The requests for assistance with yard work and other basic maintenance are being reviewed as a committee of Ferris State University students collaborate on planning the eleventh version of The BIG Event, the largest student-run community service project held in the state of Michigan.
Gaige Tucker, a senior in Business Administration from Milan, is one of seven student coordinators on The BIG Event organizing committee planning the day of service that begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 14 with signup at Top Taggart Field directing groups to their assignments after the 10 a.m. opening ceremonies.
“We do not want to be in a position to limit the number of houses that are served,” Tucker said. “Any inquiries that come in at this time are being added to a wait list. We have hopes that the student response is sufficient to see that they can all be included and serviced.”
Tucker said there are approximately 250 applications from city of Big Rapids residents that have been submitted.
“Our housing committee has collected those applications that were submitted at Big Rapids City Hall. There have been phone calls made to a number of those who have asked for assistance,” Tucker said. “The operations committee will have all of our tools counted by the end of March, but most of their duties involve the logistics that are necessary on the day of The BIG Event.”
While another committee is focused on soliciting the involvement of sponsors for the day, to see that students are well-equipped for their assignments and rewarded through prize drawings for participation, Tucker said there is a clear tie to the university’s core value of ethical community for those who take part.
“I think it is important to realize this is very helpful to people who may not be able to get this work done around their homes without our involvement,” Tucker said. “Many of us spend nine months a year in Big Rapids or more than that. The premise of The BIG Event, in my opinion, is to make a contribution as you would for a grandparent or an older person that you know.”
Tucker said the organizing committee entered their preparations for 2018 with a simple goal.
“We want to be able to get our volunteers out to everyone who needs and requests our assistance,” Tucker said. “These are five hours that would be well-invested by students trying to make Big Rapids a better community.”
More information on The Big Event is available through their Facebook page.
PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University students will again be out in the city of Big Rapids performing a variety of community-service projects as part of the eleventh version of The BIG Event, a large-scale, student-led effort to give back to the community. This year's effort takes place on Saturday, April 14 beginning at 9 a.m. at Top Taggart Field. The image above is from the 2017 event.