Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Buckner International has collected and distributed more than 100 tons of domestic aid, including food, personal protective equipment and school supplies. All items are collected and sorted at the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid locations in Dallas and the Rio Grande Valley before being distributed by Buckner Children and Family Services programs across Texas, including Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, Mission and Peñitas. The 102.2 tons of pandemic relief aid shipments consisted of 76.5 tons of nonperishable food; 1.8 tons of PPE, including masks and gloves; and 23.9 tons of school supplies and backpacks. At a ceremony in Dallas, several Buckner employees received commemorative pins marking the milepost. As he presented the pins, President Albert Reyes helped the employees put their achievement in perspective by noting 100 tons of supplies is equivalent to the weight of a blue whale or a Boeing 757. “COVID-19 has made those already vulnerable in our communities even more in need of compassion and support,” Reyes said. “I am in awe of our volunteers and donors who have stepped up to help provide aid, and I am in awe of our Buckner employees who worked tirelessly to make sure the food and supplies reached families in a safe and timely manner.”
Fall semester classes at East Texas Baptist University began Aug. 17 after the university’s physical operations department completed an extensive cleaning of the entire campus with EPA-approved, hospital-grade disinfectants, following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the risk of the novel coronavirus. The traditional fall break in October has been cancelled, and on-campus instruction will end before Thanksgiving in an effort to limit travel by students and reduce the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19. The campus is stocked with sanitizing cleaners and wipes in public spaces and in all classrooms. Strict compliance of face coverings and masks are required in campus buildings. All events hosted by the university will adhere to local, state and federal guidelines. “The university family has been outstanding in their support of the actions we are taking,” said Larry Northcutt, director of security, compliance and accountability at ETBU. “All of these protective measures are big steps in continuing to keep our university a safe and secure place for the faculty, staff and students.”
At an Aug. 19 event, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor announced locations where its Global Outreach teams will travel between December 2020 and August 2021. The school announced trips to locations as near as La Grange and as far away as Indonesia and Nepal. All travel will be contingent on a comprehensive risk assessment, including health updates from the Centers for Disease Control and State Department travel advisories.
Dallas Baptist University has made adjustments to chapel during the fall 2020 semester to accommodate physical distancing and other health and safety guidelines. Students will be assigned one of three weekly in-person services to attend in Pilgrim Chapel. On the other two days of chapel, students either may participate in chapel services online or view a live stream in another physical location on campus. Students will be required to wear face masks at all gatherings. “Chapel is one of the hallmarks of the Christ-centered DBU experience and is an important time for students as they worship together, hear from powerful speakers, and connect with each other,” said Jay Harley, vice president for student affairs. Before COVID-19 made it necessary to cancel large gatherings, DBU chapel worship and media services created two live worship recordings. The recordings were posted on social media when in-person chapel services no longer were possible for students. Follow DBU chapel worship recordings on Spotify here or on Apple Music here.