BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) More than 8,000 Virginia Tech students and staff took part in service projects around Blacksburg Saturday.
Virginia Tech students and faculty are saying 'thank you' during the school's annual Big Event. One group helped to beautify an elementary school.
"Its warming because it shows like how much of a community Blacksburg really is and its really special to get to help that out," Virginia Tech student Emily Vinchiarello said.
And the residents notice these student's efforts.
"It's so exciting to see so many volunteers come out and give back to the school," Stephanie Sedor, of Harding Avenue Elementary, said.
Not only are Hokies helping the community in Blacksburg, 41 alumni chapters around the country are serving their communities too.
"Texas A&M founded the Big Event, they did it about 35 years ago so we picked up on that tradition about 16 years ago, the underlying purpose is simply to say 'thank you,'" Virginia Tech student Abbey Brainard said.
A big thank you with clippers and shovels, giving a helping hand and connecting to the people Blacksburg.
"It really is like an inclusive community here," Vinchiarello said.
The students ended the day with a total of more than 30,000 hours of service. The Big Event allowed all Hokies to live out Tech's motto of "that I may serve."