If your fall 2020 semester was anything like mine, you may have found yourself becoming more of a homebody this fall. While there’s nothing wrong with predominantly staying home during this time, Zoom classes galore combined with the strains of social distancing may have left you feeling isolated from the Aggie community. Well, if you’re looking for an activity that will not only bring you out of the house and safely let you meet some amazing people, but also allow you to have a positive impact on the world, you should consider checking out BUILD.
Founded as a student organization in 2013, BUILD was started to honor the lives of the 12 students that passed away in the 1999 Aggie Bonfire collapse. Called “our generation’s unifying collaborative project” by its founder, 2012-2013 Deputy Corps Commander Bryson A. Sutterfield, BUILD seeks to construct Texas Aggie Medical Clinics (TAMCs) out of shipping containers and place them in remote areas around the globe where residents desperately need local medical facilities.
BUILD has centered on multiple undertakings over its seven-year existence. After partnering with Habitat for Humanity for a home-building project in 2013, they have gone on to host three campaigns centering on putting together their now 27 portable urgent care centers in honor of fallen Aggies. From 2014-2016, their 12 for 12 Campaign dedicated 12 clinics to the 12 victims of the Bonfire tragedy. Their 5 for 5 Campaign dedicated five constructed facilities to five Aggie veterans who “played an essential role in the Allied victory in WWII,” according to the BUILD website. Since 2018, BUILD continued to erect 37 TAMCs for each of the Aggie veterans killed on or after 9/11 in their Fallen Aggie Hero Project.
Construction for this semester started on September 21st. I first discovered BUILD through my local church a few weeks ago and have since come with a group to multiple shifts at their construction area. It’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful fall weather with friends, while all the while demonstrating selfless service.
If you’re interested in following in the footsteps of the thousands of other students who have played a part in this large-scale service project, feel free to head over to the worksite, located next to the General Services Complex off Agronomy Road when we return in the spring.
If you plan to volunteer on your own, you’re welcome to come to the site whenever you have the time. More information about group signup, COVID-19 guidelines, and FAQs can be found here.
Additional questions can be directed to BUILDVolunteers@aggienetwork.com, and be sure to check out their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for updates as well as a plethora of photos.
- Erin Herndon
Erin is a master’s student in the Department of International Affairs.