The Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Club prepares to go to Medina Children’s Home for its annual service project.
The club members have only a general idea of what they are going to do once they get there, said Kimberly Panther, junior animal science major from Southlake and the club’s secretary.
“Last year we cleaned pig pens and sorted food in their pantries. Some of the members made mums for the girls’ homecomings,” said Panther. “It’s tradition to put on a dinner and have a devotional, and everyone who lives there comes.”
Medina Children’s Home is located about 40 miles northwest of San Antonio. The facility is a not-for-profit Christian home for orphans, at-risk children and single-mother families.
Will Morales, junior environmental science and animal science double major from Rotan, is the president of the club.
“We do any kind of general labor they need,” Morales said. “We also play with the kids that live there and try to show them love any way we can.”
The service project has taken on a new meaning in the past two years. On the way to Medina two years ago a bus rollover on Highway 83 resulted in several injuries and the death of one student, 19-year-old Anabel Reid.
In light of the tragedy, Morales said the trip has taken on an additional mood.
“Everyone was always so excited to go. But the mentality has changed. It’s viewed as a memorial, as well,” said Morales.
Anabel is not only remembered by students and faculty, but by Medina Children’s Home as well.
“They recently built a beautiful memorial, and I think one of the prayer rooms is dedicated to her,” Panther said. “We all went up there during the trip last year to pray together. It was really emotional, but it was good.”
While the trip serves as a memorial to Anabel, it is also a time for the AES Club to grow closer with each other.
The group last year was relatively small, but with around 70 members this year the club hopes to fill all 60 slots available, Panther said.
“It’s not mandatory, but it’s highly recommended that club members go. It’s a great bonding experience,” Panther said.