Volunteers help storm clean up, renovations at Tybee Children’s Home

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga (WSAV) – Many homes and lots on Tybee Island came out lucky in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. That can surprisingly be said about Fresh Air Home, the century old summer camp for underprivileged or neglected children.

We ran into Patton Dugas at the Tybee fire department where he was dumping parts to an outdoor playground on a public dump. Turns out it was from the children’s camp Fresh Air Home.

“for a hundred and twenty years this camp has served families in difficulty in the Savannah area. some times economically disadvantaged, sometimes emotionally, sometimes military families there’s a wide range of children we serve,” says grounds committee chairman Susan Arden-Jolie at the Fresh Air Home.

Since hurricane Matthew, like every one else, the summer home was in need of service and the metro Savannah rotary was there.

“We’ve done a lot of work here previously so today was a lot about cleaning up and cleaning out.” says metro Savannah rotary club president Patton Dugas.

Volunteers cleared an old playground on the campus as well as cleaned debris. The camp has had to have more than four volunteers days in between their own work days for the Foebel circle that does upkeep on the camp. The children’s home sits along Tybee beach, but only had cosmetic damage more than actual destruction.

“I think everybody in Savannah got pretty lucky with this storm and an fresh air home is definitely a part of that, but it’s really important for us to move that mission forward for Fresh Air Home, ” says Dugas.

Their mission is to help kids rebuild or rehab from what may be a traumatic or unhealthy home life. Now it’s a mission to fix damaged pipes and century old gutters as well as renovate to ready for the next summer.

“We’re a working so group, we come out here and scrub and clean up so when we can get volunteer man power in here to help us do the work it’s beautiful.” says Foebel circle members Sherry Feathers.

The rotary plans to hold more weekend work days for the camp that fortunately is in it’s off season but still offers the camp open to groups like Bethesda in the spring.

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