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Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011

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"Tis the season: Children from Nishimachi International School and another private school in Tokyo hang ornaments and cards on a Christmas tree at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo hotel in Minato Ward's Roppongi district Wednesday. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO

Tohoku kids to get Christmas cards

Staff writer

Tokyo elementary school children gathered Wednesday to write Christmas cards to raise the spirits of young survivors of the March 11 Tohoku region catastrophe.

The 30 kids, from Nishimachi International School and another private school, sent their holiday greetings from the Grand Hyatt Tokyo hotel in the Roppongi district in Minato Ward.

The cards bear messages such as "I am thinking of you" and "Keep on smiling. Keep on moving forward," and pictures of the Hinomaru flag, Christmas trees and snowmen. The children hung the cards with ornaments on a Christmas tree at the hotel's entrance.

The event — aiming to inspire courage and hope in the children of Tohoku — was part of a charity program organized by the hotel under the theme "The Light of Happiness."

The hotel's lobby will be transformed into a Christmas charity area from Nov. 17 through Christmas Day. On Fridays and Saturdays during the period, Christmas donations such as unused clothes and toys will be accepted at the reception desk. Christmas ornaments and cards for messages that will be delivered to children in Tohoku will also be sold at the hotel's restaurants and bars.

"I want to let them have fun with the Christmas ornaments and cards and be happy," said Caitlin Ramos, 8, a second-grader at Nishimachi International School.

The Christmas cards and ornaments will be delivered to children in Watari, Miyagi Prefecture, on Dec. 22 by members of the nonprofit organization Kids Earth Fund.

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The Japan Times

Article 6 of 11 in National news

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