Serving the Community in ‘Big’ Ways


BU Cheer members happily waiting for the event to begin. Photo by Carly Busfield.

Carly Busfield, Howl Editor

Bloomsburg University and CGA’s annual ‘Big Event’ was on Saturday, April 15th, 2023. A large crowd of student volunteers, who participate within student organizations across the university, were in participation of this local based event. 

Around 8:00 in the morning, the students showed up to receive their assignments of raking leaves, mulching, weeding, and anything else the volunteers could offer to help the town residents. The work went on up until 1:00 in the afternoon.

Members of the Voice volunteered in the event as well, happy to bring up a stronger relationship between both on and off of campus. 

8:00AM: Arrive for Big Event 

Enthusiasm and high spirits filled the air as students, dressed in teal ‘Big Event’ shirts, filled the parking lot behind the Andruss Library and BU Police Department. 

Students gather as announcements are made at ‘Big Event’. Photo by Carly Busfield.

8:20AM: Receive Job Assignment 

Individual tents, divided across the parking lot, handed out tasks to specific students organizations involved such as Athletics, Club Sports, and other student involvement. 

Student organizations are vastly covering the parking lot awaiting job assignments. Photo by Carly Busfield.
CGA members and other event coordinators assist volunteers signing up. Photo by Carly Busfield.

8:36AM: Collecting supplies for individual group assignments 

After receiving the work to be done along with the address of the residence, CGA members lent supplies to all groups fitting their specific needs for the day. They supplied gloves, shovels, rakes, and more. Breakfast was also provided to all volunteers followed by announcements and an appearance from Dr. Bashar Hanna. 

Mia Grant is ready to start raking. Photo by Carly Busfield.

9:00AM: Arrived to assignment 

Local residential housing and properties were marked with yellow balloons provided by BU. 

Members of The Voice arrived to 29 West Fourth Street, Bloomsburg PA 17815. Their task was to rake leaves and help as much as possible. 

The home is newly owned by Jo Heydenreich and her son. Heydenreich has owned the house since February 2023 as a gift from her son. She intends to landscape and build up the property to make it her own original, tasteful, comforting home. Yet, a helping hand from BU students allows her to start these decorative changes sooner. 

9:05AM: Began Working 

Upon arrival, greetings are shared between the homeowners and volunteers. Shortly after, the students get to work ready to conquer the day. 

9:30AM: Finished backyard and moved to side yard 

Members of the Voice started raking leaves within the back of the house. Heydenreich provided helpful scoopers for the foliage and a warm, welcoming attitude. 

After about twenty five minutes, the back of the house was finished and a plentiful amount of leaves were bagged. The time for the side yards into the front has come.

Voice Editors, Sydney Stokes and Carly Busfield, rake leaves on a Fourth Street residence. Photo by Carly Busfield.

10:00AM: Onto Front Yard Raking and Chitchat

As a half an hour went by, the volunteers finished the sides of the house removing piles of leaves along the fence and any other surrounding areas. 

Heydenreich and members of The Voice conversed the most during this time of service. The two shared stories and chatted about their lives, uniting the group. She shared her vision of her current home and how appreciative the help was for her to fulfill this dream. 

10:45AM: Finished Front Yard with a visit from Public Town Works 

The largest task of the day was the front yard, the largest area of the house. This area took around forty five minutes to complete. The best part of this event is the fulfilling feeling of finishing your assignment. Seeing the hard work you put in within the beautiful result is heartwarming.

The Town Public Works made pit stops at all the job sites to collect the bags of foliage. Photo by Carly Busfield.

Just as the members of The Voice completed, the Public Town Works came for our bags full of leaves. The bags were to be placed along the side of the road along with any other waste for Spring Clean Up Week in town.

Jo Heydenreich admires the hard work put into her property and shares her vision of updating the landscape. Photo by Carly Busfield.

11:04AM: Admired finished work and discussed new property owner’s future landscaping plans now that her yard is fully raked.

Heydenreich fully visualized her plans and specific greenery for her new property.

Jennifer Sincyr, Nicole Lapp, Caitlin McLaughlin packing up their supplies to bring back to campus. Photo by Carly Busfield.

11:20AM: Returned Rakes to Campus & Signed Out

To end the day, volunteers must bring their supplies back to campus where they originally received them. The supplies were placed into large piles to be put away for next year.

‘Big Event’ instills a sense of true community service from BU. It is a melting pot of student organizations happily serving the local area.

CGA members assist students in signing out from the event. Photo by Carly Busfield.
CGA members organized the return of supplies. Photo by Carly Busfield.