Students, Employees hit the streets for community service

October 2, 2010

PLAINVIEW – About 150 students, faculty and staff from Wayland Baptist University gave up their Saturday morning to serve the community for the fifth annual Degree of Difference Day in Plainview.

Work crews set out around 9 a.m. to many different locations around town, benefitting several agencies and organizations. Groups painted for Early Childhood Intervention, Girl Scouts and Compassionate Care Pregnancy Center and did cleaning for Plainview Christian Academy and the Plainview Cemetery. Teams also sorted and organized at Broadway Treasures and Hunger Plus and helped the Crisis Center of the Plains move into their new location downtown.

; In addition, teams worked a fund-raising booth for Plainview Special Olympics, baked cookies for goody bags for Meals on Wheels clients, visited clients at Plainview Healthcare Center, and held a benefit car wash on campus for Habitat for Humanity. Several teams also worked ahead of time to set out bags on homes in several Plainview neighborhoods for nonperishable food donations for Faith in Sharing House, returning Saturday morning to collect donations from approximately 1,000 homes in West Plainview. 

“There was such a diversity of projects this year, and we even pulled together a few of our own to help out needy organizations such as FISH and Habitat,” said Teresa Young, co-organizer of the event and Director of Communications at Wayland. “We love being able to touch so many lives in the community by doing projects for such a wide variety of organizations.”

The food drive was a great success, with several pickup loads of canned goods and other nonperishables collected, and all the projects were completed within the workday. Students were impacted positively by the experience, no matter what their hands were busy doing.

Sophomore Alycia Leal said she enjoyed “just knowing that we made someone’s day a little brighter” on the team that baked cookies for Meals on Wheels. “Being able to share Wayland and God positively with people and catching up with old friends was a good thing.”

Kenyon Andrews helped play Bingo with seniors at the Plainview Healthcare Center and shared his singing talents as well.

“I enjoyed getting to see people that are older in age and have such strength and wisdom to share for life,” Andrews said.

“We had a great amount of food that we picked up, but for the area we had it could have been so much more,” said senior Natalie Crawford, noting that she enjoyed the sorting and realizing what a contribution the group had made for FISH.

Shaney Brewer worked with a crew at ECI that painting part of the facility. But even that activity impacted her.

“It was just a fun, refreshing way to help out an incredible organization. They impact the lives of so many individuals, so if this small gesture helps out, I’m glad I could be a part,” Brewer said. “I also enjoyed working alongside fellow WBU students to make a difference.”

Dr. Estelle Owens, professor of history at Wayland, served as team leader for the group at Compassionate Care and was excited that her group completed all the chores, much to the surprise of center director SuNell Pyeatt.

“It was a good feeling to help an organization that has little money but provides a really good community service,” Owens said. “I loved being outside on a beautiful day and making obvious progress on the tasks we did.”