About 1,500 University of Mississippi students volunteered Saturday (April 2) for sixth annual Big Event and took on service projects all over the L-O-U community.
The volunteers worked at 150 different sites around Oxford, working with homeowners, community leaders, religious leaders and elected officials to identify jobs that needed to be done. More than 300 UM students helped out Oxford and Lafayette County public schools alone.
Amanda Jones, Big Event marketing and PR co-director, also said it’s rewarding to see so many of her friends pitching in and giving back to the community.
“As the PR and marketing co-director, I really enjoyed being behind the camera for the event,” Jones said. “It’s really cool getting to watch my friends give back to the Oxford community and incredibly humbling getting to interview and talk to the project hosts about the impact the students are having on their lives.”
Volunteers helped revamp Oxford Elementary School’s garden ahead of spring planting. They also cleaned the playground and classrooms at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
At the entrance to Royal Oaks subdivision, volunteers applied fertilizer, pulled weeds, dug up plants and shrubs, used weed trimmers and mulched, among other chores. The Oxford Community Garden also got some TLC from the group. They took on many other projects across town and in Lafayette County.
The work done at a local food pantry was particularly inspiring, said Caroline Loveless, Ole Miss Big Event co-director. Helpers shelved donations from a recent food drive, while others collected more goods.
“Our project hosts range from community officials, community religious leaders, homeowners and even the mayor,” Loveless said. “We have over 300 Ole Miss students going to lend a hand at public schools all throughout the Oxford and Lafayette community. It is such an honor to for the students to serve people who have a similar passion for Ole Miss.”