Washburn students, faculty, staff and others will participate in a day of service at more than 30 Topeka-area organizations on Saturday.
Those interested in participating may register Saturday morning at Yager Stadium at Moore Bowl on the Washburn University campus. On-site registrants will be randomly assigned a work site. Those who registered in advance were able to choose which organization they want to help.
Service opportunities will include picking up litter, landscaping, painting and caring for animals, among other activities.
More than 300 individuals already have registered to participate in the third annual Big Event. This year’s goal is 400 participants.
That’s a tremendous growth in three years. Prior to 2012, the Learning in the Community Bonner Leaders operated Bods into the Streets for several years. It had as many as 60 registrants. In 2012, the LinC effort and the Washburn Student Government Association joined forces.
This is the first year that faculty, staff and community members have been invited to participate in addition to Washburn students.
“We made that decision because we felt that if students saw the community involved they would be more likely to also be involved,” said Damian Barron, community liaison for WSGA, who has helped organize the event.
Barron, from Dodge City, Kan., has been involved with The Big Event for each of his years at Washburn, working on the logistics side and as a volunteer on the big day.
“I’ve fallen in love with the event and everything it stands for,” he said. “I was glad I was able to volunteer because it reminded me … the impact of the event itself is invaluable to the community. Being part of this is personally important to me because I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the generosity of people who have helped along the way. I think it’s important to give back, whether it be by donation or community service.”
Co-organizer Angelique Flinn, from Topeka, said the event is a great way for students to come together and give of their time for one day. But the goal is much bigger.
“This is a good way for students to get involved and get to a point they want to do service throughout the year,” Flynn said.
All registrants will meet at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Yager Stadium at Moore Bowl. A pep rally and snacks will get the group started off and lunch will be provided at the various work sites.