On April 28, the campus will join as an army of Colonels with the goal of giving back to the area. This annual endeavor named “The Big Event” allows Colonels to join in a campus-wide day of community service.
Students who sign up for The Big Event will have the opportunity to volunteer at one of 30 sites around the Wilkes-Barre area and do everything from painting, cleaning and gardening to household repairs.
“Service is something that our university prides itself on, and The Big Event allows hundreds of students to be a part of that,” said Student Government president Cody Morcom.
This year’s Big Event was coordinated by Wilkes student Harrison Eckert.
“It is so rewarding to be able to be in charge of something that gives joy to so many and supports the community in which we are a part of,” Eckert said. “It is no secret that Wilkes-Barre has areas that are underprivileged, and being able to positively contribute to these parts of our community are extra gratifying.”
Past work sites at which students have helped those in need include Ruth’s Place, CEO Foodbank and Big Brothers Big Sisters. About 400 students typically sign up to donate their time at any work site.
Katelyn Jimison served as student coordinator for two years before Eckert took on the role. She said putting this event together was one of her favorite experiences at Wilkes.
“It was an amazing experience to see hundreds of students go out into the community and give back as a way of thanking them for the support they give our campus throughout the year,” she said.
Clubs and organizations around campus have the opportunity to sign up as a group and do community service together.
“Not only does this suffice for required community service hours you may have through various organizations you are a part of,” Eckert said, “[but] participating in an event like this will give you such a feeling of satisfaction and joy. You will look back on this experience and be so thankful that you did it.”
Jimison added that her experience as coordinator was paid off by knowing the students enjoyed what they were doing.
“I loved seeing the students come back and discussing their experiences, and hearing them talk about how rewarding the experience had been,” she said. “It was a lot of work, but in the end it was always worth it.”
Overall, The Big Event’s motive of uniting the Wilkes campus as a family of Colonels is clear.
“This event brings together students, faculty and staff from nearly every department and section of campus,” said Morcom. “Football players have worked with chorus members, soccer with biology club and so much more.”
After The Big Event will be “The Little Event” held on the Fenner Quadrangle to give those who volunteered a chance to relax and reflect on their service to the community.
“The Big Event is really important to our campus because it brings clubs, departments and athletic teams together to have a great impact on our local community in just one day,” Jimison said. “Beginning at orientation and continuing throughout every year, it is apparent that service is very important to our campus culture at Wilkes.”
The Big Event will take place from approximately 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students can sign up on the student government website wilkes.presence.io.
For more information, email [email protected] or call 610-349-0594.