Members of the Southeastern Louisiana University sorority Alpha Sigma Tau replanted the veterans’ garden at Holy Ghost Catholic School as part of the university’s community service project The Big Event on April 6. Pictured are, from left, Samantha Messina, of Loranger; Taylor Roberts, of Ponchatoula; Nina Begue, of Luling; and Desiree Acosta, of Destrehan.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Southeastern Louisiana University students put in a day of community service in Hammond and nearby communities on April 8 as part of the university’s The Big Event.

Sponsored by the Student Government Association, The Big Event is intended to give students the opportunity to help the communities and organizations that support SLU, said senior Myranda Triche, of LaPlace, student coordinator for the project.

“The Big Event is an opportunity for Southeastern students to say thanks to the city of Hammond and other area communities for the support they show for our university,” Triche said.

This is the seventh year the SGA has sponsored The Big Event.

Sending the group out with a “Lion Up” sign of encouragement, SLU President John L. Crain told the students that their efforts send a message that SLU cares and seeks to make the communities a better place to live.

The students included individual volunteers and representatives of student organizations, fraternities and sororities. They worked at sites such as the Iowa Neighborhood Association, several fire stations, St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store and Holy Ghost Catholic School.

Jobs included beautification and landscaping projects, cleanup efforts in downtown Hammond, cleaning and polishing the city’s fire engines, sorting materials and conducting inventory for nonprofit organizations.

“This is the first time we’re part of The Big Event, and it’s wonderful seeing these students working to help their community,” said Kristen Rimmer, manager of the Fuller Center ReUse Store, a faith-based organization that recycles construction supplies, building materials, and other items and depends heavily on volunteer help. “The students have helped us organize our rooms and are helping with some of the painting.”