Bright and early on April 13, a group of 15 KU Law students took time out of their busy study schedules to give back to the Lawrence Community with KU’s 3rd Annual Big Event.
The Big Event brings together students, faculty and staff volunteers to work at hundreds of local job sites throughout the community for a day of service. This year, the law students were assigned to three different houses to assist elderly homeowners.
As a law student, I believe it’s easy to become bogged down by upcoming finals, finding summer jobs, etc. It’s important to stay grounded and remember there are other things in life, outside of law school. KU gives students so many opportunities to de-stress from their schoolwork. Not only did the Big Event give us a perfect study break, but we were also able to give our time to help others.
My group was fortunate enough to help a retired Korean War veteran and his wife clean out their garage. They’ve lived in their house for more than eight years, and the garage desperately needed some TLC. For hours, we loaded up boxes and trashcans while talking with the homeowners. We learned about their marriage (married over 60 years!), their family, and their two cats.
At the end of a long day, covered in dust, the couple gave each of us a hug and told us if we ever needed anything, even a home cooked meal, they were only a few minutes away. We knew they truly appreciated our help. Not only did the couple have a clean garage, but everyone also had a great time getting to know each other. This couple and volunteering for the 3rd Annual Big Event will definitely be a memory I hold close to my heart.
Jackie Ratkey is a first-year KU Law student and secretary of the KU Public Interest Law Society.