‘Give Big’ or Go Home: Big Ten Network Inspires Big Volunteering

What comes to mind when you think of college athletics? Intense practice? Rivalries? Tailgating? I bet you don’t think of volunteering as a big part of college sports. Big Ten Network is determined to change that.

At the beginning of September, Big Ten Network launched the Give Big campaign to highlight and inspire service and sacrifice among Big Ten community members.  The welcome on the Give Big website really says it all:

Many of the qualities that make Big Ten teams successful on the field are the same that help members of the Big Ten community make a difference off the field. Dedication, hard work, putting in the time and working together toward a higher goal are what makes the Big Ten community special.

Stories of Big Ten Members giving back will be showcased on Big Ten Network’s weekly program, “Big Ten Tailgate,” and highlighted on the campaign website.  You can tune in to hear about driven athletes like these:

  • John Heineman, the University of Iowa grad who swam the English Channel for a free medical clinic, and got Obama to donate to his campaign.
  • CeCe Marizu from the University of Illinois co-founded a national nonprofit that involves student athletes in service work overseas.
  • Sue Paterno, a Penn State alum and wife of the football coach, who is a long-time champion of the Special Olympics.

Volunteering is good for the mind, the soul, and the body, and the Give Big campaign wants all of us to get involved, as well.  Individually, volunteering can make you more focused and more driven.  Nonprofits often find that athletes are wonderful champions of sports-related volunteering.

Make sure your community members know “How to Give Big.” There are tools and ideas on the Give Big website for how to find ways to give back, including the VolunteerMatch SearchLite integration, which allows you to search for volunteer opportunities right on the Give Big page.  And as a member of the VolunteerMatch nonprofit community, you can get your cause featured as a way for the Big Ten community to volunteer by making sure your listings are up-to-date.

So update your listings today, and get your community involved!  Join the Big Ten Network and VolunteerMatch – after all, everyone can Give Big.

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