2016-11-12 Emory Cares International Service Day

From Tasha Messer, Sagamore Hills Elementary School Paraprofessional and parent volunteer:

MISSION POSSIBLE: Emory Cares Service Days PAST and PRESENT!

As we entered this past holiday season, Volunteer Emory participants joined us for their annual Emory Cares International Service Day. Quoting their alumni association’s website, “Emory Cares International Service Day unites alumni, students, staff, faculty, parents, and friends to give back to their local communities. By bringing together diverse members of Emory’s community with a common goal of service, Emory Cares strengthens the bond with each other and the University, and increases Emory’s visibility around the world.”

Under the direction of Volunteer Emory staff member Phuong Tran, and fine leadership of Emory student’s: Xavier, Lauren, and Nived; their large and lively bus load of student volunteers arrived. Included in the group were members of the Bengali Association for Students at Emory (BASE) and Kappa Sigma (ΚΣ) fraternity. Their already enthusiastic faces brightened up even more once they saw the adorable mini Emory t-shirts worn by Sagamore students with alumni as parents. This ethereal meeting of Emory’s past, present and future created a simpatico moment. After THEY…shared their admiration of another creative sign made by the talented hands of Sagamore student’s; and WE…offered our sincere gratitude for another generous donation of supplies from them; EVERYONE…separated into their teams and got straight to work! The mission, that everyone had chosen to accept, was to make Sagamore’s campus look fabulous as we transitioned into the Fall and Winter seasons.

Throughout the day community members from all walks of life, including Emory graduates across generations, popped in to lend a hand of support. Seeing and hearing the connections being made with one another in this natural environment, all while accomplishing a common goal, was pleasing. The sheer number of individuals meticulous caring for our school on this day revealed to anyone passing by that this was truly a special place. The honks, smiles, and waves of support were immeasurable and a friendly reminder of the good we were doing. Before we knew it, neighboring homeowners all around us were out beautifying their yards as well…action begetting  action!

Sagamore students were not only hard workers but gracious host as well. They made it their duty to personally hand out water bottles to refresh our volunteers. This gesture, of course, was followed by many appreciative “AWES”.  As groups completed their task, a few managed to squeeze in enough time for a quick game of soccer. Watching the Kappa Sigma fraternity brothers revisit their youth and just be free-spirited children again was a joyful sight to see. There was only one reported “boo-boo” that needed bandaging; thank you Phuong for holding back the tears like a big girl. This was all followed by the entire Emory team convening for their usual moment of reflection. These poignant words…”Fulfilled”, “INVIGORATED”, “Helpful”, “De-Stressed”, and “SATISFIED” summarized their feelings about the day. The ultimate finale was Emory Project Leader, Xavier Sayeed, keeping his promise to race a few eagerly awaiting Sagamore students…it was a tie! With over 100 Home Depot Lawn and Refuse Bags filled to capacity, EVERYBODY was a winner that day!

Presently, Sagamore Hills Elementary School has demonstrated exemplary dedication to service in our community. As a result, Emory has invited us to join them in honoring the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory with another day of service on our school campus. We, in turn, are inviting our entire Sagamore Hills Elementary School family (Faculty, Staff and ALL Club Members) to come out in support this effort. Please contact both Taylor Ackert (taylor@ackert.net) and Tasha Messer (tasha_messer@dekalbschoolsga.org) if you plan to attend.

Emory & SHES-MLK Day of Service
Monday, January 16, 2017
12:00 pm-3:00 pm
*Sagamore Hills Elementary Schools’ campus

Honorable mention for attendance at the 2016 Emory Cares International Service Day goes out to the following:

  • Emory Student Volunteers
  • The Bengali Association for Students at Emory
  • Kappa Sigma Fraternity
  • Mary Lawton Jones and Family
  • Shane & Olivia Spillet and Family
  • Dan Acker and Family
  • Gavin Messer and Family
  • Marin Karlowicz and Family
  • Ansley & Grady Ackert and Family
  • Henry & Charlie Farrell and Family
  • Laura & Cate Durbin and Family
  • Olivia McMahan and Family
  • Omandee & Kalana Karunanayake and Family
  • Major Aristotle Rabanal (Emory Alumnus)
  • J.C. McBee


Mrs. Tasha L. J. Messer
Edible Schoolyard Academy Alumnae 2016
Monarchs Across Georgia Certified
Captain Planet Project Learning Garden Liaison
Bachelors of Arts in Sociology
IRR SE Paraprofessional
Sagamore Hills Elementary School
1865 Alderbrook Road
Atlanta, GA 30345