“Being from Savannah, it means a lot to me to be able to contribute to my community.”

Armstrong Volunteers Treasure Savannah

Be sure to check out the slideshow below for a full visual recap of Fall 2011 Treasure Savannah!

The more than 500 Armstrong volunteers returned by bus to the campus around 12:30 p.m. on a recent Saturday, after providing community service at a dozen organizations around town. Many showed dirt stains on their clothes and climbed slowly up the stairs to the second floor of the Student Union, where lunch awaited. “I'm tired. They worked us hard,” said Aneesha Mack, a junior respiratory therapy major.

During most of the morning, Armstrong students, faculty, staff and alumni participated in the university's biannual Treasure Savannah Day of Service. Led by Armstrong President Linda Bleicken, the Armstrong volunteers got their hands dirty with cleaning, painting, sprucing up and gardening at places like Lake Mayer, Ronald McDonald House and Union Mission.

The West Broad Street YMCA alone saw more than 100 volunteers who helped with clean up and fall planting. CEO Peter Doliber, an Armstrong alumnus, was thrilled. “It's great for us. When you're running an organization in the inner city, money is always tight and when these guys come out is phenomenal. They do a month's work in three hours.”

Dressed in green T-shirts, the volunteers also provided service at Ambuc Park, Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah Urban Garden Alliance, Southside Fire Department and others. Teams of between 25 to more than 100 volunteers served at the various organizations. A growing Armstrong tradition, Treasure Savannah Day of Service was first introduced during President Linda Bleicken's inauguration week in fall 2010. The event is now held every fall and spring semester.

“Armstrong shares a long and rich history with the city and the region and Treasure Savannah Day of Service is a wonderful opportunity for our students, faculty, staff and alumni to celebrate that history and help Armstrong build stronger relationships with its community partners,” said Bleicken.”

The event also involved a food drive that benefited the Second Harvest Food Bank, which also saw Armstrong volunteers on Saturday who helped pack boxes with items destined for the needy.

Chris Nowicki, Armstrong assistant director of Student Union and Activities, coordinated the event. “Students have really jumped at the chance to dedicate one day each semester to give back to the community and go out and do the necessary work that is going to directly benefit the residents who are served by these organizations,” he said.

Aneesha Mack, the junior respiratory therapy major, and more than 20 of her classmates got work done at Tom Triplett Community Park in West Chatham County. The group repainted the entrance sign to the park, mulched garden beds and picked up litter. “We talked to people there who were very appreciative of what we were doing,” she said. “Being from Savannah, it means a lot to me to be able to contribute to my community.”