More than 200 UGA Public Service and Outreach employees planted flowers, organized books, walked dogs and reconstructed a middle school garden in Athens-Clarke County as a part of the 2019 PSO Day of Service.
It was the fifth Day of Service event, held annually on the Friday before Thanksgiving.
UGA faculty and staff participated in service projects at 14 sites, four of them offering two shifts, contributing about 385 hours of service to the local community. Seventy-five PSO employees also contributed to a supply drive for the Athens Area Diaper Bank and for programs in UGA’s Archway Partnership communities, collecting nearly 2,000 diapers, 328 combs, 113 bars of soap, 90 rolls of toilet paper, and other items, like shampoo, shaving cream, razors, band-aids, and games and puzzles.
“While everyone in PSO is committed to UGA’s outreach mission across the state, our faculty and staff personally commit hundreds of hours volunteering right here in Athens,” said Jennifer Frum, vice president for Public Service and Outreach. “Our PSO Day of Service is an example of how we pull together as a united team to serve our Athens community.”
On the Day of Service, employees cleared debris from Cleveland Road Elementary School and put in a new pollinator garden at Coile Middle School. They sorted books for Books for Keeps and cleaned cages and exercised pets for adoption at the Athens Pets Animal Shelter. They planted 22,000 daffodils along the Highway 10 Loop at Lexington Road and filled bags with fixings for holiday meals for older adults and families, many of them grandparents raising grandchildren. PSO faculty and staff also partnered with Project Safe and the Athens Community Council on Aging to offer a free pop-up thrift sale for seniors.
Assisting with Turkeypalooza, sponsored by the student-run UGA Campus Kitchen organization that addresses food insecurity in Athens, has been a pre-Thanksgiving tradition for years.
Ramatulai Jagne, a Public Service and Outreach Student Scholar from Clayton County, joined other 2019-20 Student Scholars helping with Turkeypalooza this year.
“I think this is important because food insecurity is a big problem in Athens,” Jagne said. “So being Public Service and Outreach Student Scholars, we really want to help combat that, so this is a big way that we can’t help.”
Kelly Simmons Director of Communications