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Double Eagle gives back to soldiers overseas

Double Eagle Sarah Beth Todd (’11, MBA ’13) is no stranger to serving her community.

At various points throughout her academic career at Georgia Southern, Todd served as a University BUILD leader, SOAR leader, Southern Ambassador, Eagle Entertainment (now University Programming Board) publicity chair, and Habitat for Humanity Statesboro ReStore volunteer among her many other activities and services.

“I did a lot of different service work at Georgia Southern and felt like the University really helped me realize my passion for that,” said Todd. “Before even starting as a freshman at BUILD, I really got a taste of working for Habitat for Humanity right off the bat, and it made me want to get more involved.”

So it’s no surprise that just a few years later, Todd is continuing to serve by spearheading Georgia Power’s participation in The Bert Show’s “The Big Thank You” initiative.

A pricing analyst for the company, Todd has spent the last three years dedicating her time giving back to Georgia Power and her community. She is a Citizen of Georgia Power volunteer and embodies the spirit of the company’s motto, “We’re a citizen wherever we serve.”

In early 2016, Todd began encouraging her co-workers to participate in “The Big Thank You,” an initiative to send letters of gratitude to American soldiers stationed overseas. The letters are delivered annually on Thanksgiving week.

“I have family, some who have previously served and some who are currently serving in the military,” said Todd. “I find ‘The Big Thank You’ is a simple way to bring a lot of joy to someone’s life.”

Since starting the project, Todd said she has received emails from veterans who have expressed their gratitude for this project, often saying that receiving mail overseas is the best part of their entire week.

“One [veteran] recently told me the very first time he was deployed overseas was over Christmas,” she said. “Walking off a plane in the Middle East and receiving a sweet letter really meant a lot to him. He still has that letter to this day. The personal impact it has on people like that — that’s what got me engaged.”

In her first year leading the initiative, Todd helped collect 1,000 handwritten letters. She set a goal to increase the number of letters each year, and collected 50 more letters for 2017. Next year she intends to reach out even more in the community and send at least 1,500 letters to soldiers.

In addition to her efforts with “The Big Thank You,” Todd participates annually in the Georgia Power-sponsored Run For the Reason American Cancer Society relay. This three-day run from Georgia Power’s headquarters in Atlanta all the way to St. Simons Island is just another way Todd likes to give back.

“That race and the letter-writing campaign are truly my heart,” she said.

Todd is thankful every day for her time at Georgia Southern for helping get her started in her career and opened her heart to serving others wherever she can.

“My background is all sales and marketing, and Georgia Southern prepared me very well for my career,” she said. “From the endless job opportunities  on campus that gave me directly applicable work experience, to resume critiques and practice interviews I had ample opportunity to grow. Now my MBA is helping me with the financial and pricing aspect of what I’m currently doing.

“I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, and I attribute a lot of my success to my education and my experiences and my friends that I met at Georgia Southern. I couldn’t be prouder to be an alumna.”

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 118 degree programs serving 20,418 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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Posted in Graduate