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   from the issue of March 29, 2007

'Big Event' projected to draw 1,500 volunteers

For the second consecutive year, UNL will host "The Big Event" on March 31. This national, one-day service project is organized and executed by students as a way to give back to the community that has hosted them through their academic careers.

READY TO ROLL - Jennifer Hellwege (left) of Student Accounts and Mohamed Alsayad, a Southeast Community College student and Americorps volunteer...
READY TO ROLL - Jennifer Hellwege (left) of Student Accounts and Mohamed Alsayad, a Southeast Community College student and Americorps volunteer, move wheelbarrows into postition for a community garden cleanup at 335 N. First St., during the 2006 Big Event. The community service event drew more than 800 volunteers a year ago, and is expected to draw 1,500 on March 31. Photo by Troy Fedderson/University Communications.

The Big Event at UNL gives students a chance to express their gratitude to the city of Lincoln. In its inaugural year last year, more than 800 students, staff and faculty participated in activities ranging from the beautification of parks to picking up trash along highways. This year, nearly 1,500 participants will serve the needs of the Lincoln community at more than 60 different nonprofit service sites.

Coordinated and sponsored by UNL Student Involvement and ASUN, groups of volunteers will be assigned to job sites solicited from community agencies and neighborhood associations. Participants will plant community gardens, paint, pick up litter, serve meals, do construction, organize pantry and library shelves, and serve on a multitude of other requested service projects from agencies throughout Lincoln.

Started at Texas A&M University in College Station in 1982, the Big Event community service project has grown into a nationwide activity, with more than 70 institutions participating.

After the service is completed on March 31, there will be a celebration on the Nebraska Union Memorial Plaza for volunteers and the Lincoln community members. Highlighted speakers will include: Coleen Seng, mayor of Lincoln; and Juan Franco, vice chancellor for student affairs.

For more information, contact Laine Norton at or Amanda Wiltgen at



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