Tigers In Service Paint-A-Thon serves community members with house painting

STORY AND PHOTOS BY RYLEE BRETTON

VIDEO BY ELIZABETH ANDERSON

On Saturday, September 14, FHSU students volunteered within the Ellis County community, by participating in the “Paint-A-Thon” event coordinated by Tigers in Service. 

“The Paint-a-Thon is an old project that Tigers in Service did every year in the past but has been a few years since we have done it,” Tigers in Service Student Coordinator, Marisa Carman, said. 

The event was posted in the Daily Student Announcement email a few weeks before. Within the email, there was a link that a student could sign up to volunteer. The event was open to all FHSU students.

The day was broken up into two 3.5 hour shifts. The day began at 8:30 where students working the first shift met in front of the bronze tiger by the union. From there, students grouped up and were given rides to various locations. Four locations were in Hays and Ellis. 

When they made it to their locations, there were painting supplies along with water provided for the volunteers. Each house also had a “house leader.” This person was there to give directions along with assistance. Carman, the coordinator, also floated between each location.

“To go about asking people if we could paint their houses, I first reached out to Habitat for Humanity, Northwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging, and Foster a Grandparent Program and gave them flyers to hand out to their clients,” Carman said. “I also made several social media posts advertising what we would be doing and asking people to share it with people they may know who needs their house painted.” 

Ted Foster, a Fort Hays alumni, was very pleased when he got contacted. 

“Habitat for Humanity contacted me first. They asked if they could help me get started off in my new house by painting it for me. From then on, Marissa kept in contact with me. She has been amazing,” Foster said. “When I got contacted, I was very excited. It was something I have been needing to do, it is just a daunting task. I thought that people willing to come and help me out with this task was awesome. Being a former Fort Hays Tiger myself, I think it is great for these kids to give back to the community and help out an amazing organization.”

This experience also impacted students who volunteered as well.

“I participated in the Tigers in Service Pant-a-Thon because it is for a good cause,” FHSU student, Alex Kultgen said. “It was really awesome to get hands-on and help people. My favorite part was meeting new people and getting to see how happy Evelyn (the homeowner) was.”.

“The Paint-A-Thon was more than just giving back to the community, it was making memories that last a lifetime with people who are just as passionate as you are,” FHSU student Megan Feiner said.

In total, four properties were completed by the volunteers. Carman believed the event was a major success.

“Overall, I think the event went really well. Two of our house projects were completely finished and looked amazing. The other property will need a few more visits to get finished up, so we will be looking for volunteers to assist us with that,” she said. “I am very happy with how the event turned out and I know all the homeowners were very grateful and pleased with how their houses turned out.”

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