Making a difference, one club at a time

Helping hands: Gregg Bonti ‘12, Wyatt Davis ’14 , and Sami Schwaeber ‘12 rake leaves during a Best Buddies activity.|Photo by Madeline Hardy '11

Alexandra O’Kane ’13
Staff Writer

Despite the fact that Mr. Dodig “absolutely does not mandate service,” the vast majority of Staples students, through some organization, participate in charity.

“Without any data to back me up, I can say that the amount of community service at Staples far exceeds that of any school I worked at,” Dodig said.

Best Buddies

When community service comes to mind, many people think of donations or fundraisers, not necessarily hand-on work. However, students in Best Buddies make a difference in the lives of others by going out and being a friend to those in need.

“I see and believe the students have hearts of gold that join the Best Buddies club. They are givers and I know this will carry on throughout their lives,” said club advisor Patty McQuone.

Service is an important aspect for students to get involved in, especially because it will help them later in life, as McQuone said. Charity work both helps the receiver of the deed, but also provides the giver with a reward.

Best Buddies perfectly embodies this because, “…really, we don’t see the Disabilities, it’s just we are all working on our abilities,” McQuone said.

SafeRides

Saturday nights are renowned for their raging parties for most teens, but for others, Saturday nights mean driving drunk peers home to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol. SafeRides is a club here at Staples that aims to eliminate drinking and driving among students by offering a no-questions-asked ride home.

According to SafeRides member Courtney Garzone ’11, SafeRides is a way to curb drinking and driving, which she “will never tolerate.”

Garzone is “passionate” about doing this service because, “Knowing that I could have saved a life by getting a friend home safely or by preventing just one person from driving under the influence is really satisfying and that’s all it takes to get me to sign up for extra nights.”

Stamps to Soldiers

In appreciation for the effort and service our soldiers give, Claire Carroll ‘13 created a new club, Stamps to Soldiers, in which anyone can make a card to send to their soldiers overseas.

“My motivation for starting this club was to show my appreciation to the soldiers who are brave enough to put their lives in danger to ensure my safety,” Carroll said. She also said that most people enjoy making the cards because they are “directly giving back to the ones who keep them, their families and friends safe.”

As club advisor Kristin Veenema said, “the soldiers may be doing the physical work, but the club is making an effort to support these soldiers, which is a valuable need to address.”

“I am the lucky one because I am able to get the opportunity to thank the unsung heroes that put their lives on hold for me,” Carroll said.

Service is important for students to partake in because it provides a way for students to make a difference. “I think doing something for one’s community helps people fulfill the need to be part of something greater than themselves. It means that your small actions help move some part of the community forward in life, and because the greater whole moves forward, you too get to move forward,” Veenema said.

Mr. Dodig agrees with the value of service saying, “I think that helping other people is one of the best things you can do especially when you are as fortunate as most of the students here.”