The Summerside native and soon-to-graduate nursing student is raising money to fund a volunteering stint in Uganda, east Africa, starting on May 8 and ending in early August.
Payne, who is attending the University of Lethbridge, has made arrangements for herself and three of her classmates to volunteer their nursing services in a hospital in that country.
They will go wherever they’re needed most, which means they won’t know where exactly where they’re going until they arrive.
That prospect might scare some people — or at least give them pause — but Payne prefers it that way.
“I’m not going just so I can check it off my list — this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” said Payne.
Her long-term goal is to work internationally, preferably with marginalized peoples like the homeless and people struggling with infectious diseases like HIV.
“I just really feel the need to go there… this pull. And I feel like I can make more of a difference there than I can here,” said Payne.
“I have skills to contribute and I really feel like I can help.”
But to get to Uganda, not to mention buying her supplies, Payne needs some help.
And though she’s on a nursing career path now, her first bout of education came from the College of the North Atlantic’s textiles program in St. John’s, N.L.
Payne has been an artist all her life and has even gained a measure of success for her efforts.
But she’s never had a showing in her hometown — until Saturday night.
Payne shipped home about a dozen examples of her artwork, both textiles and paintings, and they’ve been hanging in Samue’s Coffee House for the last little while.
Payne’s friends Robyn Walsh MacKay and Charmaine Noonan worked with the management of Samuel’s to set up a little soirée at the popular Summerside coffee shop on Saturday night, where Payne’s works were auctioned off to raise money.
They were only too happy to help out, said Walsh MacKay.
“We’ve been friends for so long and Peggy has always been talented artist,” she said.
“Peggy has a lot of friends, she’s a very well loved person. She’s a real carefree kind of spirit, which is why she’s going to Africa to volunteer for a few months straight out of university. A lot of people would be looking for a job right away, but she’s a really giving person like that.”
Payne was looking to raise about $7,000, both through the auction and through her website.
As of Sunday afternoon, she’d raised $5,700 from Saturday’s sale.
That’s incredible, and so nice to see from her hometown, said Payne.
She wishes she could have been there, but her studies and the expense of flying home kept her in Alberta.
“I feel like it was the best party I ever threw back home but didn’t get to go.”
Anyone who’d like to know more about Payne and her volunteering efforts can contact her follow her through her website, http://www.theartofnursing2013.com.