After The Big Event—UTA’s annual three-day event filled with community service and outreach—went virtual in 2020 due to COVID-19, it returned in a big way this year to UTA.
Student, faculty, and staff volunteers were more than ready to get their hands dirty again—with painting, landscaping, facility cleanup, and other acts of service and support.
Nearly 60 student site leaders helped coordinate projects, and about 300 volunteers pitched in to help 34 community service agencies and residences, including the city of Arlington’s Parks and Recreation Community Garden, Owenwood Farm managed by GROW North Texas, and Mission Arlington.
“This was my first year to participate, and I’ve never worked with people more passionate about helping the community,” says Ronda Finney, a freshman studying biology. “I helped in the community garden, and I learned new things about gardening and ways to live sustainably. I met other people from UTA with interests similar to mine. It was a fun experience where you can meet people and feel good about helping the community.”
The Big Event has seen tremendous growth since its 2000 debut. Since then, volunteers have completed more than 100 projects. Participation in The Big Event reached its highest level in 2019, with more than 1,150 volunteers donating over 4,000 hours of service to the community.