It’s kind of a ‘Big’ deal: Service event returns

If you’re looking for some extra help with spring cleaning, IUPUC students are ready to lend a hand — in a big way.

Volunteers will go out into the local community April 2 and assist senior citizens who need help completing home-improvement tasks during the second annual The Big Event community service day.

IUPUC modeled The Big Event after a similar service day at Texas A&M University, said Joan McCluskey, coordinator of leadership and community service at IUPUC.

At last year’s local inaugural event, about 40 students and volunteers partnered with Thrive Alliance and Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center to help older residents paint, clean, rake and complete other tasks that they would not be able to perform on their own, McCluskey said.

“They were so thrilled and so happy with what the students and volunteers were able to do,” she said. “It’s very satisfying.”

The group also did some cleanup on the People Trail along Jonathan Moore Pike.

Additionally, officers with the Columbus Police Department partnered with the college students to make residents feel more at ease when a group of volunteers entered their home.

This year, IUPUC is working with local police again and attempting to expand the effort’s reach into the community by seeking out people at Mill Race Center who need help with their spring cleaning , McCluskey said.

Locations of this year’s service projects are still being determined, but McCluskey said she anticipates she will need 40 to 50 people to complete all of the work.

If you go

IUPUC’s “The Big Event”

  • When: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. April 2
  • What: Community service day for IUPUC students, Columbus Police Department, other volunteers
  • Where: Meet at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 719 5th St., Columbus, at the beginning of the day. Work will be done at various locations around the city.

How to volunteer/be served

If you are interested in volunteering with IUPUC students for “The Big Event” or having volunteers work at your home, contact Joan McCluskey, IUPUC coordinator of leadership and community service, at or at 812-375-7534.

Author photo
Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.