COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Each year during the holidays, the Texas A&M Foundation does something with staff and their families to celebrate the season. The COVID-19 pandemic would not allow that to happen this year.
Instead, the Texas A&M Foundation used the money that would go towards their holiday event to help others.
“The Texas A&M Foundation exists to build a brighter future for Texas A&M one relationship at a time," said Tyson Voelkel, the president of the Texas A&M Foundation. "We feel like the relationships we’ve got with our faculty, staff and students are incredible, but there is another group.
The Texas A&M Foundation wanted to celebrate the Aggies that may not always be given credit when credit is due.
"It's that group that helps maintain and keep this university running, behind the scenes," Voelkel said.
“Obviously, COVID-19 has created challenges for everyone," said Max Gerall, the founder of the REACH Project. "Unfortunately, COVID-19 really struck, who we call, the invisible Aggies very hard.”
The REACH Project works year-round to provide invisible Aggies with resources for relief. Like unemployment applications, unemployment insurance and food.
"It’s been a crazy year, but it’s been awesome," Gerall said.
The REACH Project's mission is to help the community. Seeing others, like the Texas A&M Foundation team, get involved is what it’s all about for the non-profit.
“[It’s] an awesome opportunity to show the invisible Aggies that they are still considered Aggies and they’re important to everyone on the A&M campus,” Gerall said.
For the Texas A&M Foundation, providing meals and some relief is what the Aggie values are all about.
“The most important piece of what we do is about the people," Voelkel said. "It’s about helping other people. It’s about a brighter future.”