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22

W W W . E T O W N . E D U

In Vietnam, orphans come in all ages—

tiny wide-eyed babies abandoned in the streets, sprouting youth whose parents have died, teens on the jagged edge of adulthood and the elderly with no offspring to care for them.

This past spring, 19 Elizabethtown College students, accompanied by 16 adults—in-cluding alumni and representatives from Brittany’s Hope, a special needs adoption and humanitarian agency—spent more than two weeks in Vietnam. They visited orphan-ages and elder care homes and absorbed the Southeastern Asian culture.

They offered assistance, attention and friendship as part of a service learning trip through Elizabethtown College’s Depart-ment of Social Work. In return, the stu-dents—and adults—received rich experienc-es, which they will carry with them through

their education and beyond.

Led by faculty members Peggy McFar-land, social work, and Jodi Yorty, biology, the group distributed more than 400 duffle bags stuffed with blankets, hygiene provisions, san-dals and first aid kits; almost 100 caregiver packages for the staff members; and nearly 200 bags—packaged with the assistance of Masonic Villages residents—to the elderly orphans. The elder bags contained basic hygiene items, bandages and chocolates. In addition the older residents were given sweet milk, a Vietnamese treat.

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