How to Get Community Service Hours
Community service is about using your time, effort, skills, and ability for the benefit of others without expecting to receive anything tangible in return. Serving a community comes with an enormous array of potential benefits, both to the people performing the services and to the communities they serve.
If you’re looking for a tangible way to make a difference, there are numerous ways you can earn money helping your community in NYC – such as becoming a Direct Support Professional, a Paraprofessional, and even a Customer Service Representative.
But what exactly is community service? Isn’t it the same as volunteering? What are some ways to perform community service hours?
What Is Community Service?
The main characteristic of community service is that it is a non-profit activity; in other words, it’s non-paying. Non-profit community service often rewards people in ways other than financially. Benefits of this type of work include:
• A boost to your self-confidence
• An improved sense of life satisfaction
• An expanded sense of purpose
• Learning and teaching valuable skills
• Introduction of new job prospects
• Meeting new people
• Improving your social skills
Many people find that doing community service hours also provides a sense of accomplishment and fosters a deeper sense of community. They often enjoy a sense of identity and pride as well.
Community Service Hours vs. Volunteering
Community service can involve volunteering, but the two are not always the same thing. Volunteering is performing an act without compensation on your own terms and of your own free will. Community service can be voluntary, but it can also sometimes be compulsory.
Some schools mandate that students perform community service as a graduation requirement, for example. It might be required by the government as performing a civic duty. Sometimes, community service can be ordered to be done as community payback by a judge in a court of law.
When not voluntary, organizations can require community service hours to receive certain benefits.
Many colleges consider the level, type, and amount of community service that an applicant has performed as part of their admission application process.
Non-Profit Organization Examples
Several community service ideas and opportunities arise and are available through non-profit organizations. These organizations operate for public, social, or collective benefit. This is different from a business entity, which operates primarily to generate profits for its owners.
Some examples of non-profit organizations include:
• Public schools
• Consumer cooperatives
• Public hospitals and clinics
• Corporate giving programs
• Public charities
• Community resale shops
• Research institutes
• Pet shelters
• Local, state, and national park departments
• Private foundations
• Labor unions
• Social advocacy groups
• Social welfare organizations
• Food banks
Non-profit organizations are accountable to their volunteers, donors, founders, and program recipients. Performing community service through joining a non-profit organization is a valuable way to help members of a community, as these organizations are often well-known and trusted by local residents.
Of course, many companies and organizations that are for-profit also perform valuable, impactful, life-changing services for the community members they serve. These can include anything from airlines, retail stores, and direct support professionals to shipping companies, manufacturers, and banks.
Community Service FAQ
Many people are interested in performing community service for a wide variety of reasons, and they often have questions about what they can do, where they can go, and how they can get started. The following are a few of the most commonly asked questions about community service.
Where Can I Do Community Service Hours?
Community service can be done through any non-profit organization in your location, from the local YMCA to the library to the Christmas meal delivery service for seniors. Sometimes, the best way to find a place to do community service is to give an organization a call or visit them to inquire about their need for your help.
You can do community service at pet shelters, donation centers, schools, healthcare centers, clubs like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and senior citizen centers, for example.
If you inquire with an organization about their need for volunteers and they have no current need, they are almost always eager to recommend other places that may need volunteers.
How Can I Find Opportunities to Do Non-Profit Community Service Near Me?
Many regions, states, and counties have organizations that help people find opportunities to perform community service. For example, Michigan has a program called Leo that residents can contact for help finding volunteer opportunities.
Most states also have online directories of volunteer groups and non-profit organizations that need help. Thanks to the internet, more opportunities than ever are easy to find by way of a quick Google search that can point you in the right direction.
What Are Some Community Service Examples?
If you’re trying to think of some community service ideas and examples that you or your family can do to benefit others, there are hundreds of opportunities in all kinds of areas and industries.
From simply donating clothes you no longer wear to spending hours of your free time each week helping people who have a disability, you can make your community a better place. Here are some community service examples to get you started:
• Volunteer to tutor students in a subject you love
• Impart your knowledge to visitors at a museum
• Help others learn English
• Volunteer to give music lessons
• Work at a charity race
• Be a crossing guard for schoolchildren
• Be a translator for school conferences
• Donate your time at a summer camp
• Mentor a child
• Serve in a soup kitchen
• Collect for the less fortunate during holidays (or any day)
• Use the internet to spread the word about causes and charity events
• Assist the elderly or disabled with daily activities
• Help out at your church
You can also do things like sign up at a local shelter to help with the animals, contact Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to see if they need volunteers or chaperones, or coach a children’s sports team. If you are interested in opportunities within schools in your community check out our School Professionals page to learn about getting involved while also getting paid!
Help Others Become Engaged in Their Communities
TemPositions works with a large number of non-profit organizations, especially in New York City. If you are interested in helping your local food bank, climate initiatives, charity races, museums, early learners, and the developmentally disabled – there are a large variety of ways you can make a difference in your community and be paid for it. Contact TemPositions to learn more about ways you can get involved in your community.