Wayland to reprise service day, build Habitat house

PLAINVIEW – For the third year, students and employees at Wayland Baptist University will join forces for a day of service in the community to give back to the city that has supported the college for 100 years. The annual Degree of Difference Day is slated for Oct. 11, with projects planned throughout the city for a variety of agencies and entities.

Letters have been sent to the major service agencies, churches and other entities that may be in need of labor provided by teams of students, faculty and staff. The university is still seeking project ideas from those in the community who may need this type of assistance on this special day.

"We've been so pleased with the way this event has happened in the past and the great impact our Wayland family has been able to make on so many throughout the city of Plainview," said Teresa Young, who coordinates the effort with Teresa Moore, director of student leadership and activities.

“I would like our students to see that just because they are college students and not in the ‘working world’ doesn’t mean they don’t have a social responsibility to our community and to the welfare of others,” Moore said of the service effort. “I believe if they take the time to look outside their own circles they will find satisfaction and purpose in the effects their service has on others.”

Workers will gather that Saturday morning for breakfast and last-minute instructions, then arrive at work sites by 9 a.m. to work until 12:45 p.m. The teams will then return to campus.

Though the Degree of Difference Day effort only lasts one day, the university's service initiative is expanding exponentially for this centennial year with the addition of the Habitat for Humanity building project. In partnership with First Baptist Church Plainview, the building project will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 8 and wrap up on Saturday as the DOD projects are completing.

The house will be built on campus in the parking lot of Hilliard Field, located off 8th and Yonkers streets. After the four-day building blitz – which will have workers in three six-hours shifts – the home will be moved to the Habitat neighborhood in north Plainview for completion.

Volunteers from the community are needed for this project, and local and area Wayland alumni are encouraged to work a shift on the house to make it truly a gift from the university family.

"We wanted to honor our founder, Dr. James Wayland, who was such a community servant himself, with a special service project, and the Habitat house seemed a perfect fit," said Hope English, centennial chairperson for Wayland and director of development. "We hope all WBU employees and students – not to mention all the former students living within a 20-mile radius of Plainview – will come be a part of this project that will be a lasting legacy long after the celebration year has passed."

For more information on the Habitat building project, contact Charlotte Schumacher, campus coordinator, at 291-3549 or English at 291-3430. For Degree of Difference Day information, contact Young at 291-3585.