More than 1,200 Augusta University students, employees and their family members volunteered during this year’s Virtual Days of Service events.
Tina Baggott, associate vice president of Volunteer Services and Community Engagement, said more than 200 service teams worked together on 51 projects for 25 community nonprofit organizations.
“We are so excited with the results of this year’s Virtual Days of Service,” Baggott said. “In such a challenging year, the AU family stepped up in big way to support those in our community who need it most. Even when things seem dark, the Jaguar spirit of service continues to shine brightly.”
The Aiken SPCA was among several organizations that received donations from multiple teams. Donations included more than 250 pounds of pet food and supplies; 500 decorated bags for the Doggie Bags Project; 260 cat toys for the Cat Treat & Catnip Toy Project; 60 blankets for the No-Sew Pet Blankets Project; and 70 bandanas for the “Adopt Me” Pet Bandana Project.
“The SPCA Albrecht Center is beyond grateful for the immense time and effort AU’s students put into their Day of Service projects, and we are humbled that they chose to give back to the homeless animals in our care,” said Claire R. Grimes, communications director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare in Aiken.
“As a nonprofit organization, we rely solely on the generosity and compassion of our community, and Augusta University has shown incredible kindness. Thank you to all that were involved in this project, for showing animals that may have never known kindness from humans that they are loved, and for giving them a taste of comfort and hope until they find their forever homes.”
E-flyers were designed to help promote pet adoption for Augusta Animal Services, which also received more than 150 pet towels and washcloths and more than 150 pet food items.
The Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home received more than 400 “Red, White and Blue Goose” bags that contained comfort items for senior veterans.
“Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home has been a proud participant of the AU Day of Service project for several years and we are touched by the heart and effort that each volunteer puts forth,” said Heather D. Nichols, director of activities. “This year has been so unusual in many ways while embracing the addition of social distancing, masks, additional sanitation, and video chats as a new normal. The AU volunteers really showed up for our veterans with the Virtual Days of Service.
“We are humbled by the outpouring of generosity, compassion, and care that was packed into every ‘Red, White, and Blue Goose’ bag. We are honored to have received over 400 total bags for our veterans. This is astonishing and could not have been accomplished without the AU family.”
The Children’s Hospital of Georgia received $428 in toys, more than 600 crafts and 255 Christmas stockings, and Augusta University Health’s Patient- and Family-Centered Care team received 66 masks, 152 blankets and more than $600 for the Butterfly Cart, the Comfort Cart and patient celebration care items.
Volunteers collected 932 pounds of trash from CSRA Parks and waterways as part of the Savannah Riverkeeper’s Clean Up Project.
Open Paws Food Pantry had more than 780 pounds of food and comfort items donated for Augusta University students. Softball coach Melissa Brocato and her team were looking for a way to use their social media platform to help out while still having a chance to interact with people.
“Realizing that Day of Service would look a little different than it has in previous years, the girls looked for an opportunity that might still allow them to have some interaction with people on campus and in the community,” Brocato said. “They suggested a couple of options and after talking it through, they decided to set up some tables in the JSAC and collect food donations for our Open Paws Food Pantry. It was a great opportunity to also use our team social media to get more info out about the food pantry on campus in hopes that any students who follow us would utilize the pantry if needed. I hope that we’ll get to do it again in the spring.”