The Big Event makes a Big impact


The Big Event, a district wide volunteer day, will take place on Saturday from 8am-12pm.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for everyone,” AP English 3 teacher and campus leader for The Big Event Julie Cummings said. “It’s really motivating when you see how many people are volunteering.”

Last year, 2,300 volunteers participated; this year, the number has doubled to 5,000. The Big Event began last year as an initiative to give back to the community. East Zone Coordinator LeAnn Lewis originally had the idea.

“I got the idea from A&M,” Lewis said. “Everyone banded together there and it was something really special. When I interviewed to become the East Zone Leader, it was definitely something I wanted to bring with me.”

The Big Event is a worldwide event with smaller locations, like LISD. It does not necessarily happen on the same day; instead, each location is bound together under a common charitable goal.

“Our sponsors are fantastic,” Lewis said. “They’ve given [the district] so much and now it’s time for us to show them our gratitude.”

The idea of holding The Big Event was discussed with school principals and local PTSA officers in the beginning; from there, word was spread to teachers who, like Cummings, took initiative.

“I was really excited to take action on this,” Cummings said. “There was a lot of excitement going on and it’s very fulfilling to help out.”

Planning for Hebron began in December. Cummings held a silent auction in which various clubs submitted baskets of goods with prices ranging from $40-$150. The auction made over $700.

“The baskets were really helpful to generate money,” Cummings said. “We held pajama days and hat days but they weren’t making as much money. The silent auction was totally donated, so nothing had to come out of the budget either.”

Cummings has been working consistently to coordinate The Big Event, and the process did not come without obstacles.

“It is a huge challenge to have everything done on time,” Cummings said. “There are so many things to do. Luckily, we all divide and conquer.”

For the district, however, there was a different kind of problem.

“Communication last year was tough just because there were so many things we didn’t know,” Lewis said. “This year, we have streamlined the communication system so much. I communicate directly with campus leaders and we all keep regular contact so that we’re on the same page.”

Cummings, also the National Honor Society (NHS) sponsor, says The Big Event offers her a chance to see her members in action and is excited to participate.

“The students bring me the hours they need to satisfy their NHS hours all the time, but you never get to see them really doing it,” Cummings said. “I don’t get to get out onto the field much so this is a great chance.”

Cummings says that although there are large service projects, such as building homes, there are still other opportunities for young children, the elderly, and the disabled to participate. Even Cummings’ 6-year-old daughter, Jalynn, will be participating.

“There’s always something for anyone to do,” Cummings said. “I would recommend anyone to help out.”