More than 1,600 volunteers from Florida State University, Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College came together to say “thank you” and give back to the city of Tallahassee during The Big Event Tallahassee on March 24.
It is one of the largest, one-day, student-run service projects in the nation, with more than 70 service sites spanning across Florida’s capital city.
“It’s wonderful to see so many students join together to give back to the community,” FSU President John Thrasher said. “I want you to know how much we appreciate it, and the community appreciates it.”
The event kicked off with a ceremony at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center and featured Thrasher, Leon County Commission Chairman Nick Maddox, the Special Olympics of Florida-Leon County Cheerleading Team, Refinery Fitness and entertainment by a local DJ.
Volunteers then departed to service sites around Tallahassee, spending the day working on a variety of projects, including park cleanup, food pantry packaging and senior home assistance.
“The event really has an impact on our students — the feelings of excitement and happiness they get from helping others,” said Jason Randall, public relations director of The Big Event Tallahassee. “The gratitude we receive from the recipients at our volunteer sites, which are nonprofits and people in need who greatly benefit from this service, is really rewarding. We hope this event inspires participants to be involved in service year-round.”
More than 150 volunteers went to Goodwood Museum and Gardens, where they weeded, pruned and cleared vines from the garden. They also painted fences and assisted in cleaning out areas to make way for new exhibits and activities.
Across town, volunteers gave back to the citizens of Tallahassee. They gathered at the home of Talethia Edwards, the 2016 Leon County Neighbor of the Year, and worked together to paint the house, repair a shed, build a family garden, beautify the yard and create a tire swing for Edwards’ kids.
At the Gretchen Everhart School, which serves students with intellectual disabilities, volunteers assisted with landscaping, gardening, and cleaning and organizing the playground and sensory room areas.
“We have to give back to the community that donates to us and supports us in all the events that we put on,” said FSU senior Shayla Nguyen. “This is just one of the opportunities we have to take time out of our day to spend with friends and see what the community has to offer.”
For more information, visit thebigevent.fsu.edu.