11th Annual BIG Event Draws More Than 1,100 Islanders to Volunteer

Published: April 16, 2019

11th Annual BIG Event Draws More Than 1,100 Islanders to Volunteer

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Pulling weeds, trimming hedges and cleaning flower beds are tedious weekend tasks, but for Frank Robinson and his elderly mother they are responsibilities that require additional assistance.

On Saturday, April 13, a group of Islanders from Project GRAD volunteered at the Robinson home for the annual BIG Event.

“It’s extremely rewarding to see all the kids helping and it’s a blessing to my mother,” Robinson said. “She used to like to get out and do her own trimming and digging in the garden, but now she needs the extra help.”

The annual BIG Event is a day for Islanders to give back to the community through volunteering at organizations and residential homes throughout Corpus Christi. This year, more than 1,100 Islanders offered a helping hand to nearly 70 BIG Event work sites.

Aissa Garza, a junior nursing student and Project GRAD member, was one of the volunteers at the Robinson home.

“It feels really good to help people, to give back for those that need it, and let them know that the university cares about the community,” Garza said. “It’s a sacrifice to give up your Saturday, but it’s for the better of others and definitely worth it.”

Other job sites included Habitat for Humanity, Mirador Retirement, GROW Local South Texas, St. Marks Kids Against Cancer, Corpus Christi Science & History Museum, Pony Oso Baseball, and 31 individual homes.

Nearly 30 Islanders with Alpha Sigma Phi volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity warehouse on Lipan. They cleared a worn perimeter fence that was falling and recently was the cause of several break-ins.

“Due to the break-ins, we’re losing construction material and we’re having to replenish those materials with funds that would otherwise go to building and repairing community homes,” said Joseph Duran, Habitat for Humanity warehouse supervisor. “We’re really shorthanded on volunteers right now so it’s really important that we have this help.”

Habitat for Humanity offers home repair services to homeowners in need. Some of the repair work includes painting, landscaping, weatherization and minor repair services to preserve home exteriors and revitalize neighborhoods.

“Corpus Christi does a lot for us so we’re here to help make it a better place and improve where we live,” said Justin Hicks, Alpha Sigma Phi’s vice president of finance.

This year’s BIG Event sponsors were Whataburger, Flint Hills, Lowes, Valerie Gibbons, and the City of Corpus Christi Solid Waste Services.