2012-04-26 / Scene

Crafts for Cambodia

UM-Flint students host craft show to fund study abroad
BY AMANDA BRANIECKI
810-452-2647 • abraniecki@mihomepaper.com


Visiting with students that attended the study abroad program last year, this year’s group of 10 students and two professors prepare for their trip to Cambodia in May. 
Photos provided Visiting with students that attended the study abroad program last year, this year’s group of 10 students and two professors prepare for their trip to Cambodia in May. Photos provided DAVISON — Looking to help those less fortunate in Cambodia, University of Michigan-Flint student Melissa Healey has crafted a way to bring awareness to her cause while raising the funds needed for the trip.

This May, Healey, nine other UM-Flint students and two professors will be traveling to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for a 15-day study abroad trip to administer free health care and health education to orphans, abandoned children, the disabled and those living in extreme poverty.

In addition to providing medical treatment, the study abroad program also allows for students to work in schools and villages learning about the culture of Cambodia and visiting various social agencies, local government agencies and cultural sites.

As a social work major with a minor in psychology, Healey said she was drawn to the study abroad program, which is run through UM-Flint’s nursing department. However, it carried a hefty fee of $6,000 per student to cover the program fees, tuition, airfare and related travel expenses.

Determined to go, Healey began hosting various fundraisers in recent months to help cover the expense.

“All my fundraising up until this (the craft show) I have done on my own, but I thought why not utilize the resources I have to help us all raise the money we need to go,” Healey said.

An avid crafter and market manager for the Grand Blanc Farmers Market, Healey came up with the idea of hosting a craft show and opened the fundraiser up to her fellow study abroad group.

“I have been doing craft shows for quite a few years now making and selling hemp jewelry and I have access to a lot of great vendors that are supportive of my study abroad,” Healey said. “It just made sense and I just thought this would be a nice group fundraiser.”

Dubbed Crafts for Cambodia, the craft show will take place on April 29 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. at the Davison VFW Post 4087, located at 9474 Lapeer Road. Entry fee is $2 per person with proceeds from the craft show to be divided among the students and put toward the Cambodia trip.

Healey said more than 30 vendors will be in attendance, featuring homemade crafts, home party vendors, baked goods, fresh produce and more. There will also be kid games, 50/50 raffle and a can drive at the event as well as a silent auction with one of the hot ticket items being a quilt that was handmade in Cambodia.

On top of the expenses, each student is also required to supply and transport 50 pounds of medical supplies and basic necessity items to Cambodia.

For more information on how to help or on the craft show, email mhealey08@gmail.com.

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