Big Event lets students thank community
Published April 15, 2014
Organizers of North Dakota State University’s largest single-day, student-organized service event are hoping this year to send more than 1,000 volunteers into the community.
The BIG Event has NDSU students, alumni, faculty and staff performing indoor and outdoor chores for nonprofit organizations and individuals at about 100 sites in Fargo-Moorhead. It is scheduled for Thursday, April 24.
“We’re trying to get as many volunteers as we can as a thank you to the community for all of their support and for everything they do for us throughout the year,” said junior Allie Dhuyvetter, the event’s coordinator at the NDSU Volunteer Network.
The BIG Event was first established by Texas A&M University in 1982 by a former student body president. It has become the largest student-organized volunteer event in the country.
NDSU’s BIG Event will send out volunteers individually and in groups in two-hour shifts throughout the day on April 24.
The Volunteer Network will match individuals and groups to nonprofit organizations or private homes based on the number of volunteers needed for each project.
Projects include raking leaves, painting, window washing, gardening and yard work. Nonprofits many times create projects for NDSU BIG Event volunteers.
“The BIG Event is probably one of the more fun days for me at the shelter,” said Steve Anderson, donations coordinator at Churches United for the Homeless. “It’s nice to see the number of students volunteering their time to help out charities. A day of volunteers helps the shelter catch up with donations and gives the community a chance to select clothes that would not have been available without the help of the volunteers.”
Dhuyvetter said the response to The BIG Event has been outstanding since it began in 2009. The number of volunteers increased each year, hitting an all-time high of more than 800 a year ago.
The tagline for the event sums up its spirit: One big day. One big thanks.
“I think it’s a very important and really cool event,” Dhuyvetter said. “The stories you hear are always so wonderful. And everyone looks like they are having so much fun. That’s what this is all about. You can have a lot of fun while helping the community.”
The BIG Event is sponsored by the NDSU Alumni Association, NDSU Student Government and the Volunteer Network.