Nearly 2,000 Volunteers Expected for TEAM Buzz, Community Service Day

This Saturday, approximately 1,900 Georgia Tech students, faculty, staff and alumni will lend a helping hand through 58 volunteer and community service projects around Atlanta and in selected cities across the country. It's all part of TEAM Buzz, Georgia Tech's student-run volunteer service day.

"I think it's important to give back," said Tech alumnus Mike Mattias. "We're so blessed with what we have. It's nice to step back and help people who didn't have the same opportunities we did."

Mattias has been volunteering with TEAM Buzz for the past five years. Even though he graduated from Tech in 2001, he still comes back every year to do a house painting project. This year, he'll be working with a group of volunteers at Charis Community Housing to paint the exterior of a house.

Coming on the heels of Hands On Atlanta Day, TEAM Buzz gives participants a chance to extend the generosity many of them practiced in one of Hands On Atlanta's 200 community projects earlier this month.

Not content to just help out Atlantans, alumni of Georgia Tech are heading up volunteer service projects in cities like Washington, D.C., Houston, San Francisco and Dallas.

This year marks the seventh year TEAM Buzz has sprung into action. The project was started by then-student Tony Chan, who gathered 1,200 volunteers for 30 projects in the first year.

Among the projects this year are volunteering at elementary school carnivals, painting and gardening projects at several Boys' and Girls' Clubs, repairing bikes to donate to kids and preparing meals for the elderly and people with medical disabilities.

For many students, TEAM Buzz marks the first time they've done community service. Their experience at this event often leads them to make volunteering a regular activity, said Katie Twist, steering committee chair of TEAM Buzz.

"I'd never really done community service before I came to college. It's really great to know you're helping someone and it's great to be around people who value the same thing,"

Since participating in her first volunteer event at TEAM Buzz four years ago, Twist has participated in a number of community service activities, including Hands on Atlanta Day. Twist hopes this year's projects spur others to do the same.

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