Volunteers hope to spread kindness

Rachael Clauson

In an attempt to boost good karma on campus, the Volunteer Center is starting the Pay it Forward project at NMU.

The Volunteer Center is promoting the opportunity to do random acts of kindness for someone on campus or in the community with this project.

There are cards available until April 13 at the library and residence lobbies that serve as reminders when being out in the community, but students can continue the project indefinitely.

On these cards are blank lines for zip codes to prove how far one act of kindness can travel.

“It can be anything as simple as helping your neighbor carry groceries inside or paying for coffee for someone in line behind you or paying for someone’s gas,” said junior secondary education major and Volunteer Center Assistant Coordinator Lydia Stuef.

The Volunteer Center provides a list of ideas for Paying It Forward that include collecting cans and donating the money to a good cause or letting someone cut you in line.

“Write your zip code on the back of the card and then leave the card with the people you are doing the acts of kindness for,” Stuef said. “If they get out of Marquette, who knows how far it can spread.”

The Volunteer Center’s goal for this program, like ‘Make a Difference Day’, is to help better the community in small but significant acts.

Although this is the first year Pay It Forward is coming to NMU’s campus, Stuef said there is no time when you shouldn’t be trying to do nice things for others and the community, especially since it’s a great feeling for the people doing the acts of kindness.

Steuf suggested teaming up with a friend, a house, or a student organization.

“It’s random things that could make people smile and help make people’s day a little brighter,” Steuf said.

Stuef said she wanted the services provided during Make a Difference day to serve as inspiration during the Pay it Forward project to help people around town that could use a little assistance here and there, whether it be helping with groceries or yard work.

“My sister is coming to visit this week and I’m going to take her out to this person’s house to rake his yard because it’s his birthday and he’s in a wheelchair,” said senior entrepreneurship major and Assistant Coordinator Nik Krawcyzyk.

Krawcyzyk said leading by example gets others involved in his experience.

With the school year coming to an end and people heading back downstate, Krawcyzyk suggested an idea.
“When you go home, pay someone’s bridge toll,” Krawcyzyk said. “It’s something small, something cheap.”

With the summer approaching fast, this program is a great way to end the school year on a great note with students leaving Marquette positive and prepared to give back to their own community.

Krawcyzyk said he believes people will experience random acts of kindness throughout their entire lives, so hopefully they can do the same and give back.

For more information on the event or for additional ideas to make a difference, visit the Volunteer Center’s website, www.nmu.edu/volunteer.