Alston Plugs into positivity

Kayla Trail

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While a lot of Western Illinois University students went home for the summer, a Chicago native and Macomb resident, Kristopher Alston was busy working on his business, PLUG Nation.

 PLUG, which is an acronym for “People Love Us Globally,” was started in 2013 as a promotional group for concerts and other events.

 Alston, 27, used to be a drug dealer, and that’s how he got the name “plug,” as everyone would refer to him as that when they were looking for drugs to buy. However, Alston is now two years sober and has not touched drugs in almost three years. Alston’s life turned completely around when he decided to stop living that lifestyle and focus on making the world a better place, and that’s when PLUG Nation was born.

 “What inspired me to start PLUG Nation was to have the community come together and to do positive things,” Alston said. “I want to make the world a better place and some of the things (that entails) is cleaning up the community, helping out with the elderly, helping out with school supplies for the kids and presents for them during Christmas.”

 PLUG Nation has taken over Macomb, but also has a branch in Chicago, and that team focuses on cleaning the streets as well as hosting book bag drives.

In the news, it seems that recently all you hear about is violence on the streets and attacks on other countries, and Alston just wants to shift the focus to more positive things, like PLUG Nation.

 “What’s going on in this world nowadays, we need to love and help each other,” Alston said. “Now PLUG Nation cleans up the community every week. We have donated money to fundraisers and charities, such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital. We have had book bag drives, and for Christmas this year we will be giving presents to the children in need.”

Alston sells merchandise for PLUG Nation to help raise money for cleaning supplies as well donating some of the proceeds to getting supplies for kids.

“We sell shirts, hoodies, bracelets, hats and even shot glasses,” Alston said. “They can go to the website or contact me at (773)-469-8806. The money (from the purchases) goes towards buying gloves and garbage bags to clean up outside. We also donate some of the proceeds and use that money for school supplies for kids.”

Students on campus can help out by purchasing a PLUG Nation T-shirt or a bracelet to help PLUG Nation provide materials for cleaning up the city. As of last week, Alston has sold over 80 T-shirts.

“Every 50 shirts I sell, I donate 25 percent to a fundraiser of the people’s choice,” Alston said. “I would really like it if PLUG Nation was in every state (not just Illinois and surrounding areas) because with everybody on the same page, how can we fail?”

If students want to join the movement, they can also do so by cleaning up the campus or helping others without being asked.

“Students at Western can join just by doing little things for the community,” Alston said. “Like cleaning for example, if you walk past garbage on the street, pick it up without looking for a reward as well as helping kids in need. I want the whole nation to be PLUG.”

Alston said that students could benefit from helping out and from being a part of PLUG Nation because not only are you helping the community, you gain a sense of pride in helping others.

“It is the best feeling ever (helping others),” Alston said. “I think if everyone is on the same page with the community, everyone’s lives will be much easier.”