Community service is a “feel good” activity that so many of us want to accomplish, but don’t always make the time for. With everyone so busy with family and work, it is sometimes tough to make volunteering or fundraising for a favorite cause a priority. Here are several reasons why community service impacts far more than just your self-esteem and is a valuable use of your time. Below, we’ll go through 5 ways that community service impacts not just your community, but the world at large, and find out why it’s so vital to a healthy society.
What are the Goals of Community Service?
While every organization spearheading a community service project likely has different physical goals, such as fundraising for a building project, community resource, or cause, their overall “mental” goals are the same: to make the world around them a safer, cleaner, more prosperous, or overall “better” place to live.
1. Community Service Betters Your Community
The most obvious argument for community service’s impact on the world is simple: just benefiting your community by doing what you can, no matter how much or little it might be. Simply by volunteering or fundraising for your favorite organization for a few hours a month, you can have a huge impact with just a small investment of your time. Volunteer activities can include events such as park and street cleanups, local school projects, serving food at your local food pantry, helping with youth activities, and more. Volunteering in these activities will have high returns where it matters most to you and your family.
2. Volunteering Helps You Set a Good Example
Community service impacts not only the greater community but also your family and friends directly. If you have children, this is a great teaching and mentoring experience for them. If you can, do your best to find volunteer opportunities that you can bring your kids to, where they too can volunteer and help.
This will teach them that giving back is not only the right thing to do but that helping others and the community they belong to is investing in their future. It’s also a nice opportunity to create group volunteer events, in which you and your friends can participate in to make an even bigger impact. With social media being so ubiquitous these days, group volunteering with friends can spread like wildfire across networks, which will create a positive word of mouth on the volunteer experience and organization for you and your friends.
3. Workplaces Can Participate in Creating the Positive Effects of Community Service
Many companies offer some sort of workplace volunteer program, which allows you to volunteer a certain amount of hours per month that are approved during work hours. This is a great way to develop the positive impact of community service on your local area without giving up your precious evening and weekend time. It’s free time that you are already paid for, so take advantage and invite family members and friends to partake in group activities during work hours to get the most out of it. If your company does not have a workplace volunteer program, make sure to ask your management about it to help get one started!
4. Community Service Helps You Enhance Your Skills and Gain More Experience
This is one of the positive impacts of community service that many don’t realize but is maybe one of the most important reasons to volunteer. You may have seen terms about volunteering such as “micro-volunteering” or “skills-based volunteering.” These are new concepts that are proving to be extremely valuable to volunteers and organizations. Micro-volunteering or skills-based volunteering means taking the skills you possess (often through your work experience) and applying it to a volunteer opportunity in small increments of time.
For example, many nonprofits do not have in-house web designers. If you are a web designer, your skills are in high demand. Taking time to volunteer every couple of weeks for a few hours and applying your design skills to an organization in need will have a huge impact for only a small commitment of your time. Not only will your community service impact the organization you’re working for, but you will also gain additional experience by honing your skills. For freelance web designers, for example, this is a great opportunity to donate some pro-bono work that could potentially lead to a long-term contract with the organization once they see how well you do while volunteering.
5. Community Service Benefits Society as a Whole
Despite the obvious benefits created by volunteer organizations, such as cleaner roadsides, more school supplies and more abundant resources for their local area, community service impacts the spirit of a community far more than its physical surroundings.
When adolescents and adults alike volunteer for a good cause in their community, they not only feel more connected to those around them, but they also end up helping themselves as they strive to help others, by learning new skills and gaining experience they might never otherwise have.
This symbiotic relationship of “giving as receiving” not only fosters goodwill among community members and greater empathy among volunteers, it gives those volunteers a more compassionate worldview that they will then carry with them to future communities, workplaces, and generations. It is because of this that we can say that community service impacts not just the community itself, but the world as a whole.
It’s Easy to Get Started
Now that you know how greatly community service impacts the world around you, all that’s left is to get in on the action! You can begin by finding local volunteer activities in your area by going online and simply searching for opportunities in your local area, either through a search engine or on social media. Of course, friends and family can also be great resources to help you find a great program in your area to volunteer for.
Once you find a great cause to support, you can level up your community service’s impact by utilizing one of FrontStream’s many easy-to-use services and programs to raise funds for your cause of choice. Check out how FrontStream can help your new favorite foundation raise funds to support the good work they do today.
Article Written By: David Roose
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