Students, faculty, and staff devote a day of giving back to the community

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 20, 2008 – Serving the surrounding community and showing appreciation for being welcomed and hosted throughout the academic year is important to Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff members.

The Big Event — “One Big Day. One Big Thanks” — sponsored by Virginia Tech’s Student Government Association offers students, faculty, and staff members an opportunity to take one day out of a weekend to say thank you to the community. On Saturday, April 5, all across the New River Valley, it is anticipated that nearly 3,500 volunteers from Virginia Tech will complete over 450 service projects.

“Every year we work to increase the number of volunteers for The Big Event so that surrounding communities can see how truly dedicated the Virginia Tech community is to serving and thanking local residents,” said Megan Lyons, assistant director of The Big Event and a senior from Stephens City, Va., majoring in psychology in the College of Science.

After gathering on the Drillfield at 10 a.m., volunteers will pick up their tools and head into the neighboring community to show their appreciation. Jobs that typically get completed include, painting, window washing, gardening, staining decks, gutter cleaning, and even simple tasks such as, picking up sticks and raking leaves. Most tasks will take about three to four hours to complete and do not involve power, electric, or gasoline equipment. Materials and tools needed for the service projects are provided by The Big Event.

Now in its seventh year and always looking to branch out its efforts, The Big Event will be making a special trip to the home sight of Virginia Tech’s first student, Addison Caldwell, in New Castle, Va. The Big Event organizers and volunteers spoke with the current owner of the home and everyone agreed it would be special to visit his home sight and complete an outdoor painting project.

Last year, Virginia Tech assisted Hollins University in Roanoke, Va., in starting a similar program. In addition, Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region is also saying thank you to its surrounding community. The Graduate Student Assembly in the National Capital Region is teaming up with graduate students from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., in an effort to help clean-up areas of the Four Mile Run stream in Falls Church, Va.