Up to 500 Texas A&M Galveston students to lend a helping hand to Galveston Island residents

Big EventAs part of the nation’s largest one-day, student run community service project, more than 500 students from Texas A&M University at Galveston will be participating in the annual Big Event starting at 8 a.m., March 29 (Saturday) across Galveston Island.

An Aggie tradition in Galveston since 1994, Big Event is a service-oriented activity that promotes campus and community unity.

Michael Robertson, student development specialist and Big Event staff coordinator said this project was created to inspire college students to get out into their communities and make a difference.

“Big Event is an opportunity for the students at our Galveston campus to go out as a whole and give back to the community and island we call home,” he said. “The island does so much for the school and students, and it’s our way of saying thank you.

“Students go out into the community and work on a variety of projects. As the advisor I hope we make an impact on the island and the people we help, but also instill core values of being Aggie  — excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.”

Big Event participants help clean yards, paint houses and plant trees across the island. In addition to these activities, examples of this year’s projects include helping at Galveston’s Oppe Elementary Spring Carnival and reading to children during the Smart Literacy program at Weis Middle School.

Shelby Hardy, a junior majoring in Offshore and Coastal Systems Engineering and director of Big Event 2014, added that this year’s event will hit a record high for student volunteer participants. “This (Big Event) shows the true dedication of our Aggie students to give up their Saturday to help and ensure “One Big Day, One Big Thanks, One Big Event,” she said. “Big Event is one of my favorite A&M Traditions. It enhances the students’ relationship with the Galveston Community and creates a special bond between students. This year, I’m really excited about the sites we have, and I look forward to seeing how both the students and community are affected.

“Being the Big Event director for the past two years has shown me that our community is always willing to support our students and this is our time to support our community. On behalf of The Big Event Committee and the student body, we’d like to thank the Galveston County Aggie Mom’s Association, The Lighthouse Charity Team, Mountain Dew and all of the residents of Galveston. Without all the wonderful people surrounding us, we wouldn’t be able to make this event possible.”