Student view:

Max Sandler: Making a difference

March 20, 2019

Max Sandler is a sophomore psychology major in the College of Social Science.

The fall semester of 2018 was one of —if not — my most difficult semester thus far. While I made time to socialize on the weekends, my heavy courseload resulted in weeks spent almost exclusively in class or the library.

Even with all that studying, there was still this feeling that I could be doing more. That I was not quite taking advantage of the opportunities here at MSU — opportunities to make a real change.

I searched through almost 800 results on the MSU community site for Registered Student Organizations. One club caught my attention: “Blueprints for Pangaea is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit student run organization. We seek to offer sustainable solutions to inefficient health care resource distribution.”

Within minutes of the semester’s first meeting, I knew that I could best support Blueprints’ mission by promoting the club through their public relations team. While they had a Facebook page, the information felt vague. I began developing an Instagram account, posting information about the organization and how others can get involved.

During my first month with Blueprints, most meetings centered around a Halloween 5K fundraiser. The club had been partnering with local businesses to sponsor the event, and the money raised was going to help fund operating costs. In order to gain publicity, I used my connection to East Lansing startup SKOOP, a free pedicab service equipped with digital billboards.

I have made several runs to McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital with the supply inventory team, where we move the generously donated supplies to our storage facility. To this day, we have inventoried approximately $80,000 worth of supplies!

This March, we are partnering with Wayne State and the chapter headquarters at University of Michigan for a combined shipment of resources to the countries that need them most.

Originally, I wanted to join a student organization because I felt it was a simple way to make a difference. I never imagined the kind of work we would be doing. Our organization may soon bring the rate of medical waste in the entire city of Lansing close to zero, while sending critical supplies to places other than a landfill.