By Jenna Magness and Antonio Hebert
As the end of the semester approaches, and with finals right around the corner, UMHB students took time out of their busy schedules to give back to the community. Reaching Out, a favorite tradition on campus, took place this past Saturday April 13.
Students gathered at Luther Memorial at 8:00 a.m. , grabbed some breakfast and then split up into teams.
The groups helped with various miscellaneous projects like cleaning the Temple Animal Shelter, volunteering at Helping Hands and, the most popular, building playhouses for military families at Fort Hood.
“I think it’s one of the best things we do on campus …,” freshman pre-Med major Victoria Fahy said. “Just helping the community out in every way we can.”
Fahy helped landscape First Baptist Belton’s garden that was in need of care. She was glad to be able to assist.
“They don’t really have the time and people to help the church look better, so we were just there to help contribute in any way we could.”
Not only did the church benefit from Reaching Out, but Fahy received a broader perspective from the experience.
“It just gives me a better overall view of the community, a better understanding of what I can do to help in the Temple-Belton area.”
Like Fahy, Victoria Camenisch, a freshman organismal biology major did yard work. Although it seemed like an unimportant gesture, she felt like she helped in a big way.
“I like being part of the details that make people’s lives better,” she said. “In the big scheme of things it may be small, but it means a lot to people anyway.”
Reaching Out highlights students’ willingness to serve. Although the event takes place at the crack of dawn and lasts for four hours, it doesn’t diminish their attitude.
Freshman public relations major Katie Valenzuela said, “Reaching Out is such an amazing opportunity to be a blessing to others. It’s a wonderful ministry and everyone should try participating in it at least once in their college experience.”
For sophomore business major Seth Michaelson, this was an outlook changer.
He said, “I think Reaching Out is a great program to open our eyes to people less fortunate. Not everyone has it as good as us.”
Michaelson also views the outreach as an inspiration to live differently throughout the rest of the year.
“It’s awesome. It makes you see this is how we’re supposed to treat others.”
For the seniors, it was the last semester they were able to participate in before graduation.
“It was such a special experience for me because I got to work with my fellow classmates,” senior psychology major Jill Parson said.
She is glad she got to serve with her Crusader family one more time.
“It was awesome getting to share this final one with my friends. I think what I will miss the most is memories of all the different Reaching Out events I’ve done. It’s so rewarding serving others and God.”