On Saturday, April 14, students, faculty, staff and alumni from Texas A&M University-Texarkana will show their appreciation to the Texarkana community during The Big Event: Eagle Pride City Wide, a day of community service.

This annual event for A&M-Texarkana started last year with an overwhelming show of support and volunteer participation. Participants in The Big Event complete “done-in-a-day” community service projects ranging from raking leaves, washing windows, removing debris, cleaning closets, spreading mulch, painting and minor repairs to organizing donated goods, participating in games and activities with senior citizens, tutoring children and completing other proposed projects.

According to a press release, Michael Stephenson, Coordinator of Student Life and Project Manager for The Big Event said “Last year, our inaugural event boasted over 250 volunteers from our campus community that logged nearly 1,000 service hours. For one day, our campus community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni united to extend a helping hand by performing community service on both sides of the state line.” He added “This is simply our way of showing our gratitude for the community’s unwavering support of our university.”

The Big Event has become somewhat of a national phenomenon at a number of colleges and universities throughout the United States. It originated at Texas A&M University in 1982 when six students felt the need to give something back to the communities of College Station and Bryan, Texas. Since that time, more than 100 universities have joined the effort.

“We reformatted the national event to a big, one day event, we could unite the entire campus community, not just students,” said Stephenson. “At the conclusion of last year’s event, my heart was completely full. Our campus truly made an impact on local parks, neighborhoods, and organizations. We look forward to serving Texarkana again this year.” Stephenson said.

A&M-Texarkana is now accepting applications for work sites and sponsors for The Big Event.

“We have great opportunities for local organizations and non-profits to be a part of this event,” Stephenson said.

If you are a local business and want to sponsor the event, visit www.tamut.edu/bigevent. Project requests are due by March 23 and volunteer/participant registration will end on March 31.

For more information, contact Michael Stephenson, Coordinator of Student Life, at Michael.Stephenson@tamut.edu or (903) 223-1362.

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