A tired student stands among some 50 others in a big room. Their bodies are all weak from having to get up early in the morning, but the donuts and orange juice help to give them the energy they need for the rest of the day. For today, they will be Reaching Out.
It is an event that happens once a semester, in which the students help meet the needs of the Belton and Temple areas. Students meet at 8 a.m. in Shelton Theater and are served breakfast before they depart to the many different sites that are available to help the community.
Director of Student Organizations Kristy Brischke recognizes the significance of Reaching Out.
“Sometimes we get so involved in our own worlds, we forget that there is a much bigger world around us,” Brischke said.
Reaching Out helps the UMHB community experience the greater community by giving back
“It is a wonderful way for our faculty, staff, and students to connect to the various agencies and organizations that do so much for the area we live in,” she said.
Director of Spiritual Life for Student Government Association Zach Raygoza was in charge of putting together Reaching Out.
He has added a new site this year to the event.
“We are going to Miller Springs to do park clean up, which we have never done before. I am excited because it is not only something for the community but also for the environment,” Raygoza said.
SGA has given Raygoza the opportunity to learn how to lead.
“It has also been great because I could see the effects of my leadership decisions,” he said.
Raygoza incorporates faith into his decision making.
“Spiritually, this position has shown me that God is ultimately in control and to not stress about how things will work out,” he said. “Allowing God to move, rather than putting him in a box or getting in the way of what he is doing, is essential.”
Junior nursing major Rachel Schofi eld went to the Churches Touching Lives For Christ site. While she was there, she folded clothes so that when people came that needed some, they could find them easier.
“I like Reaching Out because it is one Saturday a semester and I get to hang out and enjoy the company of other people and help other people,” Schofield said. “Churches Touching Lives For Christ is a good picture of what the church should be doing. It is meeting the needs of the people.”
While Reaching Out may not solve the problems of all the people in the community, it does serve to help the students realize the need of the community and give them an active part in helping it.
“There are two things that I hope we as students will take away from Reaching Out,” Raygoza said.
He thinks experience and understanding that people are the hands and feet of Jesus through what they are doing.
“We will literally be reaching out to people, to draw them into Christ. The second thing I hope the students get from this great experience is either a strengthening of current relationships or the building of new, lasting and meaningful ones.”