420 Oak Street
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Students rake a neighborhood yard for The Big Event.
Photo Courtesy of Hannah Crouch, News Services
On an early Saturday morning, the birds chirp, the morning sun is beaming through the clouds, and a gentle cool breeze moves across Top Taggart Field.
It is the morning of the largest student-run community service event in the State of Michigan: The BIG Event.
The BIG Event, took place April 9th, 2022 on the Big Rapids Campus of Ferris State University. While there was still dew on the grass, hundreds of students gathered around the field to collect rakes, leaf bags, and other yard cleaning equipment.
This student-led philanthropic event, organized by FSU Student Government, is a 15-year tradition that allows students at Ferris to give a helping hand to the local community. Through raking, yard maintenance, and completing other outdoor tasks a homeowner cannot do on their own these students are giving back to the Big Rapids area.
According to Ferris Student Government Director of Philanthropy Douglas Verellen, the number of houses that the students visit during The BIG Event depends on the number of student volunteers. This year, they had 108 community requests, which is over the limit, leaving Verellen to waitlist houses.
"We would love to service every house that wants to sign up, but it's been overwhelming in a very positive way," Verellen said.
Many homeowners that participate are elderly, busy, or just need a helping hand.
Every Ferris student and Registered Student Organization is allowed to participate in The BIG Event. The event also allows students the chance to accrue up to 5 volunteer hours and participate in the biggest philanthropy event on campus.
"It is nice to get our students out in the community to give back," Verellen said.
For more information about next year’s BIG Event or other questions about volunteering, call the Student Government office at (231) 591-2611.
Written by: Foundation Student Writer Jeremias Gaytan - Junior, Journalism and Technical Communication