March 24, 2021

Media Advisory – “The Big Event” 2021

“The Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service,” a massive Southern Illinois University Carbondale community service event, is happening on Saturday, March 27 and reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover it.

Nearly 300 students have signed up to donate their time and energy working on a wide variety of projects with shifts from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. The work will include painting, cleaning, planting, helping with mailings, trail building and cleanup, and much more at 12 sites including the Boys and Girls Club of Marion, Carbondale Main Street, the Eurma Hayes Community Center, Dayempur Farms, the Humane Society of Southern Illinois, Touch of Nature Environmental Center, For Kids’ Sake, St. Francis Animal Care and the Wesley Foundation.

Modeled after a similar effort founded in 1982 at Texas A&M University, this is the fourth year SIU students have participated since the university began its own community service project in 2017. Last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic, and SIU’s 2021 version is operating differently than in previous years. Student volunteers will report directly to their worksites and observe special safety protocols.

Due to those health and safety protocols, members of the media are welcome to cover the Saluki volunteer efforts for Green Earth Inc. (on the trail along the north side of Chautauqua Road, between Emerald Lane and Tower Road ) or Carbondale Main Street (downtown Carbondale at the Town Square Pavilion, 121 N. Illinois Ave.), during the Saturday morning shift.

For more information, visit or contact Kathy Smith-Shaffer at or 618-453-7521 before 4:30 p.m. on Friday.