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Unique Boutique to benefit orphans

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By Carol A. Clark

Preparations are underway for this year's Unique Boutique set for 1-8 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday at the home of Terry and Marvel Kellogg, 199 San Ildefonso Road. All of the exotic and unusual gift items available for purchase are made by Cambodians in Southeast Asia and some come from the sewing project at the orphanage, which is operated by the Kelloggs’ organization, Cambodia’s Hope.Items to be on sale next week include handwoven silk scarves, household décor, clothing, handbags, ornaments, vintage basketry, antiques, fabulous artifacts and treasures, and jewelry ranging from glass bead earrings to a 42-inch necklace with a 34-karat sapphire set in 18-karat white gold. Prices begin at $4. This year the Kelloggs also will have a “Chic Boutique Flea Market” with donated items such as ceramics, glassware, books and leather jackets.The Kelloggs ensure 100 percent of the proceeds from their annual fundraiser go to the children of Cambodia's Hope as all administrative, fundraising and travel expenses are donated by the founders and friends. Donations are tax-deductible.Cambodia’s Hope was founded by the Kelloggs and their friends in 2003, as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization to support needy children in Cambodia. The community has supported the organization each year since its inception through purchases at the annual Unique Boutique as well as through direct donations. This support has allowed Cambodia’s Hope to expand each year; enhancing the care and education provided to children of victims of AIDs, land mine atrocities and war traumas.“Our guiding principle is, ‘The future of the world does not lie in the hands of children – it lies in the hands that hold the hands of children,’” Marvel said. “Our calling is as privileged people, Cambodia’s Hope intends to lead with our heads as well as our hearts to generate opportunities for less-fortunate children in Cambodia. We will create a nurturing environment for children to reach their highest human potential through education, recreation and health. “We will support children to become self-sustaining future business, academic and agricultural leaders of Cambodia to help fill the intellectual and cultural void caused by the human decimation of recent decades."Terry explained that Cambodia's Hope supports needy children, young adults and families living in Cambodia. The primary mission is to provide survival support for orphans in Cambodia as well as opportunities for education and occupational training. “It’s the basic support system for the Palm Tree Orphanage in Phnom Penh, a facility with a 95-child capacity focusing on education and creating a family base for homeless children,” he said. He continued, “Our goal is for these children to learn, play and create; forging a developmental path toward leadership roles in their country. Education is a priority. At this time all eligible children attend Cambodian School in addition to classes at the orphanages. “Recreation, culture and the arts are included in the curriculum as well as vocational training provided to enhance career and job placement. The school also supports an intensive dance and cultural program where the children learn classic Cambodian dance and perform for guests as well as travel to competitions.”The Kelloggs said they are currently supporting a second orphanage in a small village in Kam Pong Speu Province with 37 children, a seamstress training program for the village women as well as seven preschool programs providing services for more than 200 children throughout the province. “We hope to raise enough money this year for a dormitory and school for this project,” Terry said.  The ambition, he added, “is to help orphanages as well as individuals to become self-supporting in their projects and lives.”“The charitable organization receives support from donors around the globe,” Marvel said. “In the world of philanthropic endeavors, Cambodia's Hope stands out as having 100 percent of every donation go directly to the needs of the children and projects to support the children.”The community of Los Alamos, through past Unique Boutique fundraisers has built a medical clinic, helped buy a farm and this year the funds will go to build a school in an out lying village. “The good news is a little goes a long ways in Cambodia.” Terry said. “The reality is the need is as wide and as long as the Mekong.”