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Student-driven UM Big Event Supports Community Projects 

By Edwin B. Smith

University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi students help clear leaves and dead plants from the Oxford Community Garden as part of the 2021 Big Event. This year’s event, set for April 2, includes more opportunities for students to provide service to the LOU community. Photo by Logan Kirkland/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Sponsors of the University of Mississippi’s annual Big Event, set for Saturday (April 2), are expanding in-person activities.

The Big Event is an annual day of service in which student volunteers work on community service projects throughout the Ole Miss campus and Oxford-Lafayette County community. Volunteers will focus their efforts this year on a number of project sites including schools, churches, nonprofit organizations, community centers and city/county-supervised sites.

“This year we are grateful to partner with individual community residents again and expand our number of available volunteer opportunities,” said Haley Anderson, assistant director of leadership programming.

Big Event co-coordinators estimate some 1,500 volunteers will work on service projects across nearly 30 LOU locations. Some of the community partnerships include Oxford and Lafayette County schools, Oxford Film Festival, Boys and Girls Club, More Than a Meal, Oxford Community Garden and local churches. 

Besides the community projects, Big Event has created on-campus service projects to give back to the community.

“We will have a number of residential projects, as well cleaning the local school’s buses,” said Madison Gordon, a senior public policy leadership major from Meridian and Big Event co-coordinator. “Additionally, the Big Event will host a letter drive on campus and cleaning up in different areas on campus. 

“My hopes are that we will be able to strengthen our relationship with the LOU community as we have before.”

Ole Miss students have been organizing the Big Event, the largest day of community service in the state, since 2011.

Click here to register as a volunteer. For more information about the Big Event, visit here.

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