Waco woman serves hundreds of area college students as “mom”
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A local mom has been working to help Baylor University students ever since her son started there in 2019, but now she’s looking for some help to continue her work.
Beth Dutschmann was inspired to help students after seeing posts in a parent Facebook group. She started by checking in on sick students, but when the pandemic started, she started moving students out of their dorms if they couldn’t afford to get back to campus.
During that time, Dutschmann said she saw how many students were in need of assistance--she said in some cases, students only had one towel, or their clothes weren’t in great condition.
She started working with friends and family to fill those gaps, but the need kept growing. That’s when she started The On Campus Mom Foundation, which officially launched in fall 2021 as a 501C3 organization.
They have a number of programs--everything from dorm storage during the summer to scholarships to their Adopt-a-Bear program. Sai Sagireddy, who is from Trinidad Tobago, connected with Dutschmann in 2020, even before he was a student at Baylor.
He was purchasing a book he needed for a class from her and discussing logsitics. At the time, the borders were closed because of the pandemic.
“There was no way for me to come into the U.S. early, so I never had like a delivery address and stuff like that,” Sagireddy said. “So she was like, ‘oh, well, I can hold it off for you, and if you need dorm stuff you could ship it to our place.’”
Sagireddy said the Dutschmann she provides is a huge help, especially for international students.
“As an international student, it’s really daunting to come to a campus where you’ve never been before because most people just never visited before they came to Baylor,” Sagireddy said. “To have someone like Mrs. D just help you walk through that process, it just makes all the difference.”
Dutschmann said help with food and meal plans is one of the biggest things they provide. She said in many cases, struggling families opt to not pay for a meal plan, and that sometimes leaves students scrambling to eat three meals a day.
The foundation delivers meals during school breaks, like during the upcoming Easter break when dining halls will be closed.
“We don’t charge for any service we provide. We will again be providing meals Saturday and Sunday of Easter” Dutschmann said. “At this time, many students have depleted their dining dollars, which is what’s utilized at the retail eateries, so we will come in and fill that need and bridge that gap with delivery of meals.”
Dutschmann is looking for donations and especially volunteers to continue her work. She said in many cases, she and her family are stretched thin while helping students.
“So many times, I get pulled as well as other family members are pulled in many directions,” Dutschmann said. “Maybe I’m sitting in the ER with a student awaiting the family arrival, and there’s another need on campus with another sick students. Volunteers are just the greatest resource that we could ever have.”
You can find more information about the foundation and how to help on their website.
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