Olivia Volkert is doing the required community service from her school but feels a little guilty getting credit for it.
My school’s food drive this year included an added incentive. For every two cans of food I bring in, I can get credit for one hour of community service.
Like every student in my school district, I need 75 hours of community service to graduate from high school. However, after turning in cans in exchange for hours, I felt a little guilty. I mean, all I did was grab a few cans of beans and unwanted vegetables from my parents’ kitchen cabinet. Sure I wanted to help others, but part of my motive was to fulfill the requirement. It seems unfair to count that as a good deed.
Community service hours at my school are often given for things I think are undeserving. Some teachers will give a few hours credit if a student helps them grade papers.
I always thought service involved thinking of others, rather than one’s self. Yet, I was partially thinking of myself when I donated those cans.
I’ve decided if I feel good helping someone, it “counts” as real service. But I believe that the purest kind of community service is done anonymously and with no personal benefits. So, when I finish my 75-hour requirement, I’ll look for other charities I can work with. And I don’t need the college credits, and certainly not the tax write-offs.