MARSHALL, Texas (4/14/14) – Students, faculty, and staff of East Texas Baptist University traveled to different locations in Harrison County to participate in “ETBU Cares” on Saturday, April 5th. “ETBU Cares”, sponsored by the ETBU Great Commission Center, exists to help the ETBU community partner with their neighbors through service projects.
“We sent the volunteers to five different locations,” said ETBU Director of the Great Commission Center Dr. Lisa Seeley. “This year the Tiger football team is combining their annual volunteer day with ‘ETBU Cares.’ ”
The “ETBU Cares” volunteers rolled up their sleeves and went to work at Love Cemetery in Scottsville, the Habitat for Humanity Marshall build on Doty Street, Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center of Harrision County, located just north of the city limits, Robert E. Lee Elementary and the Food Pantry at Mission Marshall.
Tiger football players and coaches divided into three service teams. One team went to Love Cemetery, another to the Habitat For Humanity Marshall site and the third to the Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian
Football players joined other students in spreading dirt and sod on the Habitat for Humanity home scheduled to be completed later this month. Clearing brush and debris was the main work at both Love Cemetery and Dayspring.
“I’m so proud of my players to volunteer their time serving a great organization,” said Tiger head football coach Joshua Eargle at the Habitat for Humanity location. “ETBU cares about the city of Marshall, and Marshall has already shown they care about ETBU. We are trying to give back to a community that has given so much to our University.”
At the Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center the ETBU students cleared a wooded area of underbrush and removed down tree limbs, some small and some large, preparing the area for a sensory trail. Dayspring is scheduled to open in the fall and will be the first of its kind in Harrison County.
“Dayspring, led by Executive Director Sheryl Fogle, seeks to enhance the independence and life skills of individuals with disabilities through multi-level equine programs,” Dr. Seeley said.
Sophomore football player Scott Moujalled from Dallas was asked while working at the therapeutic equestrian center , what was harder, football practice or clearing brush?
“I say it is harder to clear out brush,” Moujalled said after working with a downed tree covered with vines and roots. “Something you think you can lift up turns out to be very heavy. I never thought a log could be this heavy.”
“Nothing brings people together better than physical labor,” said senior football player Brandon Pyle of Hallsville.
The Executive Director of Mission Marshall Misty Scott was pleased to see the students. “I love it when the ETBU students come because it is so encouraging to see a legacy continuing to be passed on of servant leadership,” shared Scott as students were putting kits together of staple items and serving clients to the food pantry.
“Hopefully, the lesson of contributing to the community in which the students live will follow them wherever God takes them in their journey of life, and they will continue to serve because ETBU chose to encourage and model servant hood for them,” shared Scott.ETBU students joined students from Wiley College, members of the Love Cemetery Burial Association, and the Keepers of Love clearing weeds at the cemetery to make it possible for family members to visit the graveyard. The historic African American cemetery contains graves as early as the 1860’s and is the burial ground of many former slaves and their descendants. While at Lee Elementary the “ETBU Cares” volunteers helped with Saturday school providing encouragement to the students.