Texas Tech Baptist Student Ministry helping international students furnish their apartments

Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 6:47 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Hundreds of international students are getting ready for their first year at school in the United States.

Many international students who come to Texas Tech bring little more than a backpack and a suitcase.

“Most of them live in unfurnished apartments when they get here, so they’re literally studying, eating and sleeping on the floor,” Cindy McBrayer, the cross cultural minister for Texas Tech Baptist Student Ministry, said

More than 15 years ago, Texas Tech Baptist Student Ministry found international students were struggling to comfortably adjust to life in Lubbock.

“They don’t have transportation to go buy things, they’re in a foreign country to them, so buying furniture is expensive and the delivery aspect, it’s just overwhelming,” McBrayer said.

The ministry members decided they could not watch these young adults struggle without lending a hand.

“We just got to care for all students, and sometimes it’s kind of easy to forget the international student population,” Jeff Kennon, the director at Baptist Student Ministry, said. “We said we just cant do that.”

Every year, Baptist Student Ministry has reached out to the community for help.

“As Americans, we tend to get new stuff a lot, and our old stuff is still good, that’s what were looking for,” McBrayer said.

Those who are renovating, redecorating, or just upgrading their household items, can donate gently used furniture to these international students through Baptist Student Ministry. The program is asking for furniture suitable for a student and small enough for an apartment, as well as dishes, pots and pans, love seats, sleeper beds, desks, tables and chairs.

“Probably our biggest request is for study tables and couches,” McBrayer said.

Baptist Student Ministry has requested the furniture be in good condition; the program wants the furniture to be suitable for these students.

“If you don’t, wouldn’t, want your son or daughter to use it, don’t give it to us,” Kennon said. “That doesn’t mean it cant be used, but we try to give things that are in the best possible condition.”

Baptist Student Ministry is also accepting monetary to buy new items for the students. Those interested in donating can find that link here.

Baptist Student Ministry asks those looking to donate furniture to send a picture of the items to bsm.texastech@gmail.com.