Texas A&M Student Organization Enlists Others to Build Mobile Medical Clinics
On October 7, 2016 JBKnowledge staff and interns volunteered with BUILD, a student run organization on the campus of Texas A&M University. The volunteer experience taught all of us here at JBKnowledge the true power of the Aggie Spirit, what a job in construction looks like, and how rewarding it is to not only give back to the Bryan/ College Station area… but also the world.
What is Build?
BUILD is a student organization at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. The Texas A&M students who volunteer with BUILD work alongside one another to construct portable medical clinics that are sent around the world. The mission behind BUILD is to embody Aggie Core Values as students work together through every stage of the development of the clinics, from planning to construction, in honor of those who lost their lives in the collapse of the 1999 Aggie Bonfire. Much like students collaborated with one another during the construction of Aggie Bonfires, the same vigor and values are also exhibited when constructing the portable medical clinics.
When BUILD was founded in 2012 their first mission was to construct a house for a family in need in the Texas A&M community. Now, 4 years later, BUILD’s current mission is to construct 12 portable medical clinics per year to be sent across the globe. The 12 clinics that are currently in progress represent the 12 Aggie lives lost in the Aggie Bonfire. To date, 8 of the 12 containers have been completed and sent to:
- Antigua, Guatemala
- Tecpan, Guatemala
- Thomazeau, Haiti
- Dolores, Honduras
- Kingston, Jamaica
- Beaudachita, Haiti
- San Jose, Costa Rica
Volunteering with BUILD
Volunteering with BUILD was a chance for the JBKnowledge staff and interns to give back to the community while also having fun together. BUILD was of special interest to JBKnowledge as we participate in the construction industry through our SmartBid and SmartInsight software and consulting services. It was an eye opening experience to us all as we assisted in the construction of medical clinics and got a taste of what our construction clients might be doing during a day of work on a construction job.
When we first arrived to the BUILD site on Texas A&M’s campus we immediately got to work. BUILD’s leadership team and members of Texas A&M’s Construction Science Department were on hand to direct us as to what tasks needed completed and how to go about completing those tasks. The BUILD medical clinics are constructed from shipping containers where the insides of the shipping containers are essentially “flipped” and transformed into a clean facility with wooden walls, floors, and fans. Our main task of the day when we arrived was to prepare the wood that would be used to “flip” the inside of shipping containers.
Some of the JBKnowledge staff were assigned to sanding and painting wood panels that are going to be used to build the walls inside the medical clinics while others of us puttied away any discrepancies, such as holes or cracks, in the wood to ensure a smooth and clean surface of the wood panels. The two and a half hours we spent at the BUILD site was a rewarding learning experience and all of us here at JBKnowledge had a blast working alongside each other… heading out for a pizza as a team after volunteering wasn’t too bad either!
BUILD always welcomes volunteers, sponsors, and donations to assist with their mission of uniting the Aggie community while providing selfless service to the world. You can register here to volunteer on the campus of Texas A&M University with BUILD. Student and adult volunteers are always welcome as well as organizations of all sizes. BUILD also gratefully accepts corporate sponsorships and donations.
About the Author
My name is Leann Taylor and I am currently a senior Supply Chain Management student at Texas A&M University. This is my second semester as a marketing intern with JBKnowledge and I am more than excited to be back, learning how technology is continuing to transform the construction industry.