A local university is letting the dogs out to roam the streets of Seguin doing good deeds this weekend.
As they have done annually for at least a decade, Texas Lutheran University students, faculty and staff members are going out into the public Saturday for the school’s annual H.O.T. Dogs fall day of service, said Ashlie Ford, TLU director of marketing and communications.
“This is a day where students, faculty and staff go around the Seguin community and volunteer with local nonprofits and other organizations,” she said. “The things they do can range from assisting with cleanup or maybe helping a company or organization refurbish or repaint something.”
In prior years, for example, TLU Bulldogs have volunteered to help organizations like Habitat for Humanity or My Father’s Farm. Usually the volunteers help with whatever small projects the organizations need, Ford said.
With a theme this year of “Pass the Torch,” representatives of the school will be out from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, she said.
“Community service and servant leadership are central to the University’s mission,” Ford said. “We place a lot of emphasis on encouraging our entire campus community to go out and be involved within the Seguin Community.”
H.O.T. Dogs, which is organized by the university’s Center for Servant Leadership, is a way for Bulldogs to get involved. It is just one of many such attempts at fostering community involvement, according to information provided on the university’s website.
Usually hundreds of people involved with the school participate in the annual event, Ford said.
“A lot of student groups participate in this like our student government association, Black Student Union, and Mexican American Student Association,” she said. “Those are the types of student-led groups that are heavily involved. We have athletes that go out too. They typically participate every year and have representation out in the community.”
She has 370-plus students signed up to join in this year’s festivities, said Morgan Klaser, director of the Jon and Sandra Moline Center for Servant Leadership at TLU. The H.O.T. in H.O.T. Dogs stands for Helping Others Together, and of course the dogs is short for the school mascot, Klaser said.
The event this year partners with 17 community organization mostly in Seguin but with a few in Guadalupe County outside the city, she said.
H.O.T. Dogs helps those people out in the community but it also is beneficial to the students who participate, Klaser said. It gives them a better understanding of the values of this community, she said.
“It also is a great way for them to make friends and to connect with people outside of class,” Klaser said. “We’re only in our first couple weeks of the semester and adjusting to college life can be challenging. So having an MS to do something outside of campus to learn more about this community they are invested in for the next several years, it helps for them to have a space to do that alongside their peers.”
H.O.T. Dog has happened for at least the past 10 years, possibly longer, Ford said. TLU holds a similar event in the spring called Day of the Dog to provide even more volunteer opportunities, she said.