Be sure to check out all the photos from the event at the bottom of this story!
Treasure Savannah Takes it to the Streets
More than 300 students, faculty, staff and alumni turned out early Saturday morning in a sea of green T-shirts for Treasure Savannah, Armstrong's day of service. As teams gathered on the steps of the Student Union for photos and assignments, President Linda Bleicken provided some history around the event.
”Armstrong was founded in 1935 by the City of Savannah, and today is an opportunity for us to give back to the city. What's more, it's actually a way that we can give back to each other as we go out today to make better the place that we call home — both our campus and our community,” she said.
Volunteers went in waves to lend a hand to organizations across the community. More than 130 Armstrong volunteers arrived in Johnson Square to help the City of Savannah launch the Great American Spring Clean-Up on Bull and Broughton Streets.
“The turnout of Armstrong students is unbelievable,” said Joe Shearouse, with the City of Savannah Citizens Office, who directed teams that would pick up trash and mulch around trees downtown.
Student Khristina Williams was happy to be part of the effort. “I hope this inspires others to clean up, too,” Williams said. “This is where we all live.”
Robert Gregerson, interim dean of Armstrong's College of Science and Technology couldn't agree more. “Treasure Savannah (named by Armstrong students) is the perfect name for this day. It's our opportunity to show appreciation for the place where we live and work,” he said.
Gregerson and more than 50 others worked on gardening and painting projects at Union Mission. For Armstrong students working there, the day turned out to be a learning experience as well.
“I had no idea there were over five thousand homeless people in Savannah. Union Mission helps them to read, fill out applications and find jobs,” said freshman Carlyne Stokes. Frances Carter, president and CEO of Union Mission, was glad for the opportunity to educate the students, as well as for the extra hands.
“Armstrong students bring a burst of energy; it's amazing how quickly they can buzz through a project. They are always genuinely interested and take enlightenment away that will stay with them,” Carter adds. “That's the Armstrong way.”
Other volunteers worked at the West Broad Street YMCA, Hunter Army Airfield and with painting projects on campus.
Event organizer Chris Nowicki, assistant director of Student Union and activities, was pleased with the turnout. “This is an event that brings together our faculty, staff, students and alumni to make a difference together in this community. The energy among the volunteers is awesome!”
Treasure Savannah was started during the university's 75th anniversary celebration in fall of 2010, and has become a much-anticipated event each semester since.