Hampden-Sydney College students help area with ‘Big Event’

Published 6:31 pm Sunday, April 2, 2023

HAMPDEN SYDNEY – The middle of March for most college students is a chance to go on Spring Break and enjoy a week of no classes. However, for some at Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC), March is an opportunity to give back. 

On Saturday, March 25, 188 Hampden-Sydney students took part in the school’s annual “Big Event”. It’s a time when they give up a day to volunteer and help local organizations. 

The Big Event is a day of service to say thank you to the local non-profits in the community who spend every day helping others. This tradition originated in 1982 at Texas A&M and has spread to campuses across the country, making its way to Hampden-Sydney College in 2011. 

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“Students participate in a wide range of service projects throughout the year with Tigers Serve and the Big Event is the final push to get everyone on campus involved in a service project to help the community,” said Sandy Cooke, director of student affairs. 

According to Cooke, many Hampden-Sydney College students come with previous volunteer experience which the college uses to help form these students into good citizens. These volunteer opportunities are to encourage internal reflection as these young men discover their role in the world. The many volunteer opportunities, including Big Event, have sparked an interest in students to go into a career in community service, public service or the non-profit world. 

Big Event

Jamahdia Whitby, Jay Jones, J.R. Salvi and Braeden Bowling cleared brush and weeds around the Pregnancy Support Center of Southside Virginia sign during the Big Event.

Hampden-Sydney College helps the community

The students split up to help multiple locations during the big event. The young men did yard work and cleaned up sticks and debris at the H-SC Tadpole Holes Disc Golf Course, the Wilson Trail, Antioch Methodist Cemetery, FACES, the Pregnancy Support Center of Southside Virginia and homes of elderly community members.

Other projects throughout the day included repainting walls at the FACES Food Pantry, picking up trash on 16 miles of highway in Prince Edward County, helping with site work with a local Habitat for Humanity Build and hosted the Special Olympics at the Cumberland High School track.

“During the year and with Big Event, we strive to develop strong partnerships in the Farmville/Prince Edward community to model good citizenship and to provide opportunities for students to become involved in ways that develop their own commitments to service and active citizenship,” said Cooke.

Big Event

Students at Hampden-Sydney College participated in the Big Event by cleaning up a local trail.