The world we live in is a beautiful place, full of marvels and opportunities for all of us to live and thrive in peace. And yet, for some, it is a daunting space, plagued by horrors. The vast majority of these horrors are caused by man and all of them can either be eradicated or alleviated by us. So, never before has mankind had such a big opportunity to exercise solidarity and compassion like it has now. And never before has mankind been so willfully blind.
Selfishness is in our nature and the nature of other animals, and it needs not be a disease. Every act of cooperation, unity and interdependence we find among us or other species is an act of selfishness, as it is primarily moved by self-preservation. But in men, selfishness can be poisonous, and this is evident in our society.
The only way we can break free from selfishness is to become aware of the reality of those around us. We should move towards a common vision of peace, prosperity and harmony. Only by acting as one —one species, one kind, one people— we will transcend selfishness and fulfill our need for sustainable progress.
Of course, there are many ways of doing this, but one of the most effective is through direct contact with our community. Below are some great community service ideas you can engage in this year. Don’t miss them!
12 Community Service Ideas to Bring Joy to The Neediest!
For no one is a secret that in the world there are people in need who do not have the same amenities and opportunities as the most fortunate ones. However, it’s in everyone’s hands to help them to have a better life.
Here are 12 community service ideas divided in 3 groups so you can choose which one you can carry out in your own community.
(Click infographic to enlarge.)
- Clothes: Local churches and Goodwill stores are always collecting clothes they can give to those in need. Keep an eye on them! You can also organize a collecting day with your community council. Get your neighbors to give those clothes they no longer wear but are still in good condition. Afterwards, donate them to shelters, orphanages and similar institutions.
- Non-perishable foods: If you are considering donating non-perishable food, well, that’s a great idea! In poor communities and those affected by disasters, food is often scarce. So, in your next trip to the supermarket, pick at least one non-perishable food item and take it to the nearest food bank or community kitchen. Someone will appreciate it.
- Pro tip: Got some coupons you don’t have an use for? Maybe consider buying some non-perishables for those in your area who need them.
- Toys: Donating a toy can give a child in need the semblance of a normal childhood, a moment of joy and a distraction from the hardships they most likely are facing. So pick a toy you would have liked to have as a child and give it to the children’s ward of your local hospital, to a hospice or an orphanage.
- Books: Donating a book is not only giving away some pages with a story, but potentially changing someone else’s life. You are presenting a person with the tools to combat illiteracy and giving them an advantage millions lack.
As much as we’d like to keep talking about what you can give, what you can do is far more important. Doing hands-on work in your community will open your mind to a whole world that’s happening just on the other side of your front door. Here are some useful community service ideas for this summer and all-year long!
- Birthday wishes: Your birthday, your choice! Exercise your birthday privilege and ask for loved ones to donate gifts or money to a charity of your/their choice.
- House chores galore: Give a hand to the elderly and those with limited mobility. Volunteer at your local hospice, or offer some help to that lovely old gran from across the street!
- Tidying up beaches, forests and your street: Sometimes —way too often, really— people are messy. They leave candy wraps, plastic bottles and other items at national parks and beaches, which can endanger ecosystems. During the summer holidays, you can volunteer with your friends to pick up garbage on your local beach.
- Teach someone a valuable skill: You can become a volunteer tutor and teach children how to read and write. You can also come up with fun, creative ways on how to teach them basic maths. But it doesn’t stop there! Teach the elderly how to use a computer, or your mother tongue to someone who is struggling with it. There are many ways to help!
Finally, if you don’t think short-term community service ideas are enough, there is always something for you to do all-year round.
- Help at your local soup kitchen: If you are good at cooking or are willing to help, enroll as a cook at your local soup kitchen. Most of these kitchens feed dozens of people daily and always need the extra hands. You can always improve your cooking skills, make new friends and help give people the fuel to begin their day.
- Spread your culture: Become a tour guide for your local museum, enroll as a volunteer at your library or guide people around your hometown. Giving tourist insight on what life in your community is really like will expand yours and their vision of the world.
- Engage: Use your voice in every available media outlet to spread the word about a cause that’s dear to you. Start correspondence with your political representatives and demand change.
- Volunteer in an underdeveloped country: There are many volunteer projects around the world that are in urge for committed people to do as much as they can. Just a quick search on Google will bring you thousands of opportunities to volunteer. If you are not sure what or where to go, check out our Climate Change Activist Program or the Fighting Poverty Program we are offering.
Don’t miss out on the chance to do something that improves your life and the life of those around you. Make the most and cherish the opportunities you have, help others!