The Big Event 2014

 

After months and months of preparation and anticipation, Saturday, April 12 has finally arrived, and the weather couldn’t be more perfect for spending the day outside. Quentin Aker, the member of operations for The Big Event at KU, as well as around 40 other people involved, was ready with an optimistic and excited attitude for the day ahead of him.

The Big Event is a large organization that brings together many on-campus organizations to unite on the same day and give back to the city of Lawrence by volunteering with homeowners who may need help around where they live. There is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into just one day of volunteering, especially since it can be a little chaotic.

“Organizing tools in a way so we could effectively get them out on the day of was definitely what I was the most nervous about and spent a lot of time planning,” Aker said. “It was sometimes overwhelming with so many students coming at you at once, but everything ran pretty smoothly for us just because we had really prepared for this.”

There were around 3,000 people who showed up for TBE to volunteer around Lawrence.

“The energy in a small parking lot, 3,000 people, a huge buzz of activity, people running around everywhere,” Aker said. “There’s always something to do, and vibrant, excited talking. It was crazy and really fun all at the same time.”

As if helping to distribute tools to the students who signed up to help out during TBE on Saturday wasn’t enough, Aker also went to a job site with a few colleagues to help an elderly woman with clearing out parts of her house and fixing up her yard. He told me that the homeowner kept telling them how helpful they were, saying that “it’s amazing what 8 hands can do instead of my own 2!” Aker informed me that they had gotten done in just an hour what would have taken her weeks to do on her own.

Aker and his Big Event team

When I asked Aker what his favorite part about the day was, he stopped to think to himself for a few minutes. Finally, I told him just to tell me some of the memorable parts he would likely never forget.

“Volunteering is really important… doing something and not getting anything back. Lawrence is such a close-knit community already, it helps with KU’s image: that we got 3,000 students to help do things for the community, that they cared to join and help out complete strangers,” Aker said.

The Her Campus KU Team Volunteering at TBE 2014