Community service is work done by a person or group of people that benefits others. It is often done near the area where you live, so your own community reaps the benefits of your work. You do not get paid to perform community service, but volunteer your time. Community service can help many different groups of people: children, senior citizens, people with disabilities, even animals and the environment.
List of Community Service
- Donate or raise money for your local Red Cross
- Organize a community blood drive
- Send cards to soldiers serving overseas
- For your next birthday, ask for charitable donations instead of gifts
- Hold a bake sale for your favorite charity
- Read books or letters to a person who is visually impaired
- Organize a wheelchair basketball team
- Participate in a charity race
- Organize an event or parade for Memorial Day
- Volunteer to help at a charity auction
- Participate in National Youth Service Day in April
- Contact a tree farm about donating Christmas trees to nursing homes, hospitals, or to families who can’t afford to buy their own
- Collect unused makeup and perfume to donate to a center for abused women
- Help register people to vote
- Organize a car wash and donate the profits to charity
- Help deliver meals and gifts to patients at a local hospital
- Write articles / give speeches advocating financial literarcy. First you should learn about the topics themselves, like calculating housing costs, or understanding personal loans, and then give presentations on these topