The 15th annual Bobcat Build began April 6 with more than 4,500 volunteers, saw a 500 person increase compared to the previous year and an uptick in job sites.
The types of jobs range from painting, landscaping, minor carpentry and any other job that can be done by the students allowed by the program. This year, the program received about 370 new job sites with 30 letters coming in every day.
Mayor John Thomaides attended the opening at Bobcat Stadium where students sign in and pick up tools need for their respective jobs.
“The effort really has an impact on the community of San Marcos,” Thomaides said. “It really is bringing the community and the university students closer together and really integrating the students into the fabric of the community and showing them not just an opportunity to volunteer but to actually see the needs that are out in the community in a way that they would not have seen before.”
Clubs and student organizations were in attendance, such as the Strutters of Texas State. Kelly Harrison, public relations sophmore. was attending her second year at Bobcat Build.
“We are really excited to come out here and help out the community any way we can,” Harrison said.
Lindsey Morrissette, interdisciplinary studies junior, said she was doing Bobcat Build to help out and give back to the community. Morrissette primarily worked on landscaping and cleaning.
“We cleaned out a garden and laid down some mulch,” Morrisette said. “We cleaned windows and filled up some bird feeders; all that good stuff.”
Audrey Beaty, an 84-year-old resident whose house was worked on by Morrissette, said the program was a blessing.
“The work is beyond me, and I am unable to complete it,” Beaty said. “My husband used to do it, but he died seven years ago and most of my family lives in Austin or San Antonio. I am truly blessed and grateful to have these kids working here.”