April 05, 2018

Media Advisory – ‘The Big Event’ 2018

For a second year, Southern Illinois University Carbondale students, faculty and staff on Saturday, April 7 will participate in the university’s largest one-day service event with “The Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service.”

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the event, as nearly 700 volunteers will donate their time and energy to 18 service projects at 16 locations on campus and throughout the community in appreciation of the region’s support of the university and its people. By rallying students to participate in a day of community service, the event aspires to give back to the local community while encouraging year-round community engagement.

Event began at Texas A&M University more than 35 years ago

The event is modeled after one founded at Texas A&M University in 1982 that draws more than 10,000 participants each year. It is now on more than 100 campuses across the United States and at universities in Australia, Germany, Italy, Pakistan and Spain.

This year’s SIU Carbondale event is student-planned and oriented. Student volunteers will begin arriving to check in at 7 a.m. Saturday in the Student Center John W. Corker Lounge. Chancellor Carlo Montemagno will address the volunteers at 8 a.m. Saturday in the Student Center Ballrooms.

Two, three-hour work shifts comprise the day

Work shifts are from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m., or both. Upon arrival at any of the project sites, members of the media may wish to first talk with student site leaders (noted below).

All of the events will occur rain or shine. The determining factor on returning students immediately to campus is if there is lightning or severe weather.

 “The Big Event: Saluki Day of Service” schedule, including organization, time, location, a brief description of each project and the student site leaders, includes:

Morning-only events

  • Carbondale Main Street: 9 a.m. to noon, Town Square Pavilion, 120 N. Illinois Ave., beautifying the downtown area by picking up trash. Student site leaders are Madelyn Maynard and Kiara Hartman.
  • Green Earth Inc.: 9 a.m. to noon, 2009 W. Freeman/Green Earth Preserve, and intersection of Emerald and West Freeman streets, Carbondale. Removing invasive garlic mustard plants. Student site leaders are Jenna Kozicki and Emily Hillis.
  • Francis Humane Society: 9 a.m. to noon, 6228 Country Club Road, Murphysboro. Cleaning the grounds and animal cages. Jerry Dominguez is the student site leader.
  • Wesley Foundation: 9 a.m. to noon, 816 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale. Repackaging rice for distribution to Carbondale food pantries. Student site leader is Dennis Ramsook.

Afternoon-only events

  • Carbondale Police Department: 1-4 p.m., Student Center, Mackinaw Room. Write thank you cards and prepare a sack of snacks for area firefighters. Alyssa Metelak is the student site leader.
  • For Kids’ Sake: 1-4 p.m., 100 E. Jackson, St., Carbondale, helping prepare for the 18th annual ‘For Kids’ Sake art auction. Student site leaders are Penny Bowser and Kiara Hartmann. Rain or shine.
  • Gaia House/University Interfaith Center: 1-4 p.m., 913 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale. Painting, gathering trash, cleaning, and washing windows. Ziting Teng is the student site leader.

All day locations

  • Alzheimer’s Association: outside Carbondale and Murphysboro Wal-Marts. Collecting donations and handing out brochures to increase awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. Student site leaders are Erica Kelly and Madi Jones in the morning; Jingwen Yao and Taylor Laughlin in the afternoon.
  • American Red Cross: Student Center, Renaissance Room. Assisting in the unloading, setup, check-in and tear down of the blood drive. Student site leader in the morning is Marissa Kuhn; in the afternoon, Madelyn Maynard.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale: 250 N. Springer St., Carbondale. In the morning, painting a mural in the gymnasium, organize the library and complete touch-up painting. Student site leader is Connor Eigelberger. In the afternoon, making fleece blankets for the elderly who are in nursing homes. Student site leader is Emily Hillis.
  • Humane Society of Southern Illinois: 95 Humane Road in Murphysboro, providing animal care and doing painting, cleaning and yard work at the facility. Miriam Hashmi is the student site leader in the morning; Dennis Ramsook is the site leader in the afternoon.
  • Keep Carbondale Beautiful: Town Square Pavilion/120 N. Illinois Ave., picking up litter and recyclable items at locations around the city. Rebekah Sanders is the student site leader in the morning; Katherine (Fenjing) Xue and Tiffany Simmons are student site leaders in the afternoon.
  • Andrews Episcopal Church: 402 W. Mill St., Carbondale. Making sleeping mats for the homeless. Student site leader in the morning is Margaret Lopez; in the afternoon are Tori Steirwalt and Connor Eigelberger.
  • SIU Sustainable Farms: 3373 Pleasant Hill Road, Carbondale. Assist with spring planting and bed preparation, wash seed trays, plant vegetables, mulching, weeding, hoeing, building trellis, turning and harvesting compost. Wendi Gao is the student site leader in the morning; Romaine Ramzani is the student site leader in the afternoon.
  • Touch of Nature Environmental Center: 1206 Touch of Nature Road, Makanda. Walking through camp removing sticks, limbs, and trees that have fallen over this winter. Alyssa Metelak, Dustin Pawalek, Jaira Gibson and Taylor Williams are student site leaders in the morning; Changhaoyue Li, Chi Wang, Pawalek and Gibson are student site leaders in the afternoon.
  • The Women’s Center: From 9 a.m. to noon, Student Center, Ohio Room. Creating an affirmation tree and leaves out of construction paper; also writing messages of affirmation to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence on the leaves. Student site leader is Tori Steirwalt. From 1-4 p.m., the location is 610 S. Thompson St., Carbondale, and volunteers will deep clean the shelter kitchen.

For more information about “The Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service” contact William Schefelbein, event executive director, at wschefelbein@siu.edu or 309/253-8542 or Kathy Smith-Shaffer, assistant dean of students, Non-Traditional Student Services at kathylsmith@siu.edu or 618/453-7521.