College students, community members team-up to clean-up downtown Rock Island

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-- College students can sometimes feel like they're trapped in a bubble. Even at Augustana College, right in the heart of Rock Island.

But, that changed today. Members of Augustana's Greek life, college faculty, and neighborhood volunteers teamed up to clean-up downtown Rock Island this morning... a place they all call home.

In all, 65 volunteers turned out, armed with grabbers and gloves, as well as bags, buckets, and brooms.

Kyra Biarkis was one of those volunteers. She was up bright and early, and told News 8, "I know it's an early morning, but a lot of the members of my sorority are really interested in and passionate about service so it just fells really nice to give back to our community and help out the environment."

Jenn Darby, Greek Council Chair, helped lead the charge. She says that as a member of Greek life and as an Augustana students, "It's important to come out and show the Rock Island community that we're here to help and that we're here to service this community that's helped us."

Augustana Professor Jason Koontz explained, "Getting our students out in the local community, working with community members is such an important part of the overall mission of a liberal arts college."

Koontz added that while academics and studying usually stand in the way, "When the community identifies a need like, "Hey- let's go pick up trash and make our community a little nicer for everyone,'" it's important students step up to help.