66 A&M-Texarkana students volunteer in community during iServe Week


Sixty-six students recently celebrated the Fall 2015 iServe Week at Texas A&M University-Texarkana by completing a total of 177 hours of community service projects.

Keith Beason, activities and orientation specialist at the university, said iServe Week is held each semester to provide students with opportunities to serve nonprofit organizations and agencies in the surrounding area.

During the week, 15 students volunteered at the United Way of Greater Texarkana, sanding down old coats of paint on the building and putting a fresh coat of paint on the door, columns, hand rails and wheelchair ramp.

“The A&M-Texarkana iServe students were a joy to have around the office,” said Mark Bledsoe, president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Greater Texarkana. “Amy Schulz, our office manager, enjoyed hearing the laughter of the students as they worked away. Our front porch hasn’t looked as good as it does now in 10 or 15 years. The old building needed the face-lift.

“The crew also added years to our handicap accessible ramp, too, by adding some needed coats of paint. As a truly ‘non’ profit, we depend upon the help from good-hearted volunteers to stretch our slim operation budget. We were very appreciative of the student power. We would welcome them back at any time to volunteer in whatever capacity they felt could lend us a hand. These students are a huge asset to our community.”

Another 15 students worked with the City of Texarkana Department of Community Development and Planning to plant 32 new trees along the boardwalk at Bringle Lake Park. Zania Gates with the Texas A&M Forest Service taught the students proper techniques for planting the trees. Shovels were provided by the city.

A total of 18 iServe Week volunteers provided assistance at the Taste of Texarkana benefit for Harvest Texarkana at the Four States Fairgrounds. Students helped restaurants and vendors carry in their equipment and bussed tables during the event.

Twelve students built 10, 7-foot shelves at the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope warehouse. They also stocked the new shelves with toy donations for the Salvation Army Angel Tree program.

Another 12 students met at the Farmers Market in downtown Texarkana to plant trees, pull weeds from the flower beds and put down new mulch. They also moved to Main Street and Broad Street, where they removed weeds and distributed mulch.

A total of 27 students volunteered at the Fall Festival hosted by the City of Texarkana Parks and Recreation Department. They managed seven carnival games for children and handed out candy. Two A&M-Texarkana students also painted faces.

“The A&M-Texarkana students and staff did an outstanding job planting trees and landscaping throughout the city,” said David Orr, director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Texarkana, Texas. “In total, over 50 trees were planted and 12 beds were landscaped during the iServe Week.”

Because of inclement weather, a community service project scheduled at the Runnin’ WJ Ranch and the planting of a community garden in the Beverly area will be rescheduled.

For more information about iServe Week at A&M-Texarkana, contact Keith Beason at Keith.Beason@tamut.edu.

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