The week before finals our Internal Relations Committee and their Execs created a week full of fun events and activities to help our staff bond and unwind prior to the stress of exams and the craziness of our spring semester: Here is what they had to say about hosting these events!

Why this is important to do?

Natalie Kasmarek: These events are important because putting yourself out there and getting to know others will lead to a more efficient and connected staff. We all want TBE to be planned and run smoothly and getting to know each other will help us accomplish that!

Sammy Chee: It is important to meet new people and get to know each other! We all have The Big Event in common but, it is great to realize that some of us have more than that in common.

Ryan Adcock: These events are important because working as a team is crucial to making The Big Event happen. As important as teamwork is on the day of, these events help to bond everybody on the staff!

Vivienne Lam: This was important because everybody was able to get to know each other and share laughs throughout these events, which ultimately bonded everyone. Because everyone is comfortable with each other, we have a stronger staff, which leads to a better execution of TBE.

What it was like planning and executing an activity for Staff?

N: It was really awesome to see how all the ideas we had could be combined and adjusted to make each event perfect for us. We got to see how each person in our committee liked to work, which made us become closer as a group.

S: It was cool to see how the effort and planning paid off. It was great to see how successful and fun these events were that my other committee members had planned.

R: It was very rewarding to get to see something I planned come to fruition. I was super glad to see that everyone had a good time and met somebody new!

V: It was a little confusing planning the event because we weren’t sure how many people would come and what the room setup would be like. There was some confusion problem-solving during the actual event, but overall, I think we did a good job going with the flow and making sure everyone was having a good time.

What have you learned from this experience?

N: This week I have learned that no matter what there is no reason to have that “too cool for school” attitude. We are all here to support one another, so there is no reason not to be open and even silly sometimes.

S: From this overall week, I learned that it is good to put yourself out there.  It is okay to be silly (I got wrapped in party streamers) because everyone else is too.  It’s one more thing that we can all laugh about and bond over.

R: From the week of bonding, I have learned that you really need to rely on your committee for support. Having to plan all of these events, I thought that our committee wouldn’t have time to bond ourselves, but we all got to know each other very well.

V: I learned that it’s okay if everything doesn’t go as planned because everyone on the staff is super understanding and flexible and willing to work with the difficulties.

By Jaylin Kimble, Communications Committee

It’s that time of year again folks! The time for gratitude, hospitality and thanks – three things The Big Event represents. This Thanksgiving, there is a lot to be thankful for: family and friends or all the delicious food we’ll be sitting down to eat tonight. While there aren’t enough words to say “thank you,” we thought there was no better time than today to express our gratitude to everyone who helps us to put on The Big Event. 

1. Our Staff

We are thankful for everyone who makes up our amazing staff. We are thankful for our incredible co-directors who lead us to putting together a successful Big Event. We are thankful for each of our execs who ensure each aspect of The Big Event runs smoothly and efficiently. We are thankful for our wonderful committee members who do their part to ensure the success of The Big Event. And we are thankful for our operations team members, without whom we wouldn’t be able to be what it is today.

2. Our Volunteers

We are thankful for our fantastic volunteers; without them, our Big Event wouldn’t have as much impact on the community. We are thankful that you donate your time and effort because you believe in what The Big Event stands for. We appreciate the commitment that you show in The Big Event by volunteering from your freshman year to your senior year. Thank you for helping us to create a positive impact on our community! 

3. Our Homeowners

We are thankful for each and every one of our homeowners. We are thankful for those who have participated since the beginning and for those who are new to our growing community. Thank you for your generosity, compassion and for the hospitality and gratitude you show our volunteers for their service. We recognize your amazing support and commitment you have shown our organization throughout the years.

4. Our Sponsors

We are thankful for the incredible support and generosity from all of our sponsors. You help to make The Big Event a success and we are extremely grateful for that. The Big Event is made possible by your contributions and for that we want to show our gratitude.

