IPFW's annual BIG Event has grown even bigger.
The university hopes about 1,000 volunteers will take part in the second annual day of community service from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday throughout Fort Wayne. The participation total would be about double the number of people as last year.
As of 1 p.m. Friday, more than 870 people had signed up to help, said Krissy Creager, director of student life. Participation is limited to IPFW students, staff, faculty and alumni.
Volunteers are asked to register by Wednesday, but walk-ins also will be accepted Saturday morning.
IPFW will be one of about 75 universities holding BIG Events, Creager said. The idea started in 1982 at Texas A & M University and has spread gradually around the country.
A former IPFW student leader searching for a way to give back to the community suggested the university join in the BIG Event, Creager said.
“We did so with the intention to get at a need we have to further connect to the Fort Wayne community,” she said. IPFW publicity materials describe the day as “One BIG day of service as a thank you from IPFW to the Fort Wayne community,” she added.
After a check-in at 8:30 a.m. and a few words by IPFW Chancellor Vicky L. Carwein, volunteers will board buses and vans transporting them to one of the approximately 45 work sites — an increase from 32 sites last year, Creager said. They will help nonprofit agencies with painting, landscaping, minor repairs, office work, cleaning and more.
About 25 of the nonprofits are new this year, which allows IPFW to help an array of agencies over the years.
Creager said BIG Event volunteers will be easy to see: They'll wear T-shirts in the university's bright blue hue.
“Our goal is to paint Fort Wayne IPFW blue!” Creager said.