Island University Volunteers Give Back to Community during ‘Big Event’

Published: April 07, 2016

Island University Volunteers Give Back to Community during ‘Big Event’

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – More than 700 participants comprised of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students, faculty and staff volunteered with Corpus Christi residents, businesses, and nonprofits in 31 different locations throughout the city during the Student Volunteer Connection’s (SVC) 8th annual “Big Event” held Saturday, April 2.

“The Big Event is a day of thanks where Islanders came together to thank the Corpus Christi community for everything they do and the support they provide the University,” said Samantha De Melim, Student Activities Coordinator at TAMU-CC. “Volunteers provided assistance to a diverse array of corporations, individuals and organizations to thank them for their support and provide services to those in need.”

Kick-off started on campus at 8 a.m. on Bay Hall Lawn, where volunteers were matched with job sites like the South Texas Botanical Gardens, Mission 911 and the Texas State Aquarium.

At the Kids Against Hunger program at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, a group of 45 volunteers packed 16,832 dehydrated meals. The highly nutritious, life-saving packets of beans, rice, soy and vitamin powder benefit malnourished people in the region.

“We are excited to have exceeded our goal of 15,000 meals,” said Dr. Philip Rhoades, A&M-Corpus Christi Professor of Criminal Justice, Director of the Social Science Research Center and President of the Church Council at St. Mark’s. “At the Big Event, the students packed enough food to keep 46 children alive for one year.”

Volunteers also assisted local residents with tasks such as yardwork, painting and additional home improvement projects.

“I was in a group that helped clean the Marina Arts District in downtown Corpus Christi,” said Francisco Gallegos, a sophomore Geographic Information Systems major and member of Islander Cultural Alliance (ICA). “It was a great bonding experience for all of us in ICA and I can’t think of anything better to do than help our community.”

The Student Volunteer Connection served 31 locations across the community, including nine residence homes, seven nonprofits, two churches, one nursing home, two beach clean-ups, three little leagues, three schools, one downtown cleanup and two fundraising runs. 

To see more photos from the Big Event, click here.