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Michelle Ericsson 

On Friday, December 20th hundreds of under-privileged children, along with their families, lined up outside of the Second Samoan Church to receive toys and get pictures with Santa Clause, followed by a sit-down dinner – all in the spirit of Christmas and giving back to the community.


As they lined up on the sunny winter day, one week before Christmas, the children and their families were ushered into the church where they listened to a service by Pastor Johnson, followed by a short presentation for the adults on the dangers of self-prescribing medication, by Dr. Mok Chong. As the time to meet Santa drew closer, the children all gasped in excitement as they caught a glimpse of Santa Clause making his way across the stage.

The event known as “Santa Cause” was put together by the American University of Health Sciences Foundation, partnering with Barrier Free Life who provided the toys for the event, and The Ari and Lieu Suss Family who contributed a large donation. Over 50 AUHS students, staff and faculty were at the event volunteering and making the day one to remember. Bread of Life volunteers provided additional support, as well as some members of the US Army. During the event which consisted of over 300 families, each child received a toy and a chance to “meet and greet” and have photos taken with Santa Clause, his elves and Mrs. Clause!


The sit-down dinner gave families a chance to relax and unwind; celebrating Christmas with their loved ones close by and forgetting about any troubles they may be having – if only for a short time. For some families, “Santa Cause” may have been the only Christmas celebration they have this year, and AUHS was more than happy to do what they could to bring them good memories.


The holidays are a time for children and families and the aim of Santa Cause was exactly that – to focus on children and families, lighting up the eyes of the children and giving them the feeling that all children should have at Christmas – one of hope, excitement and God.