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First Virtual BIG Event a BIG Success

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 7, 2020) -- UAlbany's first virtual BIG Event on Saturday mobilized several thousand students, faculty, staff, alumni and family members to help out during a designated day of community service.

Martha Asselin, director of The Center for Leadership and Service, said that almost 1,300 volunteers registered on the EngageUAlbany platform and hundreds more joined via social media.

"As is typical of our UAlbany Great Dane community, we came together, we accepted the calls requesting volunteers and we served our communities, making an enormous impact as we engaged in service online, virtually and remotely," Asselin said.

Volunteers assisted the community in more than 50 projects, many of which are ongoing activities that support surrounding communities. Due to the COVID-19 situation, the event was quickly transformed from in-person service last year to social media, online and Zoom training sessions for new volunteers this year.

Many service projects and needs are still ongoing.

  • Over 200 individuals participated in at least one of the four community service information and training sessions hosted via Zoom conferencing. These sessions included: The UAlbany Massry Community Service Fellows Program for Summer 2020; UAlbany Votes Ambassador Program; UAlbany's Fill-It Forward Sustainability Program with Cupanion; and Women Igniting Change.
  • 41 teams and 254 participants committed to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's (AFSP's) virtual Out of the Darkness Walk.

To date, $12,877 has been raised toward a goal of $13,000 for the Out of Darkness Walk. UAlbany is sure to exceed all expectations as donations to the AFSP walk are being accepted through June.

Other examples of the wide range of projects included joining the ACTNOW climate action movement, and making a COVID-19 face mask with the MoonCatcher Project.

"Thank you to all who donated your time, talent and treasures to this virtual day of community service," Asselin said. "We could not have done this without you. Our UAlbany community sprinkled kindness in our Capital Region, around the state of New York, and beyond."

Asselin noted that Alumni Association Executive Director Lee Serravillo rallied hundreds of alums to participate. This is in addition to the total of 1,300 volunteers with albany.edu addresses. Family and friends pitched in as well.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.