Students make big difference with community service

Mark Feuerborn

Washburn University sent students out the morning of April 22 into the Topeka community to lend a helping hand in the school’s sixth annual Big Event.

Students were sent to various locations and helped organizations including Big Brothers and Big Sisters, The Villages, the Helping Hands Humane Society and Hillcrest Community Center.

Volunteers at Hillcrest took charge of renovations and trash removal on the community center’s playground. Travon Graves (top left) laid mulch down surrounding the playground equipment, while Patricia Dahl (top right) cleaned the pavement.

Other students visited The Villages, a 400-acre nature preserve that nurses injured animals and provides residential therapy for at-risk youth. Big Event volunteers were sent out into the preserve to remove honeysuckle plants that invaded the property. Kristin Huffman (middle left) took charge of stacking the cut plants into burn piles, while Wyatt Robinett, Jensen Moore and Isaac Han (middle right) used weed cutters to shear the landscape of the undesirable growth.

At the Helping Hands Humane Society, students had a chance to help some furry friends. Andrea Stitt (bottom left) sits and examines a pile of toys as her fellow volunteers funnel more from sorting buckets.

At the end of the Big Event, volunteers (bottom right) returned to campus, treated to a barbecue lunch by the Student Activities and Greek Life team for a job well done.