TEAM Buzz sees project changes, trends

More than 1,000 volunteers will participate in this year’s TEAM Buzz, Tech’s annual campus-wide community service day. Taking place Saturday, Nov. 3, the event will mark the 16th annual morning of service.
According to Co-executive Program Director Michael Hodgson, TEAM Buzz is Tech’s largest community service event each year.
The event’s numbers are impressive, despite the effects of a decrease in Greek participants this year compared to last year’s turnout.
“Due to scheduling conflicts, we do not have the support from the Greek community driven by the Homecoming Philanthropy Competition drawing as many people this year,” Hodgson said.
There has also been a restructuring of the distribution of students into events as well. In the past, there have been several projects with relatively small groups of students, but TEAM Buzz seeks to create greater community impact by sending more students to certain projects.
Since 1997, students have organized the event and designed it to bring students, faculty, staff, alumni and local businesses together to serve the Atlanta community through a variety of projects.
Approximately 500 volunteers will be working in local parks raking, mulching and planting to help with the upkeep of these landmarks for generations to come. Other projects include working on maintenance of homeless shelters, senior homes, animal shelters and other facilities. TEAM Buzz gives the participants of each project group a chance to better understand the Atlanta community and gain some perspective on life outside of Tech.
“Tech’s motto is ‘Progress and Service.’ Looking around on a typical day, progress abounds. This is a day for the Tech community…to show that we have a strong dedication to service as well,” Hodgson said.
As a solitary event compared to the service-based presence of  other campus programs through the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement and organizations like MOVE, TEAM Buzz brings members of all groups together for a singular purpose once a year. Since TEAM Buzz is such a large event, it can be used to work with and get to know people of different service groups, and also to initiate other students’ interest in service projects.
“Not only are we building the local community, but also the Tech community through our interactions with one another,” Hodgson said.
TEAM Buzz’s impact on the community has also expanded as alumni chapters organize TEAM Buzz events across the U.S. Service projects are also undertaken in France, China, Australia and Singapore.
The benefits are numerous for both the students who work to organize TEAM Buzz, as well as for the participants. Students get a chance to gain skills in leadership, event planning, web design and logistics, in addition to the joy of service and having a positive impact on the community around and outside of Atlanta.
“I initially got involved [thanks to] my passion for service, and I stayed involved because of the joy it has been to touch the lives of so many through my service as a member of the committee,” Hodgson said.