Ideas for Community Service

Make a Difference to Your Community

If you find yourself growing tired of everyday work and the routine associated with it, you may be interested in getting involved with some aspect of community service as a potential outlet. Making a positive contribution to your community and the well being of its residents takes little more than a couple of good ideas and a plan for executing them. Providing some service for your community benefits not only the target population you are attempting to reach, but also yourself and any other individuals who may be involved, by providing an outlet which can be both challenging and rewarding.

If you are considering getting started in community service but are unsure of how to proceed, this article should act as a useful point of departure. It will attempt to outline some different ideas while also discussing the steps necessary to execute these ideas and turn them into actionable plans. We encourage you to take an active role in making a positive contribution to your community that will enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

Narrowing down a set of ideas

The ideal place to start when thinking about how to get involved in community service is what problem or challenge exists that you are connected to, and that is not being adequately met by existing services. Depending on your background, training, experiences and interests, this could be any number of different things. For example, doctors might notice that youth coming into their clinics have insufficient information about substance abuse, or about sexual health and well being. Teachers might notice a shortage of textbooks or computers in their schools, or the absence of an active program to promote involvement in the arts on their campuses. Ordinary citizens might notice that the elderly have insufficient care or coverage in their communities, or that there is a lack of a youth center or mentorship program to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble.

After having brainstormed some different ideas for problems that exist in your community where needs are not being adequately met, the next step is to narrow these ideas down by considering what areas lie within your power to affect positive change. In other words, how can you help fill the gap between demand and current service provision (or lack thereof).

From ideas to planning

After you have thought about the problem your community service initiative is attempting to address, the next step is to lay out a basic outline or model of operations for your service. Important ideas to consider may include:

- Who are your target beneficiaries—who is the service intended to reach?

- What are the staffing and capital requirements—does your service need to purchase goods or supplies? Will it run on volunteerism, or require some full time staff?

- Based on the above needs, what are the financing needs of your community service? Where will this financing come from? Government, private donations, or even charging for services provided may help fund your initiate.

- How will your community service organization be sustainable? Can operations be carried on into the future?

Answering these questions will help to create an actionable plan to launch your community services.