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Staples Mitzvah Club hosts unifying walk for Israel

The+Staples+Mitzvah+Club+hosted+a+walk+at+the+Staples+High+School+track+to+raise+donations+for+United+Hatzalah+on+Dec.+17.+Many+Westport+community+members+attended%2C+contributed+and+supported+the+cause.
Audrey Curtis ’25
The Staples Mitzvah Club hosted a walk at the Staples High School track to raise donations for United Hatzalah on Dec. 17. Many Westport community members attended, contributed and supported the cause.

The Staples Mitzvah Club hosted a fundraiser in support of United Hatzalah on Sunday, Dec. 17. The fundraiser was a walk/run at the Staples High School track and lasted from 12-1:30 p.m.

A guest speaker and winter-themed food were featured at the event, and a donation of $18 was requested prior to attendance

The fundraiser was hosted as tensions were rising and violence was ensuing in Israel and Gaza following the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7. 

“After Oct. 7, I made an Instagram account about Israel and hoped to create a fundraiser,” Mitzvah Club Vice President Audrey Bunan ’25 said. “We hope to bring awareness to the topic and what’s going on in Israel and to raise as much money for the United Hatzalah as possible.” 

Although surrounding a controversial and divisive issue, the event garnered widespread support in Westport.

“I think the turnout was amazing,” contributor Valentina Davis ’24 said. “Not only did friends come but family and others showed their support and came to this event. Additionally, the public’s response was nothing but supportive.”

I think this walk can spread awareness to the community that the war going on in Gaza is affecting people everywhere.

— Flora Williams ’24

While the event mainly focused on support for Israel, the humanitarian crisis occurring on both sides of the conflict were on the minds of many.

“I think this walk can spread awareness to the community that the war going on in Gaza is affecting people everywhere,” Flora Williams ’24 said. “I think that it can unify the people here, no matter what side you stand on… It’s not just about Israel or Palestine, it’s affecting people everywhere and people need to recognize that.”

United Hatzalah, the focus of the fundraiser, is an emergency medical services organization based in Israel that focuses on providing fast responses free of charge. The organization has been heavily involved and seeking donations since the war began. 

“We have increased our goal to raise $49.6 million in order to fully equip 7,000 United Hatzalah volunteers with protective vests and helmets, oxygen tanks, defibrillators, trauma bandages, and tourniquets,” According to United Hatzalah. “These supplies can be ordered and delivered immediately to ensure that UH medics on the front lines have everything they need to respond to the ongoing attacks.” 

The event was hosted to garner support and donations for United Hatzalah and their cause. 

“We hope to bring awareness to the topic and what’s going on in Israel and to raise as much money for the United Hatzalah as possible,” Bunan said. “Ultimately our main goal is to bring together a large community tomorrow in support of Israeli citizens.”

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About the Contributors
Jolie Gefen ’24, Web Managing Editor
Web Managing Editor Jolie Gefen ’24 understands what it means to manage and organize, as this past summer she worked as a camp counselor for Westport’s camp Recing Crew.    “It helped me become more of a leader,” Gefen said. “[Recing Crew] gave me lots of skills that I'll be able to grow upon.”  Skillfully over the years, Gefen has learned to take advantage of Staples's numerous resources: one being Inklings. “Inklings allows me to write what I love and helps me formulate my own opinions,” Gefen said. “I look forward to being on a paper in college and pursuing journalism further.”  
Audrey Curtis ’25, Web Photostory Editor
Web Photostory Editor Audrey Curtis ’25 is prone to adventures. This summer, she spontaneously went to Italy for the day while on a program in France. “We randomly decided to go to Italy for two hours,” Curtis said. “Now I can say that I’ve been to Italy.” Her passions, like that of adventure, are what led Curtis to join Inklings. She appreciates the ability to express her opinions on compelling topics.  “If there’s anything that I feel passionate about, I have the power to speak about it,” Curtis said. “And because of that, I feel like my voice is heard.”

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