Staples students ‘Pay It Forward’ with acts of kindness
So they founded the “Pay It Forward” club in September 2013, which this year had 60 members with members from all grades at the school, said Sampath, 17.
“We knew we wanted to get more involved in school and while there were a number of clubs at Staples, many were focused on specific issues,” she said. “We wanted a club that would be more general so that those belonging to it could come up with ideas of their own.”
The goal of the club is for members to perform random acts of kindness, she said.
“We realized we didn’t have to do anything really big, just small things that would make people happy and put a smile on their face,” Rogers, 16, added.
That’s exactly what happens when the club members bring gloves, socks and blankets for the homeless in Bridgeport, something they do every winter.
Sampath and Rogers keep in touch with the organizers of a group that meets Sundays under the John Street Bridge in Bridgeport to help meet needs of the needy.
“This year — in late February — we arrived and there were almost 100 people waiting just to get a pair of socks from us,” Rogers said. The club ran baked-goods sales to raise money to purchase the gloves and socks.
Sampath said the blankets are donated by her father, who owns a bedding business.
“You forget how many people there are that need help and that you can make someone happy by just giving them a pair of socks,” Sampath said.
They plan to do the same thing next year, she added.
Rogers said a memorable event happened outside the Pottery Barn last December when the tclub was handing out free hot chocolate.
“What was really amazing is that people kept wanting to give us donations,” she said. “They were surprised the hot chocolate was free. They just didn’t expect it.”
The girls added they hope their random acts of kindness prompt others to do the same.
“We want people to realize how important it is to be kind,” Rogers said. “If they like what we do, they can pass it on.”
That’s what paying it forward means, Sampath said.