WT Students Taking Part in The Big Event Service Project April 1


CANYON, Texas — More than 100 West Texas A&M University students are expected to take part in major day of service in Amarillo and Canyon.

For a second year, WT students will participate in The Big Event, a student-run service project that originated at Texas A&M University in 1982.

WT students can sign up to participate through March 24 at through Buff Link on the WT homepage.

Beginning at 7 a.m. April 1, students will tackle 30 service projects around Amarillo and Canyon — yard work, painting houses, junk removal and more. Residents requested jobs between Feb. 17 and March 10.

“Our goal is to help anybody in Amarillo and Canyon that we can,” said student organizer Abby Kate Hays, a senior sports and exercise science major from Boyd.

A&M’s Big Event has become the largest one-day, student-run service project in the nation, now including 130 affiliated events across the country.

Hays and Chance Herron, interim director of Buffs for Christ and 2017 WT graduate, both took part in a Big Event at Boyd High School in the Fort Worth area, and Hays’ father, an A&M alumnus, started a Big Event at Justin High School, where he works as a counselor. Hays and Herron brought the idea to the WT Ministerial Alliance, which was looking for a new service project after its previous fundraiser, Shack-a-Thon, was retired, then to WT’s Office of Student Engagement and Leadership to invite other student organizations to take part.

“As the Division of Student Affairs continues to implement the curricular approach in our Journey of the Buffalo, we are eager to find ways that students can impact their community through meaningful civic engagement,,” said Andrea Wagner, assistant director of student activities. “Participation in service projects, such as the Big Event, provides students the opportunity not only to serve others, but also gives students an opportunity to work alongside their peers and develop a sense of belonging.”

Hays said she hopes the Big Event continues to grow at WT.

“We hope to have 200 students involved this year after having about 150 last year,” Hays said. “And we hope the community will be interested in donating food for our volunteers and tools for our projects, and that, in years to come, we have more people requesting jobs.

“I do it to glorify the Lord,” Hays said. “Service is a great way to do that. And even if you’re not Christian, the Amarillo and Canyon community does a lot to serve WT, so this is a really cool way to go out and serve the community in return.”

Being responsive to the challenges faced by the people of this region is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.



Photo: Members of the West Texas A&M University football team painted the home of Canyon resident Luann Everitt during the 2022 Big Event.