Enhancing the quality of life for all refugees from Burma in Minnesota

News and Events Archive: 2013

Join KOM and the Karen Community in celebrating Karen New Year 2752

The Karen Organization of Minnesota and Karen community leaders cordially invite you to join us for the Karen New Year Celebration on January 12, 2013, at Johnson High School (1349 Arcade St., St. Paul, MN 55106).

Ring in Year 2752 on the Karen calendar with festivities throughout the day. A complete schedule of events includes:
10:00am-11:30am Main Program
10:00am-1:00pm Resource Fair
12:00pm-1:00pm Free Karen meal for all attendees
11:00am-8:00pm Volleyball and Caneball tournaments
4:00pm-8:00pm Singing Competition

All events are free and open to the public thanks to the support of our generous sponsors. If you would like to become a sponsor of Karen New Year and/or have a table in our resource fair, please download the registration form (available in PDF or Word .docx format). Sponsor registration fees can be paid by check or using the PayPal form. Please contact Alexis Walstad at 651-202-3120 with any questions regarding sponsorship.

Download the flyer for more information. Thank you for all of your support in the past year, and we look forward to celebrating Karen New Year with you!

Karen Community Celebrates New Year

More than 1,200 people celebrated Karen New Year at Johnson High School in St. Paul on January 12. The New Year celebration, organized by Karen community leaders, marked Year 2752 on the Karen calendar with events to promote Karen culture and unity. Activities included music and dance performances, speeches from Karen leaders, a community feast, sports tournaments, a singing contest, and the Miss Karen Minnesota pageant. The Karen Community of Minnesota also took the opportunity to honor ten partners who have greatly assisted refugees from Burma: Catholic Charities, International Institute, Lutheran Social Service, Minnesota Council of Churches, World Relief, HealthEast Roselawn Clinic, Roseville Area Schools, Roseville Police Department, Saint Paul Police Department and Saint Paul Public Schools.

See more photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Thank you to Gold Sponsor Como Chiropractic Health Center; Silver Sponsors Iverson Law Office and Diplomatic Language Services; and Bronze Sponsors Children's Dental Services, Comprehensive Health and Wellness Center, Golden Karen Grocery, Vietnamese Social Services, Vue Eye Clinic, and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. - Prosperity for making this event possible! Thanks also to the MINI Project and Fairview for offering free flu vaccines to event attendees. And finally, thank you to everyone who attended this celebration, and best wishes for a happy 2752!

KOM raises over $14,000 to buy a van

photo of our new van You did it! More than 160 people donated over $14,000 to help us buy a larger van that will allow us to transport more refugees while using gas more efficiently. More than $10,000 of this support came from members of the Karen community who know how important it is for new arrivals to have transportation during their first few months in the U.S.

Thanks to our generous donors, we were able to purchase a 12-passenger van just in time for winter, when snow and ice make it more difficult for some refugees to walk to English classes and other appointments. Without this service, many refugees would not be able to access the resources they need to become independent.

Thank you so much for your support to help refugees from Burma get to job interviews, English classes, medical appointments and more!

KOM welcomes St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Councilmember Amy Brendmoen

The Karen Organization of Minnesota was honored to have Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Councilmember Amy Brendmoen visit our office on April 23. Mayor Coleman and Councilmember Brendmoen discussed numerous issues with KOM staff, board members, and Karen community leaders.

KOM staff raised the need for more safe and affordable housing, an issue Mayor Coleman and Councilmember Brendmoen both acknowledged as a priority. Mayor Coleman also stressed the importance of supporting youth by increasing parent involvement in education and quality out-of-school-time activities. He supported the development of Parent Academy in Saint Paul Public Schools and championed the creation of Sprockets, a network that connects youth with after-school and summer programs across the city.

Mayor Coleman and Councilmember Brendmoen noted that the North End of Saint Paul has strong potential for jobs and innovation. Both are pursuing efforts to create more jobs locally in areas such as sewing and manufacturing. This would allow Karen families to stay together in Saint Paul, where they can receive stronger support from KOM and the community, rather than moving across the region in pursuit of jobs.

We thank Mayor Coleman and Councilmember Brendmoen for taking time out of their day to have this engaging meeting. We look forward to working with them on many issues to enhance the quality of life for refugees from Burma living in Saint Paul.

August 2013

10-11. Saturday-Sunday, August 10-11th, 7:00am to 6:00pm - Karen Martyr's Day
Location: Mississippi Elementary School Ground, 1575 Lí Orient St, Saint Paul, MN 55117

Download the flyer

The Karen Community of Minnesota invites you to join them on August 10-11 for a series of events honoring Karen Martyr's Day. This is an important holiday in the Karen calendar that tells the history of the Karen struggle and honors the leaders who gave their lives in the name of freedom. The events kick off with a memorial ceremony on Saturday at 7:00am and continue through the weekend with soccer and volleyball tournaments, a singing competition, and food vendors. All activities will be held on the school grounds at Mississippi Creative Arts Magnet School, 1575 L'Orient Street, Saint Paul, MN 55117. Events are free and open to the public.

Download Karen Martyr's Day flyer (PDF, Karen/English)

Photo Credit: Stephanie Fox/Twin Cities Daily Planet

Karen gardens featured in Twin Cities Daily Planet

Stephanie Fox of the Twin Cities Daily Planet visited Harvest Community Gardens, where more than 100 Karen refugees are growing their favorite vegetables this summer. KOM thanks First Evangelical Free Church and Arrive Ministries for their partnership to make these spaces available to refugees from Burma. Read the full article and see more photos of the gardens on the Twin Cities Daily Planetís website.

3rd Annual KOM Gala

The Karen Organization of Minnesota invites you to join us for our 3rd Annual Gala on Thursday, October 10, from 6:00-9:00pm in the Anderson Center at Hamline University. We hope you will enjoy us for this exciting event!

More information about the Gala.

Minnesota United FC teams up with The Karen Organization of Minnesota

Minnesota United Football Club is teaming up with the Karen Organization of Minnesota to benefit refugees from Burma living in Minnesota. When you buy tickets to a Minnesota United soccer match using this special webpage, Minnesota United FC will give you a discount on your ticket price and KOM a donation for each ticket sold. Matches are played at the National Sports Center in Blaine on September 28 and October 5, 19, and 26, and tickets are just $10 for adults or $5 for children. This deal is only valid for tickets purchased using our unique webpage, so buy your tickets today and share the link with your friends!

The proceeds from this fundraiser assist KOM in providing housing, job placement, education, and many other resources that smooth the transition for refugees from Burma coming to Minnesota. With a small contribution in the form of a ticket you get a fun-filled activity and are supporting both your local NASL team and refugees from Burma.

Buy tickets for a Minnesota United FC soccer match

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Thank You to All Who Supported KOM's Third Annual Gala

KOM's Third Annual Gala was a huge success due to the generous support and donations by our guests and sponsors. We extend our greatest thanks and appreciation out to those who both attended and continuously support KOM.

More than 200 people attended the gala this year, enjoying good company, a Karen cultural dance performance, and an inspiring narrative from Hta Thi Yu Moo, who found success in KOM's Youth Program and is now attending Saint Paul College to pursue her goal of becoming a social worker.

Ta blut doe mah (Thank you so much) for attending KOMs biggest annual event! With your help we raised about $13,000 that will go directly to our programs helping refugees from Burma. It's the ongoing support from people like you that help keep KOM a success!

See photos from the event on our Facebook page



Baker Tilly Virchow Krause UCare Bailey Nurseries






Karen New Year

Karen Martyr Day

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