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With MLK day just around the corner, Erika and I thought it would be fitting to chat about service project ideas that you can do to make an impact. Whether you want to support on the local level or global level, your gifts can be used to help others! Maybe you don’t have a cause that you are passionate about, and that’s ok. This episode is designed to help narrow down the countless options out there.
Click below to listen to our conversation:
If you are not sure where to start, we suggest asking yourself the following questions:
1.) Who would you like to help?
Is there a specific group of people or cause you are passionate about? Look for projects that relate to your passion and interests. You may also just want to perform particular community service activities that allow you to do hobbies you enjoy, like cooking or sports, and that’s fine too.
Tip: Start by thinking about categories like children or the environment, if you don’t have a specific organization in mind, searching by category is a good starting place for choosing specific organizations to contact.
2.) Do you want a community service activity that is reoccurring or a one-time event?
Perhaps you don’t have enough time to regularly devote to community service. In that case, it may be better to look for opportunities that only occur once or sporadically, such as planning special events or helping build a house.
Tip: Figure out how much time you can devote to community service. Are you available for two hours every week? Are you not free on a regular basis but can volunteer for an entire weekend now and then? Think about transportation as well and how you’ll be able to get to different locations. Knowing this information will help you choose which community service projects to pursue, and its helpful information for volunteer coordinators to know.
3.) What kind of impact do you want to have?
Some people prefer to participate in community service activities that have a quantifiable impact, for example, activities where you know the specific number of kids you tutored, dollars you raised, or cans of food you collected. Some people prefer quantifiable activities because they simply enjoy knowing their exact impact on the community.
Tip: Do some research to see what projects you can do in your community:Check at your school, place of worship, or town hall for more information on volunteering. You can also contact the place where you’d like to perform your community service, such as a particular animal shelter or nursing home, and ask if they take volunteers.
4.) What skills would you like to gain?
Many community service activities can help you gain skills. These skills can range from teaching to medicine to construction and more. If there is a particular skill you’d like to learn for future classes, jobs, or just out of personal interest, you may want to see if there is a community service activity that helps you learn that skill.
Tip: Try it! Service projects range from small projects that you can complete on your own in a few hours, to much larger projects that will take more time and people. If you find a project you can start on your own, do it! If you want to do a project where you’ll need more resources or people, check around your community to see if a similar program already exists that you can join. If not, don’t be afraid to start your own! Many organizations welcome new volunteers and community service projects.
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