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23

E L I Z A B E T H T O W N M A G A Z I N E • F A L L 2 0 1 1

All told, Elizabethtown College students raised $18,000 to fund the humanitarian projects for the trip. Extra donated money, said McFarland, was used to buy baby for-mula, school supplies, uniforms and toys for the young orphans.

Stops on the tour included a visit to the Huynh De Nhu Nghia, a blind school, where the social work students painted fences and planted decorative shrubs, while the occupa-tional therapy students interacted with the children in games and activities they’d spe-cifically developed for the visually impaired. They also visited the Khanh Hoa Orphan-age, where the group distributed swings, shoes and gifts and cared for the babies and youth, and the Cam Rahn orphanage, where they treated the children to an amusement park trip.

An especially important stop on the trip was the Danang Red Cross Vocational Train-ing Center and Orphanage, where E-town students assembled and moved new beds into the center and distributed Sunflower Project bags to the teenage orphans. In Vietnam, as orphanages fill up, older children—some as young as 14—“age out” and are forced to live on the streets. The purpose of the Sun-flower Project is to distribute bags containing basic survival items with the hope of easing the youths’ transition to life beyond the or-phanage.

A presentation about the Vietnam trip, featuring Peggy McFarland and a student panel, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, in Elizabethtown College’s K¯AV.

“One girl was giving me a hug and, as she walked away, said “I will miss you.” She was barely able to speak any English and, her saying this to me, made me start to cry. It was at this point in the trip when I truly felt I was making an impact in someone’s life.”

Katie Mortara ’13

“Yes, we have different languages and customs, but, in the end, we all are humans and have the same basic desires and needs.”

Rustin Dudley ’14

S U N F L OW E R P R O J E C T

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Elizabethtown College