March is Gullah/Geechee Nation Volunteer Month. Hundreds of students converge on historic St. Helena Island, SC to visit the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition Center to receive orientation via De Gullah Root Experience Tour. After orientation, they participate in community service and transformational learning projects throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation. The main base for projects are in Beaufort and Charleston Counties, SC. However, in the eighteen years that the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition has led this effort, they have been able to assist in communities along the entire Gullah/Geechee Nation coastline. The projects range from assisting with the homes and yards of the elderly to environmental clean up and oyster bed restoration.
Students from across the world get to engage in work at De Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive, which is the only archive in the world totally dedicated to Gullah/Geechee history, heritage, and culture. Through this process, not only do they get to learn what is on the written pages, but they also have a chance to directly work with Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and to learn the human rights and land rights efforts that continue to go on in order for Gullah/Geechee culture to continue to exist and to thrive.
This year, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the Gullah/Geechee Angel Network will bring together community members and alternative spring break students in projects at the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition Center, the St. Helena Branch Library, the Penn Center, the Hunting Island Nature Center, and Yenna House. With the hundreds of students on the way, there is still room for more local community volunteers. Bring your civic group and become a partner in this annual effort. Email GullGeeCo@aol.com for more details.
As the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition’s motto states “Hunnuh mus tek cyare de root fa heal de tree.” The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition continues to provide the tools to help the next generation of people dig a little deeper into the roots of the culture to help the Gullah/Geechee fruits of the culture continue to grow.