(March 7, 2017) On Saturday, March 4, more than 400 students, faculty and staff gathered on the steps of Student Union in the chill of the early morning for Treasure Savannah, Armstrong’s biannual day of community service in Savannah and Hinesville.
Spirits were high as students marked President Linda M. Bleicken’s last Treasure Savannah before she retires on June 30. To commemorate the moment, students surprised her by posing with letter cards reading “THANK YOU” on the front steps of Student Union. In addition, she was presented with specially embroidered Polo shirts for her and her husband, Carl.
President Bleicken, who started Treasure Savannah in 2010, emphasized the significance of the event to the Savannah community. Since its inception six years ago, the Armstrong community has contributed more than 12,000 hours of service to various local nonprofits.
“This is one of my favorite events of the year because it really says ‘thank you’ to the City of Savannah, who founded Armstrong in 1935,” she said. “’Thank you for giving us our start, and we owe a debt to you.’ This event is a way of acknowledging that and paying back.”
Following President Bleicken’s address, Armstrong’s Assistant Director of Student Life Allison Lyon dismissed site captains to lead students to the buses and out into the community.
“I love the opportunity this gives us to build relationships with the community, which has given so much to us,” said Lyon. “It really says ‘thank you’ to a community who gave us our start.”
Senior Early Childhood Education major Deanna Bailey, who returned as a volunteer for the fourth time, cited similar sentiments.
“Armstrong has really given me a sense of home in Savannah,” she said. “Being able to give back to the community and to Armstrong is like helping them help me.”
Volunteers visited a dozen locations across Savannah and Hinesville. Some students aided Keep Savannah Beautiful by mulching a playground and repainting park signs while others cleaned and organized Salvation Army’s warehouse and food pantry. Volunteers also picked up pinecones and cleared walkways across Armstrong’s campus and assisted Union Mission with an in-depth cleaning of The Starfish Café.
Additionally, a team of students from the Armstrong Liberty Center in Hinesville worked to establish a public fruit garden for the community to enjoy, assisted on the grounds at Second Chance Equine Rescue and volunteered at the Liberty Humane Shelter.
“We have a student population who is so willing to give their time,” said President Bleicken. “I’m so proud of each of them.”
Please enjoy the feature video below and be sure to visit our photo gallery for 2017 Treasure Savannah.