CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - In an effort to say thank you to the community for it's ongoing support, Southern Illinois has scheduled "The Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service".
The inaugural event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 1.
Nearly 1,000 Salukis are signed up to take part in the biggest one-day service project in the history of SIU Carbondale.
The Big Event started in 1982 at Texas A & M University and has grown to over 100 campuses all over the world.
Laurie Bell, interim dean at SIU suggested SIU get involved after participating herself while working at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne.
"SIU Carbondale has a long history of volunteerism highlighted by he Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognizing SIU with their highly coveted Community Engagement Classification in 2015," Bell said. "The Big Event seemed like a natural addition to the great community engagement that was already happening at SIU."
Some of the organizations involved in The Big Event are Carbondale Main Street, Green Earth Inc., For Kids' Sake, the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, Keep Carbondale Beautiful, the Autism Society of Illinois, the Humane Society, Touch of Nature Environmental Center and local food pantries.
Volunteers also plan to plant flowers and trees on campus, make mats for the homeless, help with a benefit 5K, care for animals and their shelter, create birdhouses, make appreciation packs for firefighters and thank-you cards for veterans.
Updates of the day's activities will be posted, using #TheBigEvent, on Twitter @SIUC, as well as on Instagram and Snapchat @ThisIsSIU.