Josie Aja and Mackenzie Magas
As a high school student, the task of fulfilling community service hours can be a constant concern. Luckily Masuk provides a variety of opportunities to attain these hours, and doing so can grant students awards such as the Presidential Community Service Award. This award is granted to students to recognize their outstanding community service hours. To obtain this award, Masuk students worked with the nonprofit organization, Binky Patrol. Students put together blankets that were later delivered to children who have experienced the traumas of sexual and domestic violence at Camp Hope, a summer camp run by The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport. Each student created a certain number of blankets in order to receive the award for the number of hours that were spent. The silver award was granted to students who completed over 75 hours of service and the bronze award was given to students who achieved 50 or more hours of service.The program is a fantastic way to help those in need and poses an opportunity for students to acquire community service hours and be congratulated for their work. After the blankets were complete, they were delivered to children moving into The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport safe house. This organization is a nonprofit which focuses on providing support services to victims of domestic and sexual abuse in various local communities, including Monroe. Some Masuk students who volunteered include Siobhan and Aoife Riordan, Alexa Gill, Sophie Clark, Ellie Degeorge, Emily Hull, and Lily Cameron. Sophomore student Emily Hull said, “I just thought it was a great idea to help give back to the community. knowing that the blankets were going to children that needed them made the whole experience worth it”. The program was headed and run by Jeanne Malgioglio, a Monroe resident who coordinates the Binky Patrol’s efforts locally. The Masuk volunteers exemplify the philanthropic efforts of a person who views community service as a way of helping others in need rather than a way to self serve, and this behavior was rightfully awarded. Masuk Guidance counselor Penny Ploski discussed the importance of service hours, “I like that masuk does not require community service to graduate because I think that forced community service is not real you know, it’s not sincere, kids are doing it because they have to do it not because they should do it. I think it feels good to give back and I think it can be good for our mental health to feel like what you’re doing is helping others, obviously it’s good for any kind of applications, for instance it’s good for college applications. Colleges want to see what you like to do with your time outside of academics and that is one of the things that obviously says something positive about you right that your sincerely giving back.”Though the thought of executing community service hours can be stressful for students, it is important to focus on the opportunities that give back to people in need.