The Big Event started in Texas, where students and faculty gathered together to volunteer in their community. Since then, The Big Event has grown and many universities are now involved in the community service project.
Last Saturday was our third year to participate in the Big Event at Quinnipiac. It was on April 6th at 8:00 am when over 1400 Quinnipiac students and faculty members gathered in the school’s recreation center to divide up into their volunteer teams.
I was a leader over one group of 8 people and our task was to do a spring cleanup and plant flowers at Marrakech Inc in New Haven. At Marrakech, they help individuals with disabilities and those with comparable service needs to get assistance, access housing, find employment, and to reach their full potential. Most teams/groups cleanup parks or other places, but I also know there are other activities going on.
We got to Marrakech and began to work. We cleaned up the area around the house and we planted the flowers. The result was awesome! It was very pretty and so colorful compared to what it looked like before. The staff, as well as people who lived there, really appreciated our help and they really liked the result. When we were done planting and cleaning up they gave us muffins and drinks.
Our activity was not only fun but also very helpful for our community. I think that it is good for the community for two specific reasons: first of all because cleaning up and helping out in the community makes it better and nicer place to live. Secondly, because it shows that we want to help out and that we really do care. Even if we live hectic lifestyles and even if we constantly have things we need to do (or I mean, who doesn’t?,) we still think that just making an effort shows our community that we care.
It was a very good bonding activity as well. We were two groups at the same spot, both from International Student Association, as well as International Business Association and we had a lot fun while we were doing some real good work!
I think that the Big Event as a whole, really does have a big impact on people and the community. I think it is amazing how 1400 students went out on that day to do work. That means that if there were approximately 10 people on each team, that 140 spots were either cleaned up, or taken care of. It just shows us how, if we all just put in a little effort into something it can make a huge difference to many people in the end.
I think that is important to think about not just when doing the Big Event but also when participating in other volunteer jobs, whether it is in your own community or abroad, like we will be doing when we go to South Africa. I think it is important to remember that if everyone works together on something you will eventually see results.