By Mike Midkiff
ETBU Public Relations
MARSHALL, Texas (8/25/14) – First time freshman and transfer students of East Texas Baptist University fanned out into the community on Friday morning, August 22, 2014, to do Welcome Week service projects. The new Tigers, who moved in the day before, gave a helping hand to all six Marshall ISD elementary schools, Mission Marshall, My Friends House, Boys and Girls Club of the Big Pines, Belaire Manor and Ward Apartments, Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center, and cleared nails from utility poles.
The clearing of nails along East Grand Avenue from utility poles was a unique service project brought to the attention of the ETBU Great Commission Center (GCC) after Baptist Student Ministry Director Mark Yates attended a Soda Lake Baptist Association executive board meeting. Dr. Franklin Atkinson of Marshall, who retired in 1991 after serving as Vice President for Spiritual Affairs and Professor of Religion, shared an article with Yates from a Panola-Harrison Electric Co-Op publication about the safety hazard to utility lineman when nails are left in poles after a sign has been torn down.
Yates reported back to Dr. Lisa Seeley, Director of the GCC, as a possible service project to be included in Welcome Week activities at ETBU.
“Nailing posters to utility poles is dangerous to lineman as well as illegal,” said Dr. Seeley. “I had no idea that nailing things to poles was illegal.”
Students assigned to remove nails and staples from poles worked the neighborhood along East Grand Avenue, close to the ETBU campus. With the August East Texas heat and no clouds in the sky the sun brought the temperature up and the sweat pouring from the volunteers as they pulled nails and staples.
“I feel like sometimes that the simple things that people don’t think about as well as the dirtiest jobs of service make the most impact,” said freshman Lexi Pyle of Beaumont. “I like doing things outside the box that no one else wants to do.”
Junior Taylor Talbert of Clifton explained that “the nails left behind are dangerous for the workers who climb these poles, and when kids walk by a pole with nails sticking out, they can get their clothes snagged.”
Over 200 students divided into 15 different teams participated in Welcome Week service projects. The service projects are right in line with the Great Commission Center’s continuing emphasis that “ETBU Cares” for those in the community.
At My Friend’s House, students did tasks to benefit the effort of the home to befriend the homeless and needy in Marshall. Kid’s Club, a recreation and Bible sharing time, was held at Belaire and Ward apartment complexes. Groups who went to the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Pines helped with any type of cleaning that needed to be done.
Teachers at all six Marshall ISD elementary campuses used the extra hands of the ETBU students to help them with room preparation for the first day of classes. The students who were at the Dayspring Therapeutic Equestrian Center did outdoor work like removing brush and dead limbs. During their time at Mission Marshall, the new Marshall residents helped restock the shelves of the food pantry with can goods that had been donated.
“ETBU students don’t mind doing the dirty jobs,” remarked Talbert. “Jesus did the dirty jobs in His time like wash the feet of His disciples.”
Photo descriptions in order:
East Texas Baptist University students Taylor Talbert of Waco and Isaac McTaggart of Fort Worth pull nails and staples out of a utility pole at the corner of Franklin and East Grand. PHOTO: ETBU/Mike Midkiff.
ETBU Service projects 5.jpg- Nails and staples are a safety hazards to power company employees who have to climb utility poles. The nails and staples are left after being used to secure a sign to the pole by individuals holding garage sales or trying to sale something. As a community service project new East Texas Baptist University students pulled nails from poles located on East Grand Avenue and surrounding streets. PHOTO: ETBU/Mike Midkiff.
ETBU Service projects 7.jpg- “ETBU Cares” for the Marshall community and on Friday morning incoming freshman students from East Texas Baptist University did several service projects at various locations. One project was pulling nails and staples from utility poles located on East Grand Avenue and surrounding streets. Nails and staples are a safety hazard to power company employees who climb utility poles. PHOTO: ETBU/Mike Midkiff
ETBU Service projects 20.jpg – East Texas Baptist University student Donnie Havard of Lufkin uses a hammer to hit the crowbar to get under a nail head to remove it from a utility pole at the corner of East Grand and Franklin. The nails and staples that are left after being used to secure a sign to the pole by individuals holding garage sales or trying to sale something are a safety hazard to power company employees who climb the poles. PHOTO: ETBU/Mike Midkiff.
ETBU Service projects 25- New East Texas Baptist University students Hannah Godwin of Spring and Olivia Moore of Nacogdoches remove nails from an utility pole at the corner of Franklin and Austin. “ETBU Cares” for the Marshall community and on Friday morning incoming freshman students did several service projects at various locations. Nails and staples are a safety hazard to power company employees who climb the utility poles. PHOTO: ETBU/Mike Midkiff.