Pay It Forward club replaces CAB Community Service Committee

Originally published in The Globe on April 1

When Patty Sorg, Mackenzie Sugrue and Meredith Kubic heard the Campus Activities Board (CAB) community service committee wasn’t coming back next year, they decided to do something about it.

The three freshmen, who live within one floor of each other, decided to take their collective experience from CAB and their passion for doing good and create a new club, Pay It Forward.

“We wanted to keep the community service going, so we decided to start this club,” said Sorg, club co-president, in Lawrence Hall on Friday. “The three of us have such a strong belief in the world and a strong belief in ourselves and our fellow Point Park students. We want to make a difference while we’re here at college. We want to pay it forward.”

The freshmen joined the Community Service Committee last semester and hope to carry over some of the events they planned to their new club.

“We started this series called Bag It Forward,” said Kubic, club co-president, in Lawrence Hall on Friday. “It’s a type of assembly line where students and faculty come through and make bagged lunch, and then we deliver those to the homeless shelter.”

With their new club, Kubic hopes to make this event bigger and better.

“We’ve expanded it further, and now we’re doing a women’s shelter bag it forward event, a children’s bag it forward event,” Kubic said. “We hope to even expand that further for animal shelters or even further than that.”

The new club leaders see their freshmen status as a benefit rather than a hindrance.

“If anything, it helped that we’re freshmen because now we can oversee the club for the next three years instead of being a junior or senior and only being able to do it for a year,” said Sugrue, club vice president, in Lawrence Hall Friday. “It’ s going to help us solidify it and get more people, so when we do leave, it’s not going to go away in a year or two. It’ll hopefully stand the test of time.”

According to Sorg, Sugrue and Kubic, CAB has been extremely support of the new club springing from the old committee.

“Everyone’s really excited, everyone from CAB has just been so supportive,” Kubic said. “They’re very excited to see this club.”

“There are a lot of people rooting for us,” Sorg added.

Karen Mao, current Community Service Committee coordinator, is very confident in her committee members’ new club.

“They’re so ready,” said Mao in Lawrence Hall on Monday. “I feel like we’ve learned so much, even just this semester. We’ve created a lot of connections they’ll be able to take with them when they go on their own next year. It’s a great opportunity for them and for community service in general. They’re going to do a lot of great things.”

According to Mao, change is part of CAB’s larger rebranding. The Community Service Committee is going away, but it’s being replaced by the Pioneer Series Committee, which will offer students accessible, consistent programming. To keep up their community service, Mao said CAB committees will all be doing their own community service.

“The goal is for all committees to serve the community, which is so great versus just having one committee,” Mao said.

Mao became involved in community service almost by accident. Feeling antisocial and isolated after transferring, she had an epiphany.

“For me, I’d be happier knowing I’d had a positive impact on the world,” Mao said. “I filled out the CAB application on a whim then realized how much I wanted it in the interview. I’m really glad I’ve had this opportunity.”

Sorg has high hopes for the club and feels students are going to respond well to their goals and passion.

“I feel like we’re all on this Earth to change the lives of others, whether it be for one person or a whole group of people,” said Sorg. “Whether it’s just holding the door open for someone or it’s something greater than that, just the fact that you’re paying it forward through a really small act of kindness or a really big one.”

Kubic sees the smallest acts of kindness as a way to set off larger ones.

“It can be the simplest act,” Kubic said. “It’s solely for the benefit of others in the hopes that they will continue it. Like a chain reaction of awesome.”

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