5. Our School

We are very thankful for our school for their continued support and generosity. We not only appreciate everything you have done for us as an organization, but we also appreciate everything you have done for us as Hokies. We thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to help us make The Big Event a huge success and how we are able to live out our incredible motto of Ut Prosim. 

In his blog post, “Instead of Just Being Grateful, Try This on Thanksgiving,” Adam Grant writes, “Gratitude is a temporary emotion. Giving is a lasting value.” We are beyond grateful for everyone who contributes to the success of The Big Event. We are especially grateful to those who give back to our community in the form of service and are grateful you use The Big Event to do that. So this Thanksgiving, while you are visiting with family and eating good food, we ask that you think about five things in your life that you are thankful for and reflect on the impact of your service through The Big Event.

Saturday, November 16th our staff had the chance to participate in projects to grow closer as a team, serve the community during a time that is all about saying thank you, and be able to experience first-hand how our mission impacts the Blacksburg and Christiansburg area. Here is what members of our Communications Committee had to say about it;

Nicky Hatch, Communications Committee Member

Participating in my first activity corresponding to The Big Event at Virginia Tech, everyone was incredibly welcoming and warm-hearted. Taking part in a community effort to assist homeowners around the Blacksburg area, I felt as though I was making a real difference in their lives; this inadvertently provided me with a sense of satisfaction and self-actualization.  As one who loves to communicate and collaborate, The Little Event provided a small glimpse of how beneficial this effort really is and how great a cause The Big Event. 

Justin Larkin, Communications Executive

Participating in The Little Event gave our staff members an opportunity to be a volunteer and help out some of the members of our community.  Having been a volunteer on the day of The Big Event, I knew for those that hadn’t experienced it yet, they would see the true impact we have on the community.  As soon as my car pulled into the homeowner’s driveway my three group members and I knew she was thrilled to see us. Before we even started working she explained how much it meant to her that we were there to help her do tasks she otherwise would not be able to herself.  What would have felt like a long day of taxing yard-work any other day flew by, leaving us wishing we had more time to help; looking at the yard behind us after pulling up dead plants and weeds for hours, we knew we had accomplished a huge task, and one that meant a lot to our homeowner.  It’s day like this, and the day of The Big Event, that make me proud to serve as an Executive staff member, as well as a member of this big team working towards that One Big Day.

Heather Trobridge, Communications Executive

I’m not a big crier; not for sad movies, not for sad shows, I’m typically one to keep my emotions in check and keep myself pulled together for things that could get emotional. My first time ever participating on the other side of The Big Event got me good though. As a freshman, I participated as an Operations Team member and for the last two years I’ve had the honor of serving our community as one of our Executives of Communication which means that I’ve never had the opportunity to actually complete a project until this past weekend. Being able to see the effects of what we work towards for 364 days each year first-hand while interacting with our homeowner and hearing how much we truly meant to her has only made me love what we do more. 

I’m grateful to have spent a Saturday working out in her yard and cleaning up around her home for her, while our team made deeper connections and learned that this world really is a small one—this sense of community that The Big Event provides students and New River Valley residents is one that we are truly lucky to have. It’s more than just serving your community; it’s creating connections and an impact on the lives of others. I’m not ashamed to admit that talking to her about The Big Event and how it’s impacted her life made me tear up a lot a bit.

I’m thankful for this organization, the people we meet and the opportunities we provide for students and residents to grow a connection. While I’ll be in our Headquarters on the day of this year, I hope that you can find this sense meaning and truly feel what this organization is all about.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Big Event will be hosting a profit sharing event from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on November 19th at PK’s Bar & Grill, located on North Main Street. Come out and support one of Virginia Tech’s largest community-wide service events by grabbing any of the delicious options that PK’s has to offer; whether it be their signature Roni Rolls (pizza rolls filled with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese), their Tuesday night special footlong subs or any of their many entree options, there’s something for everyone to enjoy! What better way to support both local business and the local community by coming out to PK’s Tuesday night? We’ll be waiting to see you there!