When we live among others, it is know as community. So the question arises – what is community service? And there are different perspectives to this important question. What does it mean?
Giving or volunteering our services in any community, adds value and impacts the citizens lives. It is how to develop the art of living. An enriched society affects all, and people afford a greater lifestyle.
What Is Community Service Definition?
What is community service like?
Definition of community service is work performed for the benefit of the community without any financial rewards.
Community meaning individual, group of people, the public or any of its institutions.
Community service may be a requirement for reasons. However, as in other cases, it is discharged as a voluntary act to support the community.
What Is Community Service Examples?
Community service may be undertaken for a number of motives including:
- Class, high school or college students required assignments to gain some credits or benefits.
- In order to be granted citizenship, some governments require community service.
- Students and student groups volunteerism.
- Offenders of the law serve community service too as part of their sentence.
- Religious organizations outreach services.
- Corporate social responsibility.
- Non-profits, organizations, associations, and service clubs community involvement and civic responsibility.
What Is Community Service All About?
Having a desire to help or aid people – giving a helping hand – is what community service is about. Service to others is by and large benefiting the public.
Community Service for High School And College Students
In the United States, some of the educational administrations in jurisdictions make it necessary for the students to complete community work in order to graduate. Or some students need to perform a certain amount of hours of community service to gain a diploma.
Even though some colleges do not make community work mandatory, certain students still volunteer in their local communities.
For their commitment of many hours of community work, students receive service awards from their colleges.
There is also “service learning” where students service in the community must be a part in their overall education. Service-learning consists of activities, projects and courses and are being used as a part of pedagogy.
Some colleges may incorporate community service for acceptance, and also for graduation. Also, community service credit courses are offered by some schools.
In North America, to join some educational honor societies, sororities and fraternities you have to show community service proof, while others need ongoing community involvement.
Community service projects is a major part of numerous student organizations.
Students serve in the community as well as learn from their serving the needs of the local society. They see what the culture is comprises of and the concerns of the people. They comprehend the relationships of the different groups and organizations that make up this population.
When students participate in the community, they get a real-world view or reality of peoples’ lives and situations. They see first hand what besets the folks and families. And what measures are taken to resolve concerns and problems.
This ‘education’ equips them for life when they do enter the world after college. Because they feel a part of community life after this service-learning experience. What can be taken away from this undertaking, is the exceptional trait of character building for these students. And the whole program teaches life lessons, social skills, problem-solving and leadership development.
There is contribution to community which is favorably impacted by the students service. And the students feel they have made a valuable contribution the community. They learn civic responsibly. This involvement can be a boon to students’ personal development, self confidence and self esteem.
Students lives are enhanced and enriched for having undergone this worthwhile cultivation. It is meaningful for the students because they have learned skills that can be applied in their lives. In addition, they now possess a knowledge of current affairs and understand their world even more now.
Student groups and students, who volunteer time to programs related to community service, do sometimes receive incentives, awards and diplomas for their work.
And after much interaction, the students reflect on what new information they learn and then they share their thoughts and experiences. This is all part of their service. Such new knowledge is sometimes documented online in blogs and in forums.
Community Service For Law Offenders
There is community service for citizens who have broken the law by committing a crime. Those found guilty are compelled to complete a certain amount of hours of community work.
Courts may rather impose community service instead of, or in addition to criminal justice sanctions.
Also, a guilty person will do community service during a probation period as a suspended sentence.
Their time served may compensate for the whole or part of the sentence or fine.
If the defendant satisfy the conditions of the service without any more wrongdoing and is law-abiding, the sentence is usually revoked by the judge.
There are various non-profit organizations acting as agencies who administer the different types of community service for these offenders, depending on the nature of the misdemeanor.
Community service sentence may include exercises or acts of park and graffiti cleanup, and other conservation work. Also giving talks or addressing school groups may also be part of their service for their transgression.
This all goes to improve rehabilitation of those who commit delinquent actions which ultimately may reduce the prison population.
Religious Organizations Outreach Services
Various religious congregations do serve their community as a form of outreach duty.
Community service is an integral part of Christianity. It is a measure of loving others unconditionally, the tenets of their faith. It is growing spiritually by doing deeds of charity and empowering others.
Mother Teresa is a perfect example of unconditional Christian love. She showed the way exemplified by Christ in tending to the sick and nurturing the improvised.
Families and neighbors are supported and assisted where needed.
Whether it is sharing a comforting word to the disillusioned or depressed.
It could be giving free food and meals to the homeless or hungry as in pantries and soup kitchens.
Shelters offer assistance to the homeless or street dwellers, out of work persons, abused members of families, parents and children without support for their daily needs.
Members who participate show compassion and empathize with those who are suffering.
Non-profits, Organizations And Associations Civic Responsibility
Various organizations, associations, institutions, societies, non-profits and service clubs do serve their community in countless ways.
Some examples of these establishments that do community work are the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, the St. Vincent de Paul Society and Habitat for Humanity.
Homes are repaired or built for those who cannot afford the expenditure.
There are pregnancy prevention programs recommending safe sex practices for young adults.
