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Let’s Not Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth: College-motivated charity is still beneficial


Graphic by Rowan MacColl ’14

According to Principal John Dodig, the amount of community service performed at Staples “far exceeds” the amount at any other school at which he has worked. It is true that there are many community service organizations at Staples and that they serve very different needs.

Students are taking the initiative to volunteer their time without the help of a school organization; community service pervades Staples.

True, some of this service is motivated by a desire to craft the perfect college application, it is still undeniably good. If a student raises money for a charity, that money still goes to the needy, regardless of whether or not the student cares about the cause.

One can certainly say that the ends do not justify the means, and that there is something inherently wrong with students who aren’t motivated by the cause itself. But does charity require good intentions for it to be considered noble?

There are different degrees of service among Westport kids. Holding a bakesale, while still admirable, doesn’t represent the same amount of time and commitment that volunteering at a soup kitchen does. But who cares? It’s all good.

Furthermore, it’s not just about the amount of hours a student puts in; true dedication comes from the nature of the work.

Still, one cannot underestimate the presence that community service has at Staples. Even if kids are just devoted to getting into college, numerous charities and organizations will reap benefits.

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