Giving back to an organization that has given so much was the goal when over 70 volunteers from the Birdville Baptist Church traveled to Lufkin on a week-long mission trip.
The Buckner Family Place serves single parents who are full-time students attending college in order to support their families. Buckner has served Deep East Texas from this location for nearly 20 years prompting the need for renovations, and that's where the folks from Birdville came to the rescue.
"It was a really just a Godsend. They have worked with other Buckner locations before, and we were just really excited that they chose to continue that collaboration with us. They contacted us and asked if they could come to this location this year," said Marisa Phillips, executive director of Buckner Family Place.
Birdville Baptist Church has worked with Buckner locations over the past four years, but its members had never traveled to Lufkin. After realizing they had the ability to meet Buckner's renovation needs, they packed up their supplies and made the 200-mile trip to help out.
"We've got about four or five projects here at Buckner. We're going to be working on some landscaping, redoing some flower beds, putting in a 'Touch, Feel, Smell' garden that the kids can kind of be hands-on with. We're also putting a security fence in, and we're doing some general maintenance on the property as well," said Tom Howe, the pastor of Birdville Baptist Church.
An enhanced landscape also serving as a teaching moment for Buckner's younger residents.
"We can share with all the children that attend the childcare center, show them more about what's going on in nature, where food comes from, incorporating some of the produce in our childcare kitchen," Phillips said.
Renovations are expected to be completed Thursday, and then the Birdville volunteers will head back to North Texas on Friday.
In addition to their work at Buckner, the Birdville Baptist Church is also helping to plan Vacation Bible School activities for Redland Baptist Church.