5th Annual Big Event

April 27, 2015

On Saturday, April 18, the 5th annual Big Event attracted numerous Hampden-Sydney students, faculty, and staff volunteers. This event is known as a day of service with a simple message to the community, "Thank You."

Assembling rain barrelsIt originated at Texas A&M in 1982, and the Big Event has since spread to campuses across the country. It is now one of the largest student-led service projects in the nation. The purpose of the Big Event is to give back to the community and to thank local residents for their support throughout the year.

Service projects for the Big Event include helping neighbors with yard work and other home projects, as well as helping local community service organizations. This year, Hampden-Sydney had 200 volunteers who participated in a total of 24 projects across the Farmville and Prince Edward area, a 19% increase in student involvement from last year.

Over the years, students and faculty members have worked to provide services for  the FACES food pantry, where food was distributed to several hundred families; the SPCA; the YMCA; College Church; the White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue; the Woodlands assisted living community; roadways in Prince Edward; and Habitat sites.

This year's work included a new project for the Clean Virginia's Waterways campaign which is an award-winning, statewide, nonprofit organization located on the campus of Longwood University. This organization is dedicated to citizen stewardship of Virginia's rivers, streams, bays, beaches and groundwater. Under the direction of Dr. Rachel Goodman, Assistant Professor of Biology, Hampden-Sydney students assembled rain barrels which can be attached to down spouts to capture roof runoff and can help control storm water runoff, which causes erosion and degrades streams.

Photo: left to right: Charlie Miller '15 and Will Brantley '15 work on a new barrel.