Student Bonfire students clear land at future BCS Habitat subdivision, Hope.

Student Bonfire students clear land at future BCS Habitat subdivision, Hope.

Earlier this year, Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity acquired a new property in Bryan. This property has 89 lots on which we will partner with families to build homes, community and hope. Not only does this subdivision represent our hope as a Habitat for Humanity affiliate to start families on their dreams of homeownership, but it will bear the name of Hope.

In the Parable of the Mustard Seed in the Mark 4:30 – 34 of the Bible, hope is represented by a tiny mustard seed, one of the smallest seeds on Earth.  Yet when a mustard seed is planted, despite its small size, it becomes a large plant, “with branches that birds may perch upon.” The idea of hope is that something as small as a thought, through prayer, hard work and faith, will grow into something beyond that small thought or idea.

At Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity, part of our mission is to build not just homes, but also hope and community. We are pleased to announce this future subdivision and excited for the 89 families who will move out of substandard housing and into a simple, decent and affordable home.

We started the long process of developing the land for Hope the weekend of September 24th with the clearing of the lots by Student Bonfire. As a Former Student, our Executive Director Andy York reached out to Dion McInnis, who works with the organization, shortly after acquiring the property to ask if Student Bonfire would like to use the location as a cut site for the 2016 Student Bonfire. McInnis described the call as coming at the perfect time because he was in the process of looking for another location to use as a cut site for this year’s Bonfire.

The property boasts lots of cedar, a few oak trees and other varieties of trees. On the 24th and 25th of September, crews took to the property with axes, machetes and determination to clear the brush to get to the trees. Junior Red Pot Austin Weger described the trees as “somewhat small, but [would] work well in the overall tower.” McInnis went on to explain that the smaller trees were perfect for the third and fourth tier of the tower, and will also be used to stabilize some of the larger trunks that had been cut from another site on the lower tiers. Groups will come back in the spring to clear the brush piles from the property.

We are grateful to be a part of such a long standing tradition and to involve Texas A&M students who may not have had the opportunity to work with Habitat before through the partnership with Student Bonfire.  This partnership demonstrates how the Habitat program builds community by bringing people together to build homes for their neighbors and it serves as an example of Aggies’ well-known reputation of public service. Although not affiliated with Texas A&M anymore, Bonfire represents the “undying flame of love every loyal Aggie carries in his heart for the school.” The work, dedication and love the students put into making sure this tradition continues after the devastating collapse of the 1999 Bonfire can be seen with each ax swing and excited “Whoop!” when another trunk is added to the pile. Through almost 100 degree heat, and many students driving back from Dallas from the Texas A&M versus Arkansas game for the Sunday cut, this group of students worked hard to help us, and we are grateful to them for their efforts and partnership.

Student Bonfire will burn on November 23rd this year.