UND volunteers deploy en mass to rake leaves, wash windows and pick up trash at the 10th Annual Big Event


Kortnie Evanson

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UND volunteers deploy en mass to rake leaves, wash windows and pick up trash at the 10th Annual Big Event

The Big Event keeps getting bigger and better every year at the University of North Dakota.

The 10th annual edition of the Big Event ? a student-led volunteering and community appreciation effort ? took place Saturday, May 3, throughout the Greater Grand Forks area, and by all accounts, it was one of the biggest yet. More than 1,200 volunteers, many UND students, spread throughout the community to provide their services at up to 150 job sites.

In 2005, when the Big Event first started at UND, there were around 500 volunteers and a lot fewer job sites.

According to Alison Holcomb, a Big Event volunteer, volunteers started lining up outside the UND Wellness Center well before 9 a.m., Saturday. Once inside the volunteers registered by last name, received a 'Do Work' t-shirt and a "goodie bag," then moved to another room for a big breakfast. Once a team had filled up on food, they received the equipment for their job and head out.

The motto for the Big Event is 'Do Work.' The jobs the volunteers are asked to do are mostly in residential areas, said Big Event executive committee member Kaylee Sheer. Volunteers could do anything from raking lawns to washing windows at local residences, churches or parks. There also were a number of volunteers that do highway trash pick-up.

"Most people volunteer because it is a way to give back to the community," Sheer said.

One Big Event volunteer and UND business fraternity member said, she volunteered because it's good experience and something fun to do with friends.

"I have been here for two years now at UND and in Grand Forks, and it is time to give back," she added.

Sheer said, the Big Event wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for its sponsors, who, this year, gave $10,000 in donations. The sponsors can be local business or larger corporations.

"This year, Walmart is a sponsor," Sheer said. The UND student government also donated $5,000 for the Big Event."

For more information on this effort or to volunteer for next year's Big Event, contact und.thebigevent@UND.edu.

Kortnie Evanson University & Public Affairs student writer

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