How often have you thought about using your skills to give back to your community? If community service is not yet on your radar, now is the time to get out there and discover the power of compassion and kindness.
There is plenty of Volunteering and Community service roles waiting to be filled by bright and enthusiastic people. For students, this can also be a great addition to future college applications, helping open many more doors. It may also prove to be a relaxing escape from mundane life, helping you break the rhythm.
This article will help you use and polish your talents to bring a smile to the faces of people around you. With many exciting options to choose from, here are a few ways you can make a difference in the world you live in.
Here is how doing community service can be beneficial
Why should you engage in community service when in high school? Not only can you benefit your society in many ways, but you can also grow as an individual when you participate in volunteering initiatives.
- Volunteering provides a solid boost to your resume and your chances of getting hired compared to non-volunteers.
- Not only will you be able to serve people using your skills, but you can also polish them and grow as an individual. Say, if you are good at baking, you can bake to feed more people and, at the same time, perfect those chocolate cupcakes!
- You will be able to network much better, which will help you both professionally and personally. Taking part in social campaigns, working with nonprofits, organising social events and gatherings will make you meet many more people who can be huge contributors when you need them.
- Believe it or not, community service can be beneficial for your health and your general wellbeing. A report by AmeriCorps shows that volunteers experience greater life satisfaction and well-rounded health compared to non-volunteers.
Community Service Ideas For High School Students
1. Volunteering at School
One of the most accessible and relevant options for you to consider would be lending a hand to your classmates and juniors. Students can opt to help both academically as well as socially at school. You can go about this in several ways:
- Lending your books to their avail.
- Tutoring them on subjects they find difficult.
- Walking younger kids back home after school.
- Pitching in to babysit during school events and PTA meetings.
2. Offering Services at a Local Non-Profit
Joining your local non-profits’ teen advisory boards or junior boards can help them raise funds and awareness about their cause and aid in polishing your social and leadership skills.
You can also choose to take pictures and videos of their events and activities to generate more publicity for their campaigns. This is a much-required role that you will fulfill as one of the main problems nonprofits face is the lack of public awareness about their activities and the inability to attract donations. Regularly recording and documenting their activities with the help of social media, blogs, and so on will help them grow and ultimately benefit their cause.
3. Engaging in Community Clean-up Drives
Keep a lookout for clean-up drives in your local parks, streets, rivers, and lakes and offer to help during such campaigns. This can be immensely helpful for you to understand your community better, and the satisfaction of cleaning the planet is a bonus. You can also pick a day or a few days in the week and choose to clean up local spots that are often neglected. To raise more awareness about the importance of keeping these spaces clean or keeping public places such as these clean in general, contact your local authorities and discuss plans to set up more cautionary boards, place dustbins, and so on in a responsible manner.
4. Hosting a Bake Sale to Raise Funds for a Charity
If you have a flair for baking, this is just the perfect way to contribute to your society. Bake treats and sells them through online services or by arranging a pop-up store and donating the proceedings to a local charity of your choice. Whether you prefer to bake themed goods (go for popular TV shows and movies) or are one for the classics (nobody would decline a bag of freshly baked sugar cookies), use your skills to bake these treats and make sure to enjoy the process. This will also help you improve your business and communication skills for the future. It also doesn’t hurt to bring a few friends along!
5. Helping Out the Elderly in Your Locality
There are many ways you can lend a hand to the elderly in your vicinity. Here are a few intriguing ways to do so:
- Offer to buy groceries for them.
- Teach them how to use technology.
- Help them do tasks that they may find hard to do physically, like moving things around, cleaning the garage, painting fences, or mowing their lawns.
- Spend time with them or write cards to show that they are loved and appreciated.
6. Volunteering at an Animal Shelter
If furry and cute is the way to go for you, then look no further than a local animal shelter. You can opt to foster animals from these shelters, and this will also provide a good way for you to learn responsibility. Plan a visit to a local animal shelter and offer to walk and train animals that are yet to be adopted, spending time with the animals to help them socialise. If that is not for you, you can also choose to take pictures of cats and dogs (or any other animal) to put up for adoption. Make videos or create a webpage to write and blog about our furry friends at your local shelters, and don’t be shy to elaborate about their quirky and unique personalities.
7. Conducting Group Discussions to Raise Awareness on Social Issues
Although this may not be the first thing that comes to your mind, raising awareness about various global and social issues in a local setting and encouraging conversations amongst people are the utmost priority. You can participate in this service by holding regular discussions and debates amongst people in your locality to get them to think and talk about such issues.
