Thursday, December 13, 2007

12-13-07: $500 for College for Maine Newborns

The holiday season seems to really bring out the heart-warming stories. I only wish more of these came out during the year, but it’s just what holidays do.

A guy from Maine, who owned the prestigious Dexter Shoe Company, set up a fund that would allow parents of newborns born in Central Maine hospitals (born in 2008 and afterward) to sign up for a $500 grant towards the down payment on their child’s college education.

First, this is one of the most amazing displays of charity I have ever seen. It reminds me of what Ben Franklin did for Philadelphia, but this one has a really personal touch. The interesting part is that Harold Alfond, the deceased benefactor, never went to college himself. Simply amazing. This is a first in the United States, and it really is just a fantastic idea. I have no idea what Alfond was like when he was alive, but he had to have been a great guy to do this.

What I also like about this, and I don’t know if this was done deliberately, is that it’s focused on Central Maine hospitals only. If you aren’t familiar with Central Maine, let’s just say the population isn’t exactly booming. I doubt he could have done this in New York or California. But the other thing is that it’s not near the border, so it wouldn’t be easy for people to abuse this and just drive across to Portland and have their baby there. If you want to screw with the system, you really have to make the effort and drive pretty far, which would lead me to believe you really want your kid to go to college. There’s nothing wrong with that.

On a side note regarding yesterday’s post, I’ve come up with a goofy come-back for you kooky environmentalists: “Cry me a river and blame it on global warming.™”

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