March 24, 2022

Media Advisory: The Big Event, SIU’s largest one-day service event, is back

The Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service, the largest one-day service event at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is back on Saturday, March 26, and reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover it.

Nearly 400 students, along with some faculty and staff, will be donating their time and energy this weekend to 10 community service projects at locations throughout the area. It’s SIU’s way of showing gratitude to the region for its support of the university and its people, and campus officials also hope it inspires students to a year-round spirit of community service and involvement.

Students plan the day

SIU’s Big Event, which is modeled after the day founded in 1982 at Texas A&M University, is planned by and focuses on students and their efforts. Students volunteer their time, working 9 a.m. to noon or 1-4 p.m. or even both shifts on Saturday in support of area nonprofit organizations. At each location, a student site leader will arrive about a half-hour prior to the start of the service work.

Members of the media are welcome to speak with student site leaders, and other student volunteers may be available for comment and photos or video as well. Most projects this year will take place outdoors, and all projects will go on rain or shine. This is the fifth year Salukis have hosted The Big Event.

The timetable

The schedule for the 2022 Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service, with the beneficiary organization, location, time SIU volunteers will be on site and a brief description of each project, includes:

Morning-only events

  • Francis CARE Shelter: 6228 Country Club Road, Murphysboro. Students will work on the grounds, spreading gravel and pulling weeds and may walk dogs as well.
  • Green Earth Inc.: Green Earth Preserve, 2009 W. Freeman/intersection of Emerald and West Freeman Streets, Carbondale. Students will help with trail building and maintenance and removal of invasive plant species.

Afternoon-only events

  • For Kids’ Sake, 100 E. Jackson St., Carbondale. Workers will assist with a mass mailing by addressing about 1,400 envelopes for the group that helps support more than 4,000 orphans and students in six facilities in Bangladesh.
  • Rainbow Café, 1320 S. Giant City Road, Suite F, Carbondale. Volunteers will assist with cleaning and reorganizing the new location.
  • Wesley Foundation: 816 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale. Helpers will assist with cleaning and organizing the pantry and packing food.

All-day locations

  • Brehm Preparatory School, 950 S. Brehm Lane, Carbondale. Volunteers will help clean up the camps, assist with gardening and work with the animal and nature classroom and farm area projects and athletic programs for the school’s middle and high school students.
  • Clean SOIL, meeting outside of Davies Hall on the SIU campus at the beginning of each work session, the volunteers will then pick up litter on sections of U.S. 51 between Mill Street and Pleasant Hill Road.
  • Humane Society of Southern Illinois, 95 Humane Road, Murphysboro. Students will help clean up the yard and storage area and paint.
  • Touch of Nature Environmental Center, 1206 Touch of Nature Road/about 8 miles south of Carbondale off Giant City Road, Makanda. Volunteers will help spruce up the site by cleaning up debris at the camp and forest areas and trails.
  • SIU University Farms, 2705 Union Hill Road, Carbondale. Workers will paint gates and fences at the animal centers on the 2,000-acre working farm, forest system and agricultural research and education laboratory.

For more information

If you have questions about The 2022 Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service, contact Kathy Smith-Shaffer, assistant dean of students, at or 618-453-7521.