By Jess Kean, Staff Writer
Armstrong celebrated its 75th anniversary five years ago. Founded during the Great Depression, the college was able to flourish due to contributions from members of the Savannah community.
In 2010, students, staff and alumni decided that it was time to say thank you to the city of Savannah by creating Treasure Savannah: a day of community service which helps build connections between Armstrong and the surrounding area.
This year Treasure Savannah was held Saturday, Oct. 17. Though participation has remained steady since the event’s first year, assistant dean of student life, Kate Steiner, noted that this fall’s event saw a generous increase in participants.
Volunteers gathered for check-in at 7:15 a.m. and were split into 12 groups to be distributed at different sites. The volunteer sites aimed to cover different areas of Savannah, randing from downtown to Armstrong’s Liberty Center campus.
Groups spent the day cleaning, landscaping, and refurbishing different locations once arriving at their site.
Imani Mtendaji, a member of the Neighborhood Association and a contributing host of Treasure Savannah’s “Keep Savannah Beautiful” said, “This is our home. This is our city. Every little contribution makes the whole community better.”
Aside from giving back to the city of Savannah, many people feel that this event helps Armstrong grow closer as a campus.
“I think it makes a difference in Savannah, but I hope it makes a difference in our student’s lives. Being able to serve others serves a need our students have to give back to the community,” Armstrong president, Dr. Bleicken, said.
After hours volunteering at different sites, the groups returned to campus for a luncheon. Many students agreed they were appreciative of the opportunity to volunteer.
Bemo Itoe, freshmen, volunteered at the Lake Mayer site where volunteers spent the morning cleaning up and placing mulch around the tree beds throughout the park.
“It was nice doing it with my friends and meeting new people. We accomplished more than we thought,” Itoe added.
Registered organizations who receive volunteer help from Armstrong differ each year. The university was able to volunteer at the Salvation Army for the first time this year. Students could also choose to work at at the local YMCA, Habitat for Humanity and the Azalea Nursing Home.
Armstrong continues to encourage groups to register, hoping to see more participation in Treasure Savannah’s coming years.
“I think our students really understand the importance of giving back to the community,” Steiner noted.
Bonita So, a sophomore, said, “Armstrong State is a small campus. But seeing everyone come together makes you have more pride in your school.”