Pitt clubs find creative ways to serve

With the addition of three new service clubs at Pitt, students can dress up, write letters or sew — all while giving back to the local or international community.

These clubs offer creative alternatives to your typical volunteer opportunities, allowing students to help those in need in uncommon ways.

The Imagination Project

For anyone who’s dream is to be a superhero or Disney princess, there’s now a Pitt club that will supply you with the means to achieve it.

The Imagination Project — a new club at Pitt where students dress up as some of the most popular characters from cartoons and movies to visit patients at pediatric hospitals — is recruiting its Belles, Jasmines, Moanas, Ariels and other Disney princesses.

Joanna Anninos, a senior nursing major and one of the club’s four founders, said the group is also looking to add more superheroes to the mix.

“We do have a Spider-man costume, so we’re waiting for the right guy to come along and be our Spider-man,” Anninos said.

The club’s other three founders include: Allie Saltzman, a senior nursing major, Revu Pillai, a sophomore neuroscience major and Raksha Pothapragada, a sophomore biochemistry major.

Anninos and Saltzman — who came up with the idea for the club — experienced setbacks from the beginning. The two were inspired by a similar organization called A Moment of Magic.

Originally, Anninos and Saltzman planned to affiliate with the foundation — but that would’ve required $1,500 and have an administrator’s signature.

Anninos continued to pursue the idea, and she and Saltzman discovered that Pillai and Pothapragada were independently working to form a club with the same purpose.

“The four of us collaborated to start this crazy new project,” Anninos said.

The club has grown from the original four members to eight total members on the club’s board, and the board members anticipate a large number of new participants this year. While the club’s main focus will be hospital visits, Pillai said the club wants to broaden its charitable efforts.

A member of “The Imagination Project” speaks to a child while dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. (Photo Courtesy of Allie Saltzman)

“We’re trying to add more stuff like volunteering elsewhere and maybe making care packages and stuff,” Pillai said.

Dressing up in costume isn’t the only way to help. The club is currently seeking photographers and makeup artists to join the team as well.

“Anyone who wants to be a part of…

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