And these organizations provide day care and child care for working parents and abandoned children and orphans.
They run blood drives, give medical aid and do regular checkup for diabetes, high blood pressure and stress indications.
They alleviate the suffering of the disadvantaged, destitute, distressed, underprivileged and needy.
Those who have committed crimes, those with alcoholic problems and prostitutes are also helped.
Countless millions all over the world have been supported and benefit from the community service of these organizations, non-profits and associations who render assistance from disaster relief to donations of food, clothing and monetary gifts or grants for living expenses.
Corporate Social Responsibility In Their Communities
Corporations as part of their social responsibility do undertake community service engaging their staff, either on an optional basis or part of their job. Financial contributions by these corporations are made that include matching the time the workers serve the community.
Service includes freely contributing time and skill-set for doing conservation work, raising funds, and other professional duties.
Community service may also entail working with charities, or organizing and sponsoring events like walks and runs.
Some members of faculty, staff and employees, who volunteer time to projects related to community service, receive compensation for their assistance with their talents and skills.
What Is Community Service And Its Importance?
Personal benefits of serving:
Participants in community service achieve a greater understanding of what community is all about.
They gain more insight altogether.
They gain exposure to a diverse cross-section of the community, its surroundings, environments and particular settings, and real-world know-how – the diversity in community life and the culture.
And they get to experience the actual circumstances and conditions of the people – The impact of service and the difference it makes in other peoples lives.
And how it is affecting these peoples lives for the better. The community grows with a greater sense of belonging and hope.
They learn how to interact with others, learn the art of communication, and how to network too.
Knowledge and skills learned can be applied in the future with this better all-around view of looking at life from contrasting perspectives, and assessing people and things differently.
Participants in this exercise attain a sense of purpose which leads to a more productive life.
Bonds are developed and further strengthened in the various sectors of community life, such as in business and the arts, by the input of those who contribute their time and skills.
The locals who benefit from all this training and resources are further equipped for employment and job offerings.
The locals learn how to analyze situations better and plan a more effective strategy going forward. They make better choices, which affect their lifestyle.
So the community at large gain the knowledge to take matters in their own hands and resolve issues when they happen without waiting for outside help, especially if it is an emergency.
And the overall benefit from community service is the empowerment of the community as a whole which affects everyone.
My Service To Community
On a personal note, I have served in various organizations myself as a way to give back to society.
In my hometown, these institutions included the local Lions Club International, and the St Vincent de Paul Society of two Roman Catholic Churches.
I coordinated the Roman Catholic Church meals-on-wheels and food bank operations. I also served with other groups and associations caring for the elderly, the physically challenged and the homeless.
Projects included seeing after elderly with home repairs, researching and finding jobs for the displaced, organizing small businesses and providing job training and support services for those in need.
Also, I have built up decades of wide-ranging experiences – directing, facilitating, fundraising, and doing community outreach in social service programs. For I have worked extensively with different establishments in a volunteer capacity in my homeland, and internationally, wherever I visit or reside.
From 1995 to 2000, I served the community of Phoenix, Arizona through my church affiliation with Unity of Phoenix. In 2002, together with a close friend George Roundy, we founded two non-profit organizations in Phoenix: Universal Resource Sharing, and Transform Hunger Alliance – to address the issue of world hunger and the sharing of resources to attend to that situation. That year, together with a core team of ten individuals, we helped raise close to $100,000 US for The Hunger Project. The Hunger Project is an organization that empowers inhabitants in different countries in the world to be self-reliant.
I believe the success of these companies and programs will allow us to increase opportunities for our disadvantaged through training, life skills and literacy programs as we continue to serve our communities. And that these services will have a positive effect on the social and economic development of humanity.
With my company “Empower with Art” I serve as “The Empowering Artist” – empowering a sustainable way of living together in community with others.
I share the belief with like-minded souls, that by renewing our commitment to our environment by making use of alternative energies and environmentally friendly living, we ensure a safe heritage to our coming generations.
And that we will continue to make a difference in the lives of fellow humans in our community,
With these numerous skills acquired, I have found ways to give back to others over the years. I have built websites for the alumni of the school and colleges I attended, even working with the college principals. I also created online sites for my alumni who live in different parts of the world so that we can remain closely connected.
In addition, I have served and supported many individuals, groups, and affiliations over the years, and continue to do so with my skills as a multimedia digital artist. Whether it be blogging about important events and topics, producing videos, or developing online presence in websites and social media.
This is all done to help coordinate and to promote their community goals, and network together.
What Is Community Service To You?
What does community service mean to you? What is community service to you? We all have our own opinions about things in life. And sharing your own views helps one with having a broader perspective of life when subjects are being discussed.
So, after reading and gaining the views of others, it is good to look at how it all ties in with what we consider for ourselves in a greater context. Life is about sharing and the more we embrace the community spirit the greater will be our reservoir of knowledge. This is how to acquire wisdom. Learning from the experiences of others.
Community ensures we have an abundant supply of information and know-how to traverse the journey of life. So why not take advantage of this ready-made source of expertise.