8. Organizing Book Sharing Events
Try organising an event where you can collect books from various persons and share them amongst other book lovers in your community. With an ever-growing reading community, people are more inclined to search and read books from every genre that they may come across. Sharing books is a great path to explore a variety of new titles as well as get better recommendations from fellow readers. It is also a cheaper and environment-friendly way to gain more knowledge. This activity is the way to create a warm atmosphere that fosters knowledge and care.
9. Making Things for People in Hospitals, Care Shelters, and Orphanages
Find a few friends on a cozy Saturday and get creative by making anything from cards, blankets, and food to putting together first aid kits to donate to various shelters around you. Here is a list of things you can make.
- Face masks with ties for covid protection.
- Sew blankets and pillowcases for the needy.
- Make a chemo care bag.
- Make handmade cards for children.
- Put together a toiletry bag.
- Make toys and board games for children.
- Create jewellery and accessories for people in the care shelters.
10. Volunteer to Teach Skills and Languages
If you are fluent in a foreign language, you can volunteer to teach it to interested people around you. English Literacy in the United States is 79%, according to a 2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics, which gives us all the more reason to use our knowledge and education in the service of others. Literacy can often be taken for granted by many of us, but we fail to realise how difficult it may be for people without the means to read or write to navigate everyday life. Use your time to teach people basic skills to read and write in your local language. You can also offer to teach English to non-native speakers in your locality, and this will help you polish your own skillset.
11. Engage in Virtual Community Services
Virtual Community Services could be your answer if you wonder what you can do to help your society, especially during a global pandemic. It can be one of the safest ways to contribute without risking your safety.
Here are a few online volunteering sites that you can work with.
- Points of Light– Points of Light offer virtual volunteering opportunities to both individuals as well as corporations. You can choose from a variety of volunteering opportunities that they provide through your smartphone and contribute to a better world even from a remote location.
- Volunteer Match– This is another virtual volunteering service that will help you match hundreds of virtual volunteer opportunities in areas like health and medicine, education, and community building that you can do from a computer, from home or anywhere.
12. Collect Rarely Used and Unused Clothes for Donation
Connect with your locality and gather clothing items, curtains, cell phones, laptops, electronics, stuffed animals, toys for children, toiletries, and so on, which aren’t being used or needed by their owners. You can choose to hold frequent drives around your area on a weekly or monthly basis. Gather a few other volunteers to help you collect these items and ensure that they are in good condition before you donate them. Make sure to inform people in your locality beforehand so they can purchase or gather and properly pack the items before you go collect them. You could then deliver these to local shelter homes for the elderly, orphanages or give them to the homeless.
13. Help Educate People about Your Local Culture and History
If you live in a place with an exciting story to tell (and often, most sites do have their charms) or have landmarks of public interest around you like a local museum, volunteer to spread awareness and maintain these spaces. Ensure that you do research beforehand about your local history and talk to the people who have lived there through essential points of time to get to know more about your neighborhood and its quirks. Compile and present these to people around you by offering a tour guide or distributing pamphlets and informative guides to people exploring your locality. Your work can always contribute to keeping these untold stories alive.
14. Teach Music or Any Other Performing Arts
Help keep the world of art relevant by teaching instruments, dance, acting, etc., and organising events and activities that help bring up and showcase such people around you. Hold frequent gatherings to showcase new and budding talents in your locality. You can also encourage and help people set up exhibitions or promote and sell their artwork or attract attention to their shows. Make sure that you support street performances, mime artists, public art displays, and buskers if they are held near you.
15. Help Struggling Parents with Childcare
Parents can often feel overwhelmed and tired due to the stress of parenting. This can be especially true for parents of children with disabilities, single parents (and mothers in womens’ shelters), children from underprivileged backgrounds and families, homeless kids, and so on. Offering to babysit for these families can be of huge help for them to manage these tasks. You can simply choose to spend time with the family or volunteer to help them with daily grocery runs, bring a few toys or stationery as gifts, drop kids to school, prepare a meal or help the children with their homework.
An act of kindness can come in many shapes and sizes. As quoted by Audrey Hepburn, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”Apart from the methods mentioned above, students who are interested in volunteering can access various other opportunities. Whatever you choose to do, there is no doubt how beneficial volunteering can be for you, both emotionally and academically as well as for the world you live in.
A little enthusiasm to do the right thing is all you need to get started and use your tiny efforts to contribute to more significant causes. So gear up and get involved!