Beach Reach offers alternative to Spring Break on South Padre

Local News

Buddy Young coordinates Beach Read on South Padre Island.

Thousands of college students have made their way to South Padre Island for Spring Break, but one group didn TMt show up to party.

We come down here to serve people, said Buddy Young, the coordinator of a church-affiliated organization called Beach Reach. In the name of Jesus we feed them breakfast, we provide rides for them and hopefully have a conversation with them about spiritual matters.

Beach Reach counts 1,100 members and aims to help students who have problems during Spring Break.

If they’re in a sticky situation or if they just really need a ride instead of having to walk or if they get in a situation that might not be the best for them, we’re able to pick them up and drop them off at their hotel, said Brianna Griswold, a member of Beach Reach.

Members of Beach Reach pay $120 to join, not including transportation and lodging.

Mark Rohrer, a senior at West Texas A&M University, drove 12 hours from Amarillo to South Padre Island for his fourth Beach Reach retreat

Rohrer said it TMs not always easy dealing with rowdy students.

It TMs definitely difficult at some points, but I always just remember that I TMd be in the same position if it wasn’t for God’s grace, Rohrer said. So I just tell them ~Hey man, I TMm human just like you, I mess up just like you. TM

Beach Reach delivers food and water to students throughout the day.

Last week there were 400 students, Young said. We gave rides to 12,564 people on the island and we had conversations with 16,000 people that just want to talk about their life.

The Beach Reach students said it TMs not the most common way to spend Spring Break, but added that they wanted to have an impact on the lives of other students.

We want to actually be an example of God TMs love and show that ~No, we’re not here to judge you. TM Have fun. We just want you to be safe, said Desiree Padilla, a member of Beach Reach.

Beach Reach volunteers will remain at South Padre Island until March 20.

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