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Picking up trash, raking, and cleaning up the community.

These are three things that typically don't come to mind when you think about Iowa State's VEISHEA celebration.

Co-chairs for the event say giving back is exactly what VEISHEA is all about.

"I think it's a really great opportunity for groups and organizations in the community and on campus to come together and make a positive difference,” said Morgan Hopp, an Iowa State student.

Nearly two thousand volunteers participated in community service projects.

Some picked up trash on campus as part of “Keep Iowa State Beautiful” while others went into the neighborhoods getting rid of everything from plastic to old car parts.

That was part of “Stash the Trash".

"Stash the Trash is trash pick up all over the Ames community,” said Hopp.

Volunteers like Cullon Buford spent four hours working to renovate a YMCA lodge in north Ames.

"My group was the trailblazer group. We cleaned trails, built steps, and built bridges a little bit,” said Buford.

The projects were a group effort between Iowa State students, faculty, and the Ames community.

The hard work is sure to be appreciated when alumni make their way back to Ames in less than two weeks for parades, cherry pies, and a week-long celebration of Iowa State.