Led by students, the event is part of a national movement to make a difference in communities across the country

More than 10,800 total community service hours were completed March 29 during this year's UNT Big Event, part of a nationally recognized community service project.

The Big Event began in Texas in 1982 and has been held at UNT since 2011. Since it began, the event has spread to 110 U.S. colleges and universities and to international schools in Australia, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, and Spain. UNT's event is coordinated by the Center for Leadership and Service.

The Big Event provides an opportunity for students and alumni to join together for a county-wide day of service. Volunteers from 138 student organizations, as well as individuals, faculty, staff, and alumni did everything from cleaning up highway and street trash to working with children and senior citizens at 70 different locations on and off campus.

Sociology Senior Briana Crowe picked up trash at local parks.

"Volunteering makes me feel special," she says. "It's really early but at the end of the day when it benefits the community, it's worth it."

The feeling volunteers get from helping their community is one of the reasons the event is such a success.

"Having thousands of people serving together truly impacts the volunteers as well as in the places where they serve," says Amy Simon, director of the Center for Leadership and Service. "The Big Event is a way to give thanks to Denton and our community partners and allows us an opportunity to be a good neighbor."