What is the Big Event?
It is a day of caring and a day of giving back that originated at Texas A&M University in 1982. Approximately 30 other colleges and universities also sponsor a Big Event at their campus. On average, Monmouth University has approximately 400 to 500 students, staff, and faculty members sign up as volunteers.
What is the purpose of the Big Event?
The Big Event is a day of community service. It is an opportunity for the members of the Monmouth University community to spend a day helping local neighbors, social service agencies, and community organizations. It’s a chance for Monmouth to give something back to the local communities.
Who can volunteer for the Big Event?
Anyone directly affiliated with Monmouth University can volunteer. This includes students, staff, faculty members, alumni, Greek letter organizations, student athletes, and resident assistants. Everyone is encouraged to sign up.
Can a group of people volunteer for the Big Event?
Yes. Greek letter organizations, athletic teams, a group of friends, students who all live in the same residence hall or off-campus house, academic departments, administrative offices, and so on are encouraged to complete a Big Event volunteer form. Whenever possible, we will attempt to keep groups together, however there are times when we may need to split up a group based on the number of work site requests.
When does the Big Event begin and end?
Big Event volunteers are asked to come to the Ocean First Bank Center no later than 9:00 a.m. to check in, pick up their shirts, and find out where they will be going. Volunteers can expect to arrive at their work site between 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. The Big Event will end at 3 p.m. or whenever your work site has finished its assignment(s).
How do volunteers get to the work sites?
Volunteers will take their own transportation to the work site.
Will there be any food for the volunteers?
A light breakfast will be provided when volunteers arrive for check-in. Each volunteer will receive a Big Event shirt and refreshments to take with them to the work sites.
Who will coordinate the assignments at each of the work sites?
Each work site will have a Monmouth University site captain who is a member of SGA or who has been recruited by SGA to serve in that capacity. A site captain will serve as the point person for each work site. He/She/They will contact the work site before the Big Event to make sure that volunteer assignments have been clarified.
What kind of work can I expect to do at the Big Event?
Volunteers have worked with the elderly in assisted living facilities, cleaned up local beaches, and assisted food pantries and animal shelters. Volunteers also have painted murals and done landscaping at local schools, as well as many other assignments.
What kind of clothing should I wear on the day of the Big Event?
Check the weather before you leave your room, house, or apartment. Many of the jobs are outdoors so you may need to bring a sweatshirt or coat or rain coat. Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing and shoes. There is a good chance that you will get a little dirty so please don’t wear anything nice that you don’t want damaged.
Where are the work sites located?
Most of the Big Event work sites are located in the communities that surround Monmouth University, which include West Long Branch, Long Branch, Asbury Park, and the townships of Ocean and Neptune. Volunteers may, on occasion, be assigned to a location beyond the communities noted.
What happens if it rains?
The Big Event will be held rain or shine.
Do I have to stay for the entire day?
We strongly encourage all of the volunteers to stay at their assigned work site until they have completed the work. Many of the work sites finish before 3 p.m., so there is a reasonable chance that you will only be at your assigned work site for a couple of hours.
Final thoughts for volunteers
Thank you for signing up to be a Big Event volunteer. We hope you have a great day helping our neighbors and local communities. We also hope that you will have a positive, upbeat attitude when you get to your work site. The Big Event is a Big program which requires patience and flexibility from the volunteers. We want to thank you in advance for being the kind of volunteer who doesn’t create problems, but rather helps solve them.