BY JESSALYN KIRCHHOFF
Much like many other events this year, the annual Paint-a-Thon hosted on Saturday by the Tigers In Service [TIS] volunteer group at Fort Hays State University had alterations due to COVID-19.
A major change from years past was the service work the community had available for TIS. This year the Paint-a-Thon was more yard work and garage cleanout oriented than painting.
“I don’t know if it was COVID or if no one wanted painting done this year, we were happy to help with whatever they gave us to do,” said Erica Barwick, student coordinator for TIS.
The other change seen at the Paint-a-Thon this year was the minimal amount of students that participated. There were six students that attended the morning session and five students plus one helpful community member on the afternoon crew.
The morning session was made up of Tigers Andy Dry, Erica Barwick, Jacob Besser, Hope Schuman, Caitlin Tinkham, and Hannah Wiebe. While the afternoon crew consisted of Erica Barwick, Jacob Besser, Ali Colwell, Micah Kasson, Mikayla Resley, and community member Robin Wilson.
Though these two factors changed the way the Paint-a-Thon looked, they did not impact the community work that the Tigers provided.
Throughout the day, Tigers In Service extended their helping paws at a total of five houses. The community members highly appreciated this work that was being done. Betty Macdonald is a resident of the last house TIS worked at. Macdonald was very gracious for the work TIS did for her and her home.
“As senior citizens, we’re not able to go and do these things [weed-eat, clean out the gutters] anymore so it is very important. I like to see the young people volunteering just like we did years ago,” Macdonald said. “It’s important for them to do that. It’s been great seeing the youth take their own personal time to help out our community.”
The community members were not the only ones enjoying themselves on Saturday.
“I like helping others and I feel like when you do community service it just makes people’s day,” said FHSU senior, Ali Colwell.
FHSU junior, Mikayla Resley also enjoyed being able to help out the community saying that community service makes her feel good.
Though the Tigers In Service got everything they wanted accomplished and more at this year’s Paint-a-Thon, Barwick hopes for a bigger turnout and a more normal event next year.
“I want more students to get involved. With what’s going on in the world, we got woken up as a young group,” Barwick said. “I hope that next year we get a group of students that realize that they need to get more involved and how important it is to give back to the community”.