Community service is extremely important, definitely not just for college applications, but to make you feel like you’re making a difference and to improve the lives of others. Community service is also a way to gain experience in your interested fields, whether that be medicine, education, sales. This article explains all the pros of volunteering and community service.
So how do you become as great as Mother Teresa in your community service efforts? The Prospect tells you all the ways.
Giving your time in a variety of places is the perfect way to help your community. Soup kitchens, hospitals, clinics, and other locations are always looking for high school students to help out. These are great places to give your time as they are widespread ways to assist around your area. From animal shelters to homeless shelters, you can make your community a happier place, while feeling great! A great place to look for volunteer opportunities is VolunteerMatch, which allows you to search for volunteer opportunities that match your interests. We’ve written a great article on other, more unique volunteer experiences for you to pursue.
Don’t be restricted to just giving your time to organizations–giving some of your money to further an organization’s cause is another way of helping your community. Of course, you do not have to only give your own money, but you can fundraise! Bake sales, pizza sales, or advertising are all great ways to encourage people to give money to fund an organization. You can fundraise for a variety of local organizations or national organizations, from local hospitals to national organizations, like the Red Cross. Themed sales, like Valentine’s candy during Valentine’s Day or candy canes during the holidays are always a hit for fundraising.
You can also organize drives at your school. Clothing and food drives are always appreciated by shelters and other collection groups, like Goodwill. Food drives are greatly appreciated during the holidays, but due to the absence of the school session, homeless shelters and other food collecting agencies actually have a dearth of food in the summer months. Consider helping out during those times as well!
Another way to help your community is to assist around in the environment. Even though you, as a single person, cannot control things like greenhouse gas emissions or scientifically reducing such things, you can help by encouraging the usage of environmentally friendly practices and cleaning trash around the community with your friends. There should generally many environmental awareness events and clean-up events around your area, or, if there are not, feel free to form some with an environmental club at your school! Some areas even have community gardens—a perfect way to be green while practicing some gardening skills.
It’s the Little Things
Sometimes it is not the volunteer hours clocked or the money raised or amount collected, but just the little things that you do. For example, a kind thing to do in your community is to make some food for your local servicemen—the police department, the fire station or the doctors at the ER in the night. They would really appreciate some sustenance during their long hours. If you’re artistic, you could help your school with art projects, including signs for drama productions or paintings for dances. Buying some extra toys or gifts during the holidays and giving them to the local homeless shelter would also be a great way of caring for the people in need in your community, just to put a smile on their faces.
Certain clubs in your school, such as National Honor Society or the Key Club can give you avenues of service in your community. These clubs offer services to the school and your ability to get involved with them is another way to get involved and help your community.
There are hundreds of ways to help around in your community, and you should definitely partake in some of them—in order to make your community a happier, healthier place. Happy helping!