Chris Hein
CTW Assistant Hall Director, 402.270.0967

Approximately 350 participants have volunteered for The Big Event, a day of community service, Saturday, March 31, involving volunteers who are students, faculty and staff at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

After the kick-off celebration, which will take place at 9:30 a.m. in Cushing Coliseum, Big Event volunteers will begin the 46 community service projects at various locations across Kearney. Among the locations are Kearney Area Humane Society, Kearney Area Children’s Museum, Hastings Motorsports Park, Habitat for Humanity, and Second Avenue from 48th to 56th Streets, picking up litter.

Chris Hein, a UNK psychology major from David City and co-chair of The Big Event executive team, said that preparation for The Big Event has gone according to plan. The number of project sites has increased by about 15 from the inaugural Big Event last year, and the number of volunteers has increased by approximately 100 people.

“As far as the progress that is being made, things are going along just great, and we look forward to having an amazing day of volunteer work on Saturday. The Kearney community is definitely going to see the impact of all the work the UNK volunteers will get done,” Hein said.

On the national level, The Big Event is one of the largest student-run community service efforts, an annual event at more than 70 universities across the country. Recently, one of the sponsors of The Big Event, the University of Oklahoma, organized 5,000 volunteers across 162 project sites.  

Volunteers for The Big Event at UNK will participate in service projects that benefit nonprofit organizations and individuals in the Kearney area. Whether it is landscaping at a city park, or painting a fence for a senior citizen, volunteers will engage in a variety of community service projects.

Hein said The Big Event draws a number of students to participate because of their desire to get involved in the community, as well as the diverse project options they can choose from.

“The Big Event gives students the chance to do a variety of things from doing yard work for the elderly, to painting signs, to working with children, so volunteers aren’t stuck doing just one type of community service. They can pick and choose exactly what they want to do,” Hein said.

Some of the projects secured for The Big Event this year include washing windows at Kearney Manor, painting faces for children at the Kearney Area Children’s Museum, and doing yard work at St. Luke’s Countryside Villa and for various senior citizens in the Kearney area.

Hein said the primary goal of The Big Event executive team is to “give back to the Kearney community and let them know that we appreciate all the help and support that they continue to give to the UNK community from year to year.” Hein said The Big Event serves as a big “thank you” to the Kearney community for its assistance to UNK.

“Every year, the Kearney community gives a tremendous amount of support to UNK and its students, and it isn’t often that we get the chance to thank the community as a whole. The Big Event is a great way for students to all come together on one special day to make their appreciation known to the community,” Hein said.  

Other members of The Big Event’s executive team include Morgan Kenney, an organizational communication major from Bonner Springs, Kan.; Angela Reynolds, a business administration major from Wood River; Joel Hochstein, a social sciences education major from Hartington; and Luke Saulsberry, an organizational communication major from Auburn. Kenney co-chairs the team along with Hein, while Reynolds and Hochstein are in charge of sponsorship, and Saulsberry handles activities.

To learn more about The Big Event at UNK or provide any support to the organizers, visit, email the executive team at or call (402) 270-0967 for more information.