BIG RAPIDS – Ferris students will help Big Rapids spring clean this Saturday (April 17) as part of The BIG Event, the university’s largest student volunteer project.
Held annually for the last three years on a Saturday in the spring, The BIG Event allows students to help area residents with such tasks as raking and cleaning yards, painting and washing windows. Students meet in the Campus Quad at 9 a.m., where they will eat breakfast, receive a T-shirt and supplies donated by local businesses prior to heading into Big Rapids in teams to perform these service tasks.
The event is organized by a member of Student Government and was founded by Claire Gould, current Student Government President, in 2008 to thank the Big Rapids community for their support of the university and its students; it has grown exponentially since then.
“The first year, we had 20 houses and about 200 student volunteers. Last year, we had 101 houses and 750 student volunteers,” Gould said. “This year we have 200 houses and more than 1,000 student volunteers, which was our goal. For the future, we hope to see The BIG Event continue to grow and become a main community service activity at Ferris State.”
Heather Robey, Big Rapids resident and homeowner, said The BIG Event is a wonderful community service activity. “I just think it’s a great opportunity for the students to give back to the community, and for them to be viewed by the community in a positive light,” she said. “Sometimes, I think that they are thought of as a burden, but this event allows them to be viewed in a positive light. They aren’t a burden; they’re a blessing.”
Gould added, “When a student signs up for The BIG Event, they are committed to helping the community. The students are so excited to be volunteering because they can see first-hand the difference they are making. On this day, the university comes together to accomplish one goal: thanking the community. We understand that we share this town with the residents; The BIG Event is a day where we can thank the city for being so supportive of the campus.”
For more information about The Big Event, contact the Student Government office at (231) 591-2030.