BY CALLY ANDERSON
Last Saturday, more than 185 volunteers took to the Hays community as part of the FHSU Student Government Association’s 11th annual Big Event. A day dedicated to volunteering, this year 17 projects saw a need fulfilled in their environment.
With a wide range of projects all across town, volunteers made an impact on the FHSU campus and local community partners.
One project was at Options, an organization dedicated to supporting and sheltering survivors of violence and abuse. There the volunteers met the Options Shelter Service Coordinator, Megan Osuwah. She had students paint, cover window wells, and install brackets on a garage door. Non-profit organizations like Options are thankful for the impact that the students have on their community.
“Even though The Big Event is only one day, it helps us get a few major projects done that we otherwise might not have time to complete,” Osuwah said. “While we have an amazing staff, having able-bodied volunteers to help out once in a while is everything to us.”
Not only did community organizations request volunteers to do projects such as trash cleanup at the Sternberg and the Fort Grounds or chalk at local elementary schools, but groups also dedicated time to FHSU’s campus. McMindes and Custer Hall both saw a revamp as volunteers cleaned out several rooms and picked up trash.
Of the 17 different projects, there was support from different FHSU clubs, fraternities, sororities, athletes and more. The men of Sigma Alpha Epsilon chose to take on one whole project of campus cleanup.
“We decided to help out at the Big Event because we wanted to serve and help the local community of Hays. We feel like through service events like these, especially with such a large turnout overall, we’re able to better our community one step at a time,” a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon said.
Overall, this well-planned out and intentional day of service has played an important role in the relationship between campus and Hays residents. It brings to light the impact students can have in just a few short hours.
Student Government Association Community Relations Director Chloe Stanley was able to experience the impact she planned for this event.
“I completed some yard work for an elderly lady during the afternoon session,” Stanley said. “It opened my eyes to how impactful service is, and reminded me of the heart of humility you need to adapt while serving.”