• Follow us

Delaware News

'The Big Event' connects UD students to Newark through service

Though some won’t be calling Newark their home for much longer, nearly 200 University of Delaware students came together Saturday for a service project to give back to the community they’ve lived in for the past few years.

Groups of students cleaned up playground equipment, picked up trash, laid mulch, washed windows, cleaned classrooms and more through The Big Event, a community service program in its pilot year at the university.

“I felt like there was student apathy in general toward their surrounding environment,” said Jaime Renman, a senior and the executive director of The Big Event. “And we do want to shed light that students do care about where they live, especially if this is their home away from home, like to treat this really as their home.”

Renman, who is from Pennsylvania, said that throughout her college career, she has participated in service trips that take students to different communities around the country.

“We’re promoting in these other programs to get to know your community, what are the assets, what are the challenges and really get that person-to-person relationship, to feel responsibility to that community,” she said. “I just didn’t feel that with Newark, despite having that feeling with other, different communities.”

She wanted to change that, so she started the process of establishing The Big Event during her junior year.

The Big Event is a national organization that began at Texas A&M in 1986. Since then, other colleges have introduced their own chapters that all strive to connect the university population to the surrounding community.

Over the summer, Renman established an executive board of student leaders. Throughout the year, the board connected with nonprofits in Newark to set up volunteering opportunities.

“I feel like there’s such a lacking between the connection, but we use so many resources in the community,” said Madi Mucha, marketing coordinator for the event. “I hike in the parks and I go to the grocery stores and everything. I don’t get super involved in the community, but I’m still taking a lot from the community. And I think it’s really important that you’re aware of other people living there, too.”

Throughout the year, the group organized Service Saturdays, partnering with groups like Lori’s Hands and Brae’s Brown Bags, and helped clean up the outdoor classroom at UD’s Lab School.

The group also hosted community members as speakers on campus in order to connect students with different residents.

All of that led up to Saturday, when the students were at seven sites around the city, helping complete projects for community organizations.

“My hope for myself and for other students is that we gain a better understanding of the community around us and gain more respect for it, as well as understanding how much work is put into upkeep and keeping the community clean and looking nice,” Mucha said. “We take that for granted how nice our community is.”

At the Newark Senior Center, students worked outside, weeding and cleaning windows, and inside, tidying up classrooms.

“I’ve been here 10 years and this is the most vibrant, enthusiastic and energetic group that I’ve ever had to work with here,” said Wendell Davis, director of facilities at the senior center. “They seem like they love what they’re doing. They are engaged. And it’s just been a joy to work with them.”

Kelly Riale, volunteer coordinator for the senior center, agreed.

“It’s important for the University of Delaware students to know the community that surrounds them,” she said. “Not a lot of these students even knew much about the Newark Senior Center, so they got a chance to know how important we are to the 50-plus community and all the resources and programs we provide for growth for the 50-plus community.”

Senior Andrew Ames, juniors Brenda Juarez and Chor Lam and freshman Jessica Shih, who were helping by cleaning up classrooms in the senior center, echoed the sentiment that it was important to get involved and know their community better.

“I’m involved in a lot of service,” Lam said. “I’m from Delaware, and I want to be involved with my home community.”

At the George Wilson Center, other students laid mulch around the playground, picked up trash and cleaned off equipment.

Freshman Jose Manuel Lanzona said it was exciting to see the event come to fruition.

“As a Newark local, I want to open my community to UD,” he said. “I think it will act as a bridge to connect the two communities.”

Junior Kaitlyn Sherman said that she has participated in off-campus service events through UD’s alternative break program but wanted to get involved more in Newark.

“I thought it was interesting and liked how it was giving back to the local community,” she said. “It’s important for me to get more involved in the Newark community because I got to school here.”

Saturday’s volunteer effort also drew some longtime community members, like Jim and Carol McKelvey, who heard about The Big Event and wanted to pitch in.

“They were so warm and welcoming, and they are sharp kids,” Jim McKelvey said. “The gang today has been great fun. It’s very rewarding to participate in giving back, and it’s nice to do it together, working side by side.”

He said that, through shoveling mulch and working together, he learned about the students’ backgrounds and aspirations.

“It’s very nice,” he said. “I’m very encouraged by what I see in the student population.”

Renman said The Big Event will become an annual event and said she hopes it will grow to involve more volunteers and additional service opportunities.

“[I hope we] expand our networks and reach, just being able to forge a relationship with Parks and Rec and city council and the mayor and The Newark Partnership or any other sort of entity to be like, ‘We are an established group, and we really think the community matters, and we’re grateful for the surrounding community,’” she said.

Read More

Leave A Comment

More News

Newark Post - news,news/

Indictment: Newarker helped kidnap Philadelphia man, dump his 2019-05-19 20:43:00A Newark man is among eight people charged with kidnapping a Philadelphia man whose body was found in the woods in Maryland.

Newarkers honor the fallen with Memorial Day parade, 2019-05-19 17:37:00Newarkers paused Sunday to remember those men and women who have given their lives for their country.

With 'admiration and heartfelt gratitude,' Newark Charter students 2019-05-19 15:54:00The 2019 commencement for Newark Charter School marked new beginnings for its class, and the end of a chapter for others.

Prison workers accused of harassing woman at Glasgow 2019-05-17 22:30:00Delaware prison officials are investigating allegations that a group of correctional employees including a warden verbally and physically harassed a w

Arrest made in slaying of Newark-area man 2019-05-17 17:22:00Police have made an arrest in the killing of a Newark-area man who disappeared last fall.

College Square pizza shop robbed at gunpoint 2019-05-17 13:43:00Police are searching for a gunman who robbed the Pizza Hut at College Square Shopping Center late Thursday night.

Christina's top teacher empowers her students to lead 2019-05-17 01:00:00Lindsey Muldoon teaches in the same Shue-Medill Middle School classroom where she attended social studies as an eighth-grader.

Newark looks to provide sewer service outside city 2019-05-17 00:30:00The city of Newark is petitioning the state legislature for permission to provide sewer service to properties outside city limits, a move that would b

Osienski reintroduces marijuana legalization bill 2019-05-16 23:00:00Democratic lawmakers are again proposing to legalize marijuana in Delaware after a failed effort last year.

Delaware House approves proposed tax on opioids 2019-05-16 22:30:00A bill requiring drug manufacturers that sell opioid painkillers in Delaware to pay a new tax to help support substance abuse prevention and treatment

Newark's Memorial Day ceremony, parade set for Sunday 2019-05-16 18:30:00On Sunday, Newarkers will once again pause to remember the countless Americans who have died serving their country.

Police seek help identifying men who rode ATVs 2019-05-15 18:51:00Police are asking for the public’s help identifying three men seen recklessly driving their all-terrain vehicles through downtown Newark on Satu

Wilmington - Home

Who is Elena Delle Donne? The WNBA star 2019-05-21 20:54:19An episode of "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" focused on WNBA star Elena Delle Donne, and made a lot of people curious about the Delaware native.

Elena Delle Donne on becoming sister Lizzie's caretaker: 2019-05-21 20:37:49WNBA star Elena Delle Donne discusses her relationship with her older sister, who has developmental disabilities, on HBO Tuesday night.  &n

Former Delaware State University President William B. DeLauder 2019-05-21 20:27:17William B. DeLauder was president of DSU from 1987 to 2003, when the institution was still known as Delaware State College.    &n

Shorebird droppings likely to blame for water advisory 2019-05-21 20:16:59This is normal: A recreational water advisory has been issued for Slaughter Beach, and the birds are likely to blame.      &

Freire Charter School prom 2019 2019-05-21 20:07:35Freire Charter School held its first-ever prom on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at the Sheraton in downtown Wilmington.       

Firefly Music Festival set times for Travis Scott, 2019-05-21 20:02:27The final piece of Firefly Music Festival's musical puzzle has fallen into place.         

Wilmington council passes budget days after voting no 2019-05-21 19:05:33A special meeting was hastily scheduled to pass the budget before the end of May.         

National abortion debate resonates in Delaware at #StopTheBans 2019-05-21 18:53:15Dozens of protesters on the steps of Rodney Square in Wilmington called for more than the right to choose.       &

Delaware holds #StopTheBans rally in Rodney Square 2019-05-21 18:43:08Delaware speaks out at a rally protesting extreme bans on abortion and attempts to gut Roe v. Wade         

Indiana man sentenced to prison for vandalism at 2019-05-21 18:39:24Federal authorities said Nolan Brewer was motivated by his beliefs in Nazism and white supremacy.         

Eagles' Carson Wentz practices 'without limitations,' but Malcolm 2019-05-21 17:26:37Carson Wentz is practicing, but Malcolm Jenkins is staying away from the voluntary OTAs, and others are recovering from injury.    &nb

Hutchins among several Delaware baseball players honored by 2019-05-21 17:19:48Joseph Carpenter is the Blue Hens' second-straight CAA Rookie of the Year.         

Delaware Headlines

Delaware Farm Bureau calls for mental health support 2019-05-10 20:34:02The Delaware Farm Bureau is advocating for additional mental health support for farmers across the country and in the First State.

The Green - May 10, 2019 2019-05-10 15:13:52Listen to this edition of The Green or individual segments below:

Redeveloping ‘The Flats’ seeks to reinvigorate a neighborhood 2019-05-10 15:09:43An ambitious plan to reimagine a century old community on Wilmington’s West Side is making strides. Work on the neighborhood known as The Flats

Stamp Out Hunger campaign returns for 27th year 2019-05-08 22:16:15Delaware letter carriers are prepared to help “Stamp Out Hunger” again this Saturday.

Woodland Ferry remains out of service 2019-05-08 22:04:53The Woodland Ferry that travels the Nanticoke River in Seaford will be out-of-action until this summer.

Vaughn riot defendant Shankaras back on trial 2019-05-06 15:01:45The trial of another inmate allegedly involved in the 2017 Vaughn prison uprising began Monday .

The Green - May 3, 2019 2019-05-03 11:02:44Listen to this edition of The Green or individual segments below:

Holocaust remembrance event centers on recent synagogue shootings 2019-05-02 16:55:51At a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in Wilmington Thursday, elected officials joined faith leaders and members of Delaware’s Jewish community in

Dover Police Chief retires, acting chief named 2019-04-30 12:27:56The Dover Police Department is about to see a change in leadership. Police Chief Marvin Mailey is retiring next month.

Autism Delaware builds awareness at this week's NASCAR 2019-04-29 19:42:18You can walk the Monster Mile in Dover this weekend to support Autism Delaware.

Delaware State Police reminds bicyclists of safety on 2019-04-27 18:43:51As the weather gets warmer, more and more Delawareans are hopping on their bikes for recreation and as modes of transportation to and from work. And D

Former Wilmington fire chief sentenced to prison 2019-04-27 09:56:04Former Wilmington Fire Chief Anthony Goode has been sentenced to prison.

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.