By Jamie Bouldin, Assistant Director for Leadership and Service
SFA students give back to their community in a variety of ways – during this semester, students have had several opportunities to get involved in service.
The third annual The BIG Event takes place on Friday, April 29. SFA’s The BIG Event promotes unity between campus and community as students come together for one day to express their gratitude for the support from the Nacogdoches community.
Individuals and not-for-profit agencies can apply to have jobs completed by students. Because The BIG Event is focused on saying “thanks,” the recipients are not limited by need or socioeconomic status. Anyone in the community, as long as they are not an SFA student, can apply for a job. Students will be performing tasks like yardwork, housecleaning, organization, painting and other jobs throughout Nacogdoches County.
Students can get involved by signing up online at www.sfasu.edu/thebigevent or visiting the Involvement Center to fill out a participant form. Students should be prepared to serve from 2 to 6 p.m. on the day of the event, and they must sign up by Friday, April 8.
Another annual service opportunity is the Alternative Spring Break program. Rather than spending spring break at home or on vacation, a select group of students will spend their break performing service projects in Memphis, Tenn., as part of the annual Alternative Spring Break trip March 13-19.
Eleven students, two student team leaders, a graduate assistant and a professional staff member will assist the Mid-South Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club of Memphis and Shelby Farms.
Pre-trip activities, including fundraising and discussions on poverty and Memphis’ rich music and cultural history, have added to the teambuilding nature of the trip.
ASB team members are chosen through an application and interview process each fall. Students are responsible for only $100 of the trip costs, making ASB an affordable alternative to traditional Spring Break plans, in addition to enriching the experiences of the students who take part.
Finally, earlier this semester, 130 students made Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service a day on, not a day off. Volunteers went to local nursing homes and senior centers to interact with elderly residents and assist the staffs of these facilities.
Students played bingo, organized dances, performed karaoke, and helped with office maintenance and organization.