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Community Service is Caring for Your Neighbors
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Community Service is Caring for Your Neighbors

February 14, 2017

Many high schools require community service, and lots of colleges ask about it on applications. But why is it so important?

 

Community service is volunteering your time and talent to help others in your area. This work is unpaid and benefits many people, whether they are struggling financially, can’t find food or are in need of other services.

I’ve done lots of community service, from packing meals for kids to eat after school and sorting through donations at thrift stores to hosting a birthday party for kids living in a domestic violence shelter and cleaning a neighborhood park. It’s a time to focus on other people and not yourself.

Service is about helping your neighbors and the community as a whole. A few hours of your time can greatly impact someone’s life. When you volunteer at Gleaners, the largest food bank in central Indiana, they always tell you how much work you accomplished in your time there. Hearing that you packed 250 meals for senior citizens gives you a moment of realization: I helped make a change.

Because you are a part of the community, service ends up helping you too. In high school, I helped clean the beach by my house before it opened for summer. I went to that beach all the time when school was out, so I was making sure it was clean and safe for both me and all the other people who hung out there.

I also enjoyed meeting new people at the sites where I served. There isn’t much else to do while you are packing backpacks full of school supplies other than talk to the person next to you. I made new friends and learned a lot about their lives.

Lots of people want to serve their communities, but they don’t know how. My university has a Volunteer Center that plans events and service outings for students. I sign up for ones when my schedule allows it.

You can also contact a place directly. You can Google for charities and nonprofits near you, find a cause you are passionate about and then reach out and see if you can volunteer there.

Community service is an important part of being an engaged citizen, and it opens your eyes to a new perspective. Learn about the organization you are serving and how it helps people. Get out there and make a difference. Every bit helps to raise up your community and make your area a better place to live. 


 Read another blog here!

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