TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Students from UT Tyler and Tyler Junior College came together Saturday morning to serve the community in what they call The East Texas Big Event.
During this event, students volunteered their time and services to local non-profit and other city organizations by helping them renovate certain areas. Some students picked up trash around downtown and at the creek in City Park. Other students painted traffic meters, flowerpots, and handrails, changed light bulbs, and cleaned windows for several buildings. According to UT Tyler Assistant Director for Student Engagement Camry Tharp, this was an activity that students were looking forward to because of the unusual year they have had.
“The students are looking for something to do,” Tharp said. “When we offer something up to them, they jump at it, and they want to be involved with something.”
One group of students was the UT Tyler women’s soccer team. They said they were excited for the opportunity because for them, it’s a way to say thank you for the fan support they receive.
“We call them our family, said Korey Cyr, a UT Tyler women’s soccer player. “If you come out and support us, you are one of us, and we just love them, and so we just like to show them that they mean something to us, and giving back is the best way to do that.”
For some of these non-profits who received help like Hand Up Network, that extra time given back by these students means everything whether it’s big or small.
“It’s a lot of inventory to sort through so having them come in, they enjoy it, and it’s something different for them. They help us hang the clothes, it tremendously helps us,” said Lori Harris who is the Hand Up Network Retail Store Manager.
They hope to include more colleges and help more organizations in next year’s event.