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Students, volunteers gather for The Little Event to help nonprofits

Posted at 6:14 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 23:14:34-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Called the Little Event Tallahassee, students from Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College will be doing everything from helping nonprofits prepare food for people in need to clean up local gardens.

The event started three years ago and normally brings out about 500 volunteers.

With the pandemic, they had to scale things back to a little under 200 volunteers between 22 sites in Tallahassee.

Some of those sites include long-term health facilities, schools like Pineview Elementary, and even the Tallahassee Museum.

Each site will have a max of 10 people allowed to serve to keep social distancing.

Organizers believe they have good safety protocol to do service effectively.

"We've been working very closely with the schools, with health officials, and the sites to make sure that we're able to still make a huge impact with our service while also not jeopardizing the health and safety of any of our participants or the sites that we serve," said Tommy Capobianco, the co-executive director of the Big Event Tallahassee.

Sean Gabany is the coordinator for The Little Event, a smaller scale of The Big Event that takes place each spring.

"We just look at what the needs in the community are and we go there," said Gabany.

Their mission is service, no matter how big or small.

"We're doing some landscaping, we're helping out some schools doing some painting," said Philine Goldstein, the Student PR Director. "Some nursing and senior living facilities."

Those tasks just a few things that will be happening at the 22 sites they have set up throughout Tallahassee including the Tallahassee Museum and Elder Care Services.

But this year will be much different from COVID-19.

"We're limiting it to no more than ten at one site to accommodate social distancing," Capobianco said. "Masks will be worn by everyone involved. Social distancing will be adhered to as well."

For those who don't feel comfortable going into the community, they have virtual service projects as well.

"As for virtual, we're doing a little challenge card where participants will have a chance to do four out of the six options we provide them," said Capobianco.

All three colleges have assignments and this is the only Big Event Chapter that encompasses more than one college.

Although things have changed over the last seven months, they say there is no reason not to help your neighbor if you can.

"We have the opportunity to provide a direct impact to the community," Capobianco said. "We're actually going out to provide meaningful service to the community and I think that's what sets us apart."

They still hope to hold their Big Event Tallahassee in the spring, which normally brings out over 1,000 people.