Updated January 28, 2019
What is The Big Event?
The Big Event at Virginia Tech is a student-run community service effort that has grown into the 2nd largest event of its kind in the nation over the past 18 years. Every spring, thousands of students, faculty, and staff come together to complete hundreds of community service projects throughout Blacksburg, Christiansburg and the New River Valley.
Projects are completed regardless of need or socioeconomic status; instead, it is The Big Event’s goal to simply say, “Thank you.” Seeded in our university’s motto of Ut Prosim (That I may serve) students and community members come together for a truly unparalleled experience. This year we expect to have over 1,200 projects completed by 10,000 student volunteers like yourself.
Big Event: “One Big Day. One Big Thanks.”
How can I sign up?
Volunteer registration is currently open! Follow the link on our homepage or on the “Volunteers” page to sign up now!
I want to start a team and be the team captain. What should I do?
On our registration page, click “Create a Group”. This effectively makes you the team captain, thereby you will be responsible for inviting people to join your group, accept requests from people who want to join your group, and attend the team captain meeting.
How many emails can I invite at one time?
When the team leader is starting the team, they can invite up to 50 email addresses to join their team at a time. If you try to enter more than 50, it will create the group without a team captain and cause an error. Please avoid this by inviting people in batches of 50 or less, or only send yourself an invite and then forward it to your listserve.
Will our team be assigned a job or will we have to search for our own job to do?
We will pair you to a job that has been requested through our website. All jobs that are assigned have been checked and approved by our staff. You will find out your assigned job on the day-of The Big Event during check-in on the drillfield.
I am not a student at Virginia Tech. Can I still participate?
Yes, the more the merrier! Follow the same process that you would if you were a student. However, when asked for your “PID”, create a unique username and when it asks for your “ID number”, put your cell phone number.
Is there a limit to the size of team that I can sign up? Is there a minimum to make a team?
You can sign up as many participants as you wish. However, we may split your group into two or more projects depending on its size. Any teams with only one member will be merged into the individuals group when registration closes.
I do not know anyone else participating in the event. Can I sign up as an individual?
I signed up a team. Now what?
You have no responsibilities (other than to form your team!) until team captain meetings. Each team captain needs to attend one meeting. Team captain meetings are held on the following dates:
Monday, April 1: 7:00-8:00 PM (Small Group less than 25 members), 8:00-9:00 PM (Large Group 25+ members) in the GLC Auditorium
Tuesday, April 2: 7:00-8:00 PM (Small Group less than 25 members), 8:00-9:00 PM (Large Group 25+ members) in the GLC Auditorium
Wednesday, April 3: 7:00-8:00 PM (Small Group less than 25 members), 8:00-9:00 PM (Large Group 25+ members) in the GLC Auditorium
My friend made a team and gave me the Access Code. What should I do?
This set of numbers and letters (such as 11A2B-00001), similar to a password, allows you to immediately join a premade team. The team captain is given the access upon creating his/her team, and it is included in their welcome email. You can enter the access code on our registration page under “Join a Group”.
My friend made a team that I want to join. I know the team name. What should I do?
In our registration page under “Join a Group”, click “Request to Join Group” and you can choose a group based on team name. Note: Your team captain will have to approve your request to join his/her team. Once they approve you, you will receive an email with instructions on signing up.
What day does volunteer registration close?
Volunteer registration closes March 27, 2019.
What do the majority of the projects consist of?
Most are yard work such as raking, shoveling, mulching, etc. No power tools or ladders will be used, and all of our projects are pre-checked to ensure safety for all volunteers. Some could be inside such as cleaning, window washing, etc. Please dress appropriately.
How long do I work for at a project site?
You will work for a maximum of four hours. Typically, you will arrive at the work site around 11 AM and thus work until 3 PM at the latest. The homeowners are aware that you are not supposed to work longer than that allotted amount of time. Once the job is completed, you can return your tools at the drillfield and you’re done!
What if I have an allergy or need a special accommodation? Can I still participate?
Yes! When you register as a volunteer, it will ask if you need any special accommodations. If you are allergic to any pets or have a disability, be sure to list it here. We will then match your team to a suitable project.
Does The Big Event provide transportation from the drill field to my project site?
Yes, if your team needs a ride, we can drive you to and from your project. We do ask that groups provide their own transportation if they are able as this will reduce the amount of time groups wait for a ride from The Big Event.
Do I need to bring tools or anything to The Big Event?
You may want to bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. But no, all tools will be provided based on what your project recipient has requested. Remember that you are not allowed to use ANY power tools while at your project. This includes but is not limited to: lawn mowers, weed whackers, drills, leaf blowers, and so forth.
Is there a rain date for the event?
Unfortunately, if there is bad weather at the discretion of The Big Event Executive Committee, the event will be cancelled and not be made up.
Can I have a volunteer verification letter signed for my participation in The Big Event?
Yes, after The Big Event has concluded, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you covered.
Who should I contact if I have questions?
Email email@example.com. Most inquiries will be handled within 24 hours.