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Giving Back to Georgetown

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    The Getsemani Community Center garden is one of the places where students will be volunteering March 22 as part of The Big Event.

More than 350 have signed up to spend a day volunteering with local nonprofits

On Saturday, March 22, more than 350 Southwestern students, faculty, staff and alumni will be scattered throughout Georgetown doing everything from volunteering at the Special Olympics to painting a mural at the Boys & Girls Club.

It’s all part of The Big Event, a day of service that gives members of the Southwestern community the opportunity to spend a day volunteering with local nonprofits. The event is modeled after a 30-year tradition that started at Texas A&M University.

This is the third year Southwestern has sponsored The Big Event, and the program continues to grow each year. This year, volunteers will be working with 15 local nonprofits, including the Getsemani Community Center, the Williamson Museum, the Palace Theater, the Ride on Center for Kids (R.O.C.K.), The Caring Place, Special Olympics, the Boys & Girls Club, and several assisted living centers. Volunteers will be helping organizations prepare for upcoming fundraisers or special events, working in community gardens, sorting donations, socializing with residents, and doing maintenance work such as staining fences.

Sophomore Kathryn Reagan has been in charge of planning and organizing The Big Event this year. “We want students to be aware of all the volunteer opportunities that exist within the surrounding community,” Reagan said. “The hope is that once they realize the kind of need that is in Georgetown, they’ll be able to come once a week and volunteer in any way they can.”

Reagan said the goal of The Big Event is not only to give back to Georgetown, but also to maintain the already existing relationships between Southwestern and Georgetown, and to foster new relationships through community service work.

“Every community is different with various kinds of need,” she said. “We’re hoping to promote more sustainable volunteerism and to communicate the type of need that exists within the community we’re all a part of.”

−       Daniel Dumitru ’15

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