GPA goes to work for Garden City


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GPA’s leadership team recently help to renovate a local home with the Garden City Housing Team. Find print quality images here.


Savannah, Ga. – April 30, 2018 – Volunteers from the Georgia Ports Authority leadership team put on their work gloves Saturday to assist with the rehab of a home in Garden City.

“We’re very excited for the opportunity to give back to our community by working with the Garden City Housing Team,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

The GPA volunteers tore out and replaced the kitchen subfloor of the Shaw Avenue home.

Lise Altman, GPA senior director of Human Resources, said the partnership with the nonprofit organization is one example of the outreach done by Georgia Ports workers.

“Our employees are actively involved in efforts across the region, from coordinating monthly food pantries to working with at-risk youth and generous support of the United Way and other charitable organizations,” Altman said.

Georgia Ports volunteers also scraped and painted the exterior of the home and – in honor of Arbor Day April 27 – planted a red maple in the homeowner’s yard.

Sharon Bethune, co-chair of the Housing Team, said the over-arching goal of the program is to help with quality of life issues that some residents are unable to address, either financially or physically.

“Even if it’s just cutting grass or painting a home; it’s something they want to do, but they can’t do it,” Bethune said. “They’re proud of their homes.”

She said in addition to helping residents feel better about the way their homes look in the community, the program helps to make their lives safer.

“We’ve done four wheelchair ramps in the last month,” Bethune said. “That’s been a critical need in the community.”

She said the Garden City Housing Team, a 501(c)3 staffed by volunteers, relies on help from community partners to complete the home safety and beautification efforts.

“We could not do what we do without our volunteer force across Chatham County, and really beyond that as well,” she said. “We are very grateful for the support that we receive. We’re very grateful that Georgia Ports partners with us in the community.”

Active for six years, the Housing Team has completed 68 projects to date, ranging from lawn care to painting, retiling bathrooms to roof repair.

On-site construction experts – including Garden City Mayor Don Bethune (Sharon’s husband) – oversee the work. Volunteers range in age from middle-schoolers to senior citizens, with skill levels ranging from basic to craftsmen.

“We’ll take everyone who is a willing body,” she said.

The group provides construction tools, but many volunteers also bring their own.

To learn about how to volunteer, or the application process to have work done on a home, contact the Housing Team at (912) 313-8295 or [email protected].

Find print-quality images of port operations here. Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017. 

For more information, visit, or contact GPA Chief Communications Officer Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855.