NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Students of Stephen F. Austin University took time out of their studies to gave back to the Nacogdoches community.
During its annual Big Event, students performed various service projects across the county to lend a hand.
"It usually takes me about two weeks, if that's all I'm doing is just raking," said Barbara Stewart, looking at her big yard.
Stewart said now that she's older, she no longer can move as fast as she once could.
"I still get up in the morning and think I'm 30-years-old and I can go and toss hay bales and I know I can't anymore," Stewart said.
This year's event drew in more than 2,000 students
Caitlin Cummins, who is pursuing her Master's Degree said she wasn't prepared for the physical labor of raking for more than 5 hours, but in the end the group collected 55 trash bags full of leaves.
Cummins explains giving back to the community breaks misconceptions people attach with students such as being lazy or even apathetic.
"Coming out to the community and doing this work really helps to not just break down that (negative) image but also show that students are really good. We do like to give back," Cummins said.
Organizers said this year students offered their help not only from sprucing up yards, but also cleaning windows, assembling a treadmill to even painting a few walls.
Stewart said she's grateful for the extra hands.
"They just don't know how much I appreciate them." Stewart said.
Residents can participate in the Big Event next year. Click here to learn more.