March 4, 2020
In support of East Texas Baptist University’s Neighborhood Renewal Initiative, ETBU is partnering with Northeast Texas Habitat for Humanity to execute ETBU's first Blitz Build in Marshall during Spring Break 2020 (March 9 –13). Tiger students, staff, faculty, and University family will volunteer their time and labor throughout the week to make a difference in the life of a local family.
“I am excited about the opportunity our students, faculty, and staff have to participate in the blessing of a home that God is providing for a family in Marshall through this Habitat Blitz Build,” Dean of Spiritual Life Scott Stevens said. “I am thankful for those who will sacrifice part of their spring break to live out their faith and be the hands and feet of Jesus as they serve our community.”
Habitat for Humanity’s Blitz Build projects bring volunteers together to provide safe and affordable housing for families in need of a decent place to call home. The community provides hands for labor, as well as donations of professional services, financial resources, and construction materials in order to build a home as cost-effectively as possible.
“The high cost of housing isn’t just an issue in big cities or on the coasts,” Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford said. “More than 18 million families are spending half or more of their income on housing, and that’s true in cities, suburbs and rural areas alike. Even middle-class workers, like teachers and police officers, can scarcely find housing that fits their budgets.”
In the months leading up to the build, ETBU secured a vacant lot near campus in an effort to help provide affordable, quality housing for local families. The University has donated the lot in support of the Blitz Build program, and is scheduling volunteers to cover the work site throughout the week.
“With our Christ-centered mission at ETBU, one of our core commitments is to teach our students the responsibility to enhance their community,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn shared. “We recognize the great need in Marshall for providing affordable, quality housing for low to moderate-income families. When ETBU launched our Neighborhood Renewal Initiative in 2016, we made a commitment to remove dilapidated housing, acquire blighted properties, and recondition houses in disrepair.”
Since Blackburn started the Marshall Neighborhood Renewal program, ETBU has demolished and removed 16 houses in the city.
Blackburn passionately stated, “Today, East Texas Baptist is deepening our investment in Marshall by donating our property and building a beautiful home for a deserving family.”