With all the talk about service learning, volunteerism and reaching out to those in need, sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly where community service starts and what it means. But giving your own time and labor is more than just a trend. It’s life changing – and not just for you.
But… community service doesn’t stop when the service trip ends. Here are some ideas of ways you can stay involved right at home.
Find a project that touches you.
We all have passions, interests and concerns unique to us. By finding a community service project you believe in and identify with personally, you’ll be setting yourself for a truly fulfilling volunteer experience. And because you’ll love what you’re doing, you’ll be even more effective.
If you love spending time with the elderly, you might try volunteering at a senior citizen center or delivering meals. If education and literacy is more of a concern to you, chances are there’s a community center where you could teach ESL classes or help adult students work toward a GED.
Get others involved.
Giving back to the community means even more when your friends are on board. Any volunteer effort is sure to result in new friends, but there’s no reason you can’t encourage those in your school or community to get involved.
Volunteering in groups can be less intimidating. By gathering friends to serve with, you’re making it easier on yourself to dedicate your time and talents to service.
Get started at home in your town, then consider branching out and trying a service learning trip in the future. It’s a great way to see the world, experience other cultures, and use your mind, hands and unique skills and talents to give back through opportunities you don’t normally have.