Doing Good with CCG- The BIG Event Recap

One of the most important parts of the University of St. Thomas (UST) mission statement is “all for the common good.” The Center for the Common Good (CCG) works hard to keep this statement in motion. Every year, the CCG puts together a full-day event titled The BIG Event, and that is exactly what it is. This year, we had a total of 124 volunteers attend 7 volunteer events throughout the Twin Cities. 

Warehouse Spring Cleaning with Catholic Charities
The Warehouse Spring Cleaning with Catholic Charities was very successful. “Best group ever!” exclaimed Mary Bachman, Director of Volunteer Services at Catholic Charities. “We will have smiles on our faces all day! They accomplished so much.” An extra special thank you goes out to Colin Geelan and Jake Hodge for their above and beyond work at the Warehouse Spring Cleaning Event.

Bike Collection and Unloading with Keystone Community Services and The Express Bike Shop
The Bike Collection and Unloading event with Keystone and The Express Bike Shop received over 200 bikes that will be refurbished by local youth and dispersed into the community. Jenna Novak, Bike Collection Committee Member, remarked, “We are so grateful for the overwhelming support received from the community– the bikes just kept coming!” Jenna Novak and Anna Check exceeded their duties throughout this event, so thank you ladies!

Food Sorting and Collecting with Tommie Shelf and Keystone
Another event that received support from the community was the Food Sorting and Collecting event with Tommie Shelf and Keystone. In addition to the many Tommies who donated food, at least 16 community members donated to the food drive. A total of 387 pounds of food for Keystone Community Services was collected. We are grateful to Paige Petersmeyer, Jack Stadler, and Michaela Wondrum for running this event.

Cafeteria Remodeling with Pillsbury United Communities
The Remodeling Cafeteria event with Pillsbury United Communities had an outstanding outcome. Ethan Neal, Director of Food Systems at Pillsbury United Communities, noted that the volunteers “got so much done… I was having to come up with tasks off the top of my head because they kept finishing things so quickly.” A shout out goes to Grace Gossen, Rabia Malik, and Kayla Mayer for their exceptional work at this event!

Loring Park Clean-Up in Minneapolis
The Loring Park Clean-Up was led by the Dougherty Family College in Minneapolis, which is the first time that a Minneapolis campus sponsored volunteer opportunity was included in The BIG Event, and certainly is not the last! A BIG thank you to Amy Kadrmas for organizing this event, and we cannot wait to see what opportunities the Minneapolis campus will include in future BIG Events!

River Clean Up with the UST Sustainability Club
With 39 volunteers showing up to help with the Mississippi River Clean-Up, this event took the title of being our biggest event of the day. This event was sponsored by the UST Sustainability Club and their advisor, Paul Hietpas, and included multiple superstar committee members, including Jennifer McKay, Lydia Thuras, and Tom Witte.

Mapping Prejudice with Dr. Yohuru Williams
With COVID still amidst, we wanted to offer a virtual volunteering opportunity, and that was the Mapping Prejudice event with Dr. Yohuru Williams. The volunteers for this event got to attend a lecture on redlining in the Twin Cities given by Dr. Williams from the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas.

As you can see from the recap above, The BIG Event has a BIG impact on the Twin Cities community, and the volunteers had a blast experiencing the UST mission statement first-hand. We encourage you to invite your student to contact the Center for the Common Good at if this is something you feel they would enjoy and benefit from. Volunteering is fun!

Written by Tommies Together Volunteer Center Intern, Katrina Riba.