PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- About 1,000 Sailors assigned to USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) participated in Truman's first Community Service Day Feb. 1.
The project provided about 4,500 community service hours to Hope Charitable Services, Keep Norfolk Beautiful and other area charities, parks and organizations.
"Today gave us a chance to leverage our organization and manpower to help out groups in the Hampton Roads area," said Cmdr. William Bulis, Truman's air boss, who volunteered at the Samaritan House in Virginia Beach, Va. "Teamwork is a huge part of this job. A lot of planning went into making this day happen."
Bulis worked with more than 150 Sailors at Samaritan House and surrounding Virginia Beach locations.
Truman participates in community service projects regularly. However, the crew set a goal to give 25,000 community service hours this year. The ship plans to hold a Community Service Day once a month to help achieve its goal.
"We are proud to be here helping the Hampton Roads community," said Operations Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Nakisha Joseph, assigned to Truman's operations department, who helped replace mulch at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. "The Community Service Day is really all about teamwork, which is what we are all about on Truman."
Truman Sailors enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the community, said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Tataiana Garner, assigned to Truman's combat systems department, who helped with interior painting at Toras Chaim Elementary School.
"It's really great for us, and it increases morale," said Garner. "The [community service projects] allow us to work off the ship and in a different environment."
"It's just a great feeling to know that the Navy is part of our community, and not only is this an organization that protects us and keeps us safe, but it's also an organization that is dedicated to preserving the community and making the communities they work in better," said Mordechai Loiterman, principal of Toras Chaim Elementary School in Portsmouth, Va.
More than 100 Sailors painted walls, cleaned the soccer field and spoke with children at the elementary school.
"I feel a tremendous debt of gratitude to Truman Sailors," said Loiterman.
Truman is undergoing a docking planned incremental availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard to conduct maintenance and refurbish shipboard systems.
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