AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - 38 Iowa State University students spent their spring break giving back to Amarillo’s youth, as part of the university’s Pay it Forward program.
For these Iowa students, Amarillo is stop number three of six for the program’s country-wide service tour.
“I’ve really enjoyed this service project a lot,” said student and Pay it Forward board member Maria Daubenberger. “It’s really cool to hear the story and being able to feel that same passion that Dyron has portrayed to us. I’m just really enjoying being able to be a part of this group, and being able to meet all these new people every year and being able to make so many impacts in different communities.”
Students quickly formed an assembly line and filled bags to help prepare for the Snack Pak 4 Kids Tuesday night packing.
“We got music playing, students having fun and learning about what we do,” said Snack Pak 4 Kids Executive Director Dyron Howell. “There’s nothing better than 40 college students from Iowa State serving in Amarillo, Texas.”
The student tour organizers said they found Snack Pak 4 Kids by chance.
“They went online I guess,” said Howell. “They said, ‘We’re coming through Amarillo on our Pay it Forward Tour,’ and, ‘Where can we volunteer?’ People recognized what we do from Iowa and [they] wanna come serve.”
The students said they were instantly attracted to the organization’s mission
“Kids can’t learn when they’re hungry but they can change the world when they’re full,” said Howell. “That’s what we’re about.”
They even felt like they could relate to the mission themselves.
“Snack Pak 4 Kids is really fantastic,” said student and Pay it Forward board member Emily Tonn. “You know, as a college student, I have the opportunity to get a good education [and] to be well fed so that I could focus on my studies. If I didn’t have the opportunity to have food, I might not be in college. Being able to help these kids and help them with their future is really great.”
Tonn added, “I think it’s one of the coolest service projects we’ve done so far.”
The students’ next stop is Albuquerque.