The Big Event had approximately 1,800 volunteers across 180 job sites in the Auburn-Opelika community, according to Ben Ratliffe, Big Event computer analyst.
The Big Event began at Auburn in 2003 as an opportunity for students to give back to the Auburn and Opelika communities by providing basic community service tasks for households, businesses, churches and organizations.
Volunteers began their day at 8 a.m., but for committee members, staff and executive officers it started much earlier.
Paige Thompson, sophomore in professional flight management and a committee member of Big Event, started her day at 6:30 a.m. and said exe began at 6:15 a.m.
“I was on operations committee, so after kickoff I went to the tool shed, so for the first half of the day I was running around giving tools to any job site that needed them, like more rakes or certain garden tools,” Thompson said.
Volunteer Sarah Castanada, sophomore in public relations, said she participated because her friends encouraged her to do it with them.
“We were assigned to work at a church," Castanada said. "When we were there we cleaned up the landscape in the front. We trimmed hedges, washed windows and pulled weeds. It was hard work but surprisingly super fun."
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The mayor spoke before volunteers left for their job sights and volunteers finished around 11:45 a.m., according to Thompson.
“A couple of the [job sites] I had were raking," Thompson said. "Some people had tiny trees they wanted taken down, or trees and bushes they wanted trimmed and hedged. I had two job sites that asked to take down a chain-link fence, and another couple wanted the side of their house to be sanded in preparation for it to be painted. A couple of people wanted their decks pressure washed. It was mostly yard work and cleaning up."
Julia Wright, sophomore in biomedical science, volunteered and said she participated because she wanted to give back to the community.
“It felt really great to give back to this community," Wright said. "Especially as a college student, it is awesome to see the direct impact you can have on some people."
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