tall, MA, third-year dental student, and her “adopted kid,” Alisa, 6, take a breather while designing a Christmas card after playing in the bounce house.
A children’s wonderland with presents, face painting, inflatable jumpers, food, and Santa Claus brought more than 80 underprivileged preschool children laughter and glee this Christmas season. In celebration of World AIDS Day, the preschoolers created a gift of their own—Christmas cards for people in Sub-saharan Africa affected with AIDS.

Students for International Mission Service (SIMS) hosted the annual Adopt-a-kid Christmas Party on Friday, December 1, 2006, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The student and staff volunteers were paired with children from the local community. Each volunteer brought a gift for his or her “adopted” child, and at the end of the party Santa came and passed out the presents to each child.

“For many of the kids, this is their only Christmas,” says Martine Polycarpe, MPH, program director, SIMS. “It’s a great opportunity for LLU to be of service in the community and make a difference in the life of a child.”

SIMS teams up with the Riverside County Head Start program. Project Head Start is a federally funded child development program designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing preschool children o
Santa Claus (a.k.a. Fabio Maia) hugs Christian, 4, after giving him his Christmas present. More than 80 children recieved gifts at the party.
Santa Claus (a.k.a. Fabio Maia) hugs Christian, 4, after giving him his Christmas present. More than 80 children recieved gifts at the party.
f low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, physical, nutritional, and psychological needs.

“It’s so exciting and a lot of fun to celebrate Christmas here,” says Martha Sosa, teacher, Educational Option Center (EOC) Preschool. “We look forward to this every year, and the children count down the days to this Christmas party. The LLU students are wonderful. Many of the kids don’t get a lot of one-on-one interaction, so coming here makes them feel special as they get pampered.”

SIMS will be holding a toy drive for two other Christmas events benefiting children in San Bernardino and Honduras and asks the community to participate by donating Christmas presents. Those who want to give joy to a child this holiday may drop off an unwrapped gift by December 15, 2006, at the SIMS cottage, located at Nichol Hall, Cottage 80.

The children are between the ages of 4 and 16. Monetary gifts are also welcome, and all donations are tax-deductible. For more information on how to give a Christmas present for any of these events, you may call SIMS at (909) 558-8089.

By Patricia Thio

TODAY news for Thursday, December 14, 2006