AUBURN –The morning of March 24, more than 3,000 Auburn University students will gather on the green space outside the Student Center for the kick-off of the 10th annual BIG Event. Students describe the annual event as a way of saying thank you to the community for its being an incredible place to live and learn.
After kick-off at 9 a.m., teams will go to more than 200 homes, businesses, churches and schools to perform a variety of tasks including planting flowers, painting homes and doing yard work.
“I love the BIG Event because it enables students to step outside the Auburn bubble,” said Sarah Katherine Street, assistant director of the BIG Event. “It is such a privilege to live in a wonderful community, and I love seeing this many students step outside of themselves for a Saturday and simply say thanks.”
The 2012 BIG Event promises to be the biggest yet with the number of volunteers for 2012 exceeding last year’s by 600. A government grant and a grant from the Home Depot Foundation have provided funds for students to serve at more jobsites than ever before. In addition, Verizon Wireless will sponsor the work being performed at Loachapoka High School.
Last year’s biggest project was Notasulga High School, where more than 200 students were stationed. A partnership with the Tim Hudson Foundation and Hibbett Sports helped equip the Blue Devils sports teams.
“College students are not always lazy and selfish and other negative characteristics that go along with the college stigma,” assistant director Patrick Dreher said. “We really do care about people and we like getting out to volunteer. The BIG Event is a perfect day for Auburn students to thank the people of the community for all that they do for us on a daily basis.”
The BIG Event began at Texas A&M in 1982. It has since expanded to 75 other schools, including Auburn. For more information, go to http://auburn.edu/sga/programs/big_event/.
(Contributed by: Sarah Katherine Street.)