WVU groups tackle ‘Welcome Week’ projects

MORGANTOWN — You don’t always need a scalpel or microscope to make it all better.

Sometimes, a paintbrush and a helping of Sherwin-Williams “Woodscapes” Exterior House Stain (in forest green) will do just fine.

Future physician Saaketh Kyathari was administering said treatment Sunday afternoon along the Caperton Rail Trail near downtown Morgantown.

“This is really going to add to the aesthetics of the place, I think,” said Kyathari, a WVU incoming freshman from Parkersburg who will study immunology and microbiology.

“And I always feel good if I’m actually doing something to help out,” he said.

With WVU “Welcome Week” under way for the start of classes, the freshman will have plenty of opportunities to maintain his sense of altruistic well-being.

Service projects are also planned today at the WVU Animal Farm, the Salvation Army and North Elementary School in Morgantown, and in Grafton, in neighboring Taylor County.

Sunday’s occasion in Morgantown was the Morgantown Board of Parks and Recreation (BO-PARC) Day of Service. Kyathari and his classmates fanned out to paint the fence along a stretch of trail nudging the banks of the Monongahela River.

One Waterfront Place and the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place towered overhead nearby.

Other groups did service projects at Sundale Nursing Home and at the Mountainlair, on WVU’s downtown campus.

And a fourth was doing its outreach in north-central West Virginia, assisting with a cleanup project through the Harrison County Historical Society.

“A journey for passion and purpose begins,” is how WVU is billing the week.

WVU’s incoming freshmen come from all across the U.S. and 37 countries nationwide, the university said.

On the Caperton Trail on Sunday, Tailenn Fungcharoen-McCray warmed to the task of fence-painting: “Warm,” in this case, being a weighted term for a kid from Alaska.

“This is the only place in the world for me,” the Anchorage native said.

Academically, she just might be right. She’s a forensic science major. “No other schools offered what this place does,” she said.

She smiled and took it in for a second — the bristled snick of the paintbrushes mingling with the whisper of the Mon River.

“I just like the fit,” she said.

“I like the friendly people and the mountains. It feels like home.”

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