– Students of Service and Student Government Association presented The Big Event on Sept. 20, 2014.
PHOTO: The Students of Service posed for a photo before their clean-up efforts for “The Big Event.” Photo courtesy of Amber Whitaker, Vice President of Students of Service at UMSL.
 

By LaTwuanna Troupe, Opinions Editor for The Current

Members of UMSL's Students of Service help clean up for The Big Event, Sept. 20, 2014. Photo courtesy of Amber Whitaker, Vice President of Students of Service at UMSL.
Members of UMSL’s Students of Service help clean up for The Big Event, Sept. 20, 2014. Photo courtesy of Amber Whitaker, Vice President of Students of Service at UMSL.

This Saturday, September 20, 2014, was focused on the building of community and bonding of students through service. The Students of Service (SOS) and Student Government Association (SGA) hosted “The Big Event” taking over 100 volunteers, students, faculty and staff from various organizations on campus to the Light of Christ Church located in East St. Louis to help restore a shelter combined with the church. The church has been there for a little over four months and is working to be a great staple for that community, starting by the restoration of its homeless shelter.

At 9:30 a.m. everyone met at the Millennium Student Center at the University of Missouri- Saint Louis and boarded charter buses that transported them to the location. Everyone had on their matching shirts representing SOS and “The Big Event” as they went in to serve.
Before it was a church, the building was an old school and the founders wanted to use this space for the building of their church. When they entered the building they discovered squatters living there. Men, women and children were occupying this space at the time. Instead of kicking the people out, the founders decided to let them stay and add a shelter. It became a unisex shelter because they did not want to put anyone out on the street. This is one of the last of its kind.

Volunteers went in ready and focused with equipment in hand taking on different tasks in three groups. One group went to landscape the grounds, another to clean inside and outside of the building and the last group made the shelter feel more like a home. They painted rooms to create a new ambiance, cleaned the walls and floors and planted flowers.

Even though Students of Service and Student Government Association were the main sponsors of the event there was a contribution of some donated paint from the Sherwin Williams store. Using 30 gallons of paint, students flooded the Millennium Student Center with noticeable remnants of paint on their clothes, hair and hands which gave the overall impression that they had a great time doing a good deed.

“I loved this event so much, and it would not have happened without those who worked on planning it. It is amazing and crucial to give back to our community. With so much negativity nowadays it is imperative to try and make a positive change in this world. Today UMSL did just that,” said Cameron Roark, President of Student Government Association, junior, criminology & criminal justice.

Altogether the volunteers completed over 300 hours of service and ended their day with a feast of pizza, salad and drinks in the Nosh provided by Sodexo.

Their next event will be Trunk or Treat held in the Millenniums Student Center on October 25, 2014 and they are in need of volunteers. Come out and serve and be sure to register on Orgsync.

© The Current 2014