If you’ve ever been in Blacksburg during the summer (or any break from school really), you know the impact that Virginia Tech has on this town. It’s radically different when all of the students disperse to their respective homes. And then, when it’s time for classes to start back up, we flood in, a swarm of people taking this town back from the locals. And they put up with us – our antics, the traffic we bring, the fact that we jaywalk all the time and make Kroger really busy and don’t tip well at restaurants. 30,000 college students is a lot to take on, but they take us. This is why I love Big Event.
For roughly 32 weeks out of the year, the locals welcome us, and make this town an awesome one to live in as a student. And for one day (even though they deserve way more) thousands of students gather together to give back to this town that has allowed us to call it home. The impact that our numbers can have in just four hours is incredible, and this one day is a huge reason I am so proud to call myself a Hokie.
Two years ago, I was hanging out in the Wesley lobby, thinking about how Big Event was coming up soon and I hadn’t heard anything about Wesley’s team yet. I casually asked our missions’ minister if we had one, and she was like “no, you wanna be in charge of that?” It was a deer in the headlights moment, but I agreed. Did I have any clue what I was getting myself into? Absolutely not. Now, 3 Big Events later, I can say that being the captain of Wesley’s Big Event team is one of the most chaotic and fantastic things I’ve ever gotten the chance to be. Coordinating people and getting the procrastinating stragglers to get signed up gets stressful. But there are very few things as inspiring to me as watching the growing number of students willing to get up early and give up a Saturday to do chores for somebody else.
This year Wesley had a team of 44 people. I have rarely been so excited as when I counted the names on my list, and then counted them again to make sure I wasn’t crazy. As it turned out, we had more people than we knew what to do with this year. Mother Nature decided to drop some snow on us and half of our projects were cancelled. We actually had the problem of too many willing volunteers for the amount of work we had (seriously though, what a cool problem to have!). We ended up being able to help out 5 awesome New River Valley residents as well as give some much needed love to our own building at Wesley and still finished the day early. It was a great day of fellowship and service even if it was a bit chilly. I couldn’t ask for more from such a great team and as always I’m looking forward to what my next Big Event will bring!