While most college students were sleeping on the morning of Sept. 26, many Crusaders were awake and to serve at a campus wide event.
“Reaching Out is an opportunity for UMHB students to give back to the community,” Junior Christian studies major and director Zachary Raygoza said. “It went really well. We had a big turnout.”
Students met on campus at 8 a.m. They then separated into groups and ventured to various locations around the city .
Sophomore business major Tobin Davies served at Treehouse Farms.
“We painted the inside of the rehabilitation center,” he said. “There were 15 of us that did it. It took us most of the time, but we still had time to clean up the paint supplies when we were finished.”
Junior nursing major Jacquie Case spent her morning at Helping Hands.
“My group had to help strip the floors for repairs,” she said. “We also boxed up frozen broccoli and carrots for them to give to their clients and helped to pick up trash.”
Approximately 200 volunteers donated their time to serve, including dorm directors and professors.
Junior exercise and sport science major Roger Sanchez enjoyed his time serving.
“It was a humbling experience,” he said. “I really enjoyed being able being able to give back to the city. Belton has done University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and I’m glad we were able to do the same.”
“One of my favorite sites was Churches Touching Lives for Christ,” Raygoza said. “It was more raw for them.”
Senior business management major Veronica Sullivan participated at the location.
“We helped to fold clothes, and we bagged groceries,” she said. “We also filled up bottles with laundry detergent. There was a constant flow of people who needed the items. We had a great team with great team work.”
“One lady I saw, had five kids and one of them was only a month old. She was getting clothes for them. I was like ‘wow’, you could tell the people community.”
Volunteers also had a choice to help with Won’t You be My Neighbor.
“The event is an opportunity for the local community to do local outreach,” said campus missionary Jena Coulson.
“We had 120 volunteers show up for Won’t You be My Neighbor, including the softball team, Miss MHB pageant girls, Ministry Leadership Council, Freshmen Ministry and Reaching Out.”
Raygoza said, “It was like a fall festival for the local kids; just to let the community know that someone cares about them.”
“There were snow cones, hotdogs and popcorn,” said Coulson. “We also had face painting, a clown and a magician for the kids. There were also games to play, like sack toss.”
“The children at Won’t You be My Neighbor looked like they were having a great time,” said elementary education major Kathryn Groseclose.
“I personally had a fun time I am already looking forward to next year. The school did a really awesome job.”
Raygoza said this year’s Reaching Out was the largest in history.
“It was a surprise because we decided to schedule it a lot earlier in the semester and didn’t have as much time to plan as compared to the past,” Raygoza said. “It was a success and our community received some of the service it needed.”