Agnes Scott College alumnae kicked off the first Scotties Give Back event in Atlanta by volunteering at Sweetwater Mission in Austell, Ga. Scotties Give Back is a new national volunteering initiative started by the alumnae of the Atlanta-based college. Photo courtesy of Scotties Give Back.

Agnes Scott alumnae give back to local communities

A new coast-to-coast initiative started by the alumnae of Atlanta’s Agnes Scott College is hoping to make a difference across the country for those in need. Scotties Give Back mobilized the college’s alumni network to volunteer in their local communities.

More than 300 alumnae and 60 current students participated in a variety of public service projects during October as part of the first “Scotties Give Back” initiative. The Atlanta area was the site for nine of the projects, with others organized by alumnae from Baltimore to Dallas to Seattle.

“Scotties Give Back was created to focus on all the good we can do for each other and celebrate the role that community plays in the mission of our college,” said President Elizabeth Kiss. “Community engagement is one of the many ways we achieve our mission of educating students to think deeply, live honorably, and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.

RELATED: 5 places your kid can volunteer this Thanksgiving in Atlanta

Here in the metro area, a group of alumnae gathered in Austell at Sweetwater Mission to run the food pantry and serve families in need. The food pantry was redesigned last year and is unique in offering a “client-choice” food selection in a market style atmosphere. Alumnae volunteers assisted families as they shopped and selected food including canned and dry goods, breads and sweets, frozen meats and fresh produce. Alumnae also stocked shelves. In the span of four hours, the group served 40 families - 125 people of which almost half were children - and distributed over 2,000 pounds of food.

Agnes Scott College alumnae helped to sort food at Sweetwater Mission’s food market in Austell, Ga. Scotties Give Back is a new national volunteering initiative started by the alumnae of the Atlanta-based college. Photo courtesy of Scotties Give Back.

Other projects included building a Habitat for Humanity house and packing more than 30,000 meals through the Gue Pardue Hudson Center for Leadership and Service on campus.

Across the nation, Scotties Give Back participants prepared 30,000 meals; sorted three tons of food; cleaned and maintained three parks; donated 300 books; made 80 blankets; packed 5,500 diapers; created 386 art projects; made 50 school totes; served over 80,000 people and more.

When asked why this volunteer effort was important to her, Agnes Scott alumna and longtime Sweetwater Mission volunteer Carla Pierce explained that, “The idea of Scotties Give Back originated through discussions amongst college leaders including alumnae that we as a community could be out in the world doing something meaningful and uplifting together. Because as students at Agnes Scott, we learned about giving back and we carry that forward into our everyday lives.”

In other news:The third annual Harvest for a Cure took place Oct. 20 at Mason Fine Art and raised $350,000 to benefit the Georgia Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, an organization that supports research to help treat and end MS globally.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Who’s doing good? Each Tuesday, we write about charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event for us to cover, contact Devika Rao at