Eastern New Mexico University is offering many pairs of helping hands to the community with its Eastern in Action program again this year.
With Eastern in Action, university students and employees do free yard work, painting, cleaning and other jobs for members of the Portales community not affiliated with ENMU. The work day is set for April 16, and the deadline to sign up to have work done or to donate to the effort is 5 p.m. March 28.
“If you could use any amount of help, fill out a form, because it’s our aim to give back to the community, and everyone who lives here is part of that community,” said Eastern in Action Director Marissa Hyde, also a sophomore in public relations and broadcast journalism.
Associated Students of ENMU is hosting the event.
Eastern in Action organizers are hoping to increase the numbers of job requests and volunteers for the program’s third year this year. They have already received requests from Portales Police Department, Portales Recreation Center, a couple of churches and individual community members, Hyde said.
“We’re going to try to reach every single job site (for which) we get a request,” she said.
Hyde expects to work from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and then volunteers are to get a free lunch and a chance to win raffle prizes. She said she’s trying to find live entertainment for lunch as well.
In the meantime, Hyde expects to visit each job site to learn what needs to be done, what supplies are needed and how many people to assign. She and other organizers are also looking for business sponsorships to buy supplies such as paint, tools and car wash items.
Hyde was appointed Eastern in Action director after she became part of the ENMU student senate. She’s been working on the program since October.
“I was offered the position, and I took it because I thought it was something I could do, and my whole family is from Portales, and I thought it was a good way to give back…because Portales has done so much for Eastern,” she said.
Hyde said the previous Eastern in Action director did a good job and she has been impressed with the efforts of her committee.
Austin Baker, a member of the Eastern in Action committee and a sophomore in graphic design, started working on advertising for the program and then finished that work and started helping in every other area.
“To me, I believe that when we give back to the community, it’s a symbol of trust,” Baker said.
The effort shows that college students take care of the community, and the community takes care of them, he continued.
Baker isn’t sure what his job will be on April 16.
“But for me, as long as I can help, I’ll be just fine with it,” he said.