BIG Event turns into donation week

Volunteers+from+2019%27s+Big+Event+repaint+a+map+of+the+United+States+in+an+elementary+school+courtyard.+This+year%2C+rather+than+one+day+of+volunteering%2C+SGA+is+hosting+an+all+week+donation+drive.+

File Photo/The Lion's Roar

Volunteers from 2019’s Big Event repaint a map of the United States in an elementary school courtyard. This year, rather than one day of volunteering, SGA is hosting an all week donation drive.

Because of current COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s BIG Event has adopted a new look. 

Students, faculty and staff have been asked to make donations the week of March 22-25 instead of the traditional volunteering around the community.

SGA is accepting donations for three local organizations: The Tangi Humane Society Animal Shelter, Hammond Boys & Girls Center and Hammond Nursing Home. Donations needed include animal accessories and cleaning supplies like leashes, bleach, laundry detergent, Lysol and puppy pads, amenities like gloves and blankets, as well as puzzles, arts supplies, coloring books and prepackaged snacks, among other items.

SGA President L’Oreal Williams explained that SGA decided to host “BIG Event Week” in order to keep everyone safe while continuing to give back to the community.

Brendan Daigle, interim coordinator of SGA, described how the committee decided to carry out the BIG Event. 

She said, “It was arrived at as a group decision among the committee members – traditionally, it’s a one day event on a Saturday where we go off campus, but because of the Covid restrictions, we can’t leave campus, so we were trying to figure out a way that we could do something and still keep people involved.”

Daigle described what a traditional BIG Event looked like in years prior to 2020.

“It’s been one Saturday in the spring usually in March, and students could sign up either individually or as teams, and businesses and organizations and nonprofits and people in the community could sign up as a worksite. Then, on that Saturday, all the student groups and volunteers would show up here on campus, and they would be dispersed throughout the local community to those jobs sites,” Daigle said. 

Daigle offered an example of work done by the groups being weeding the business’ gardens or washing their windows. 

According to Daigle, BIG Event Week is a way to give back to the community while carrying on the university tradition.  

“Even though we’re not going out and doing the physical tasks for people, we still want to find a way to support our surrounding community because we are a part of the community, and we want to support all of our community members, so this is a way for people to do that and give back even though the circumstances are different,” Daigle said. 

A more extensive list of items needed for donations can be found on SGA‘s Instagram @southeastern_sga. Donations can be brought to Student Union Room 2302 Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The first 100 people to bring in more than 10 items a day receive free T-shirts.