Armstrong Gives Back: Hundreds Volunteer During Treasure Savannah Day of Service

Macy Youngblood, a first-year rehabilitation sciences major, donned a pair of latex gloves and grabbed a plastic bag as she prepared to pick up trash and yard debris on Armstrong’s campus for Treasure Savannah, held in various locations throughout the city on March 7.

Joined by a group of her Sigma Alpha Tau sorority sisters, Macy participated in the Campus Clean-Up, volunteering her time to make sure that Armstrong facilities stay litter-free and beautiful.

Macy was happy to get a little bit dirty to help keep the campus clean. She saw Treasure Savannah as a great opportunity for students to volunteer and to give back.

“I think volunteering is really helpful for students to get into the community instead of being a recluse in their room,” she said. “Philanthropy is really big with [my sorority], so I wanted to come out and help.”

Hundreds of other students, faculty and staff also came out to help for the Treasure Savannah annual day of service. Each fall and spring semester, members of the Armstrong community volunteer a Saturday morning to give back to the community.

“The reason we began Treasure Savannah was because the city of Savannah founded Armstrong in 1935,” Armstrong President Linda M. Bleicken said during her opening address. “The city put up the money. It gave us the house that we used as a school for many years. So in 2010, we said to ourselves, ‘Let’s figure out way to go into the community and give back.’”

During Treasure Savannah, Armstrong students visit various locations throughout the city where they volunteer with a growing list of organizations. This year, Hinesville Rivers Alive, Azalea Land Nursing Home, Habitat for Humanity, Keep Savannah Beautiful, Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia Food Bank, the West Broad YMCA, Grace House Kitchen, Lake Mayer, Ambuc Park and Hoofs 4 Healing were served by the Armstrong community.

Karrie Henry, founder of the therapeutic equestrian nonprofit Hoofs for Healing, has had Armstrong students volunteer on her ranch for the past two years. She says she’s glad she can continue to count on Armstrong students, faculty and staff for help.

“It’s just wonderful to have all of these hands here to help us,” she beamed. “I’m so thankful that Armstrong is here.”

Organizations look forward to Treasure Savannah Day of Service each semester, happy to receive so much support from our university.

“The work that occurs on these Saturday mornings is more than these agencies could get done on their own in a month’s time,” said President Bleicken. “We are going to so many places that really can use our help.”

Michelle Ramos, a junior majoring in history, looks forward to our citywide day of service each semester.

“I think Treasure Savannah is a day where we show the city that the students in the area do care,” she said. “It’s good for morale and a lot is getting done.”

First-year student Rhonda Lemons decided to spend her first Treasure Savannah day at Azalea Land, giving fresh manicures to nursing home residents. She knows that nursing home staff work hard each day, and volunteering in their facility takes some of the weight off of their heavy load.
A nursing major, Rhonda enjoying the opportunity to volunteer in a setting in which she could one day serve professionally.

“I like working with people,” she said. “And being in a nursing home fits with my major. It gives me a chance to see what it’s like.”

Eugene Chua, in his senior year as a medical laboratory science major, also decided to try something new by volunteering at the West Broad YMCA helping to rearrange classrooms and replace old computers with brand new PCs.

“We are helping a lot of people around the community that we don’t always get to see,” he said.

As an international student from Vietnam, Chua is relatively new to Savannah. He enjoyed the chance to participate in Treasure Savannah to see more of the city.

“This is definitely one of the things that will get you off campus and exploring Savannah,” he raved. “The city supports our school in many ways, so this is one of the things that we can do to give back to our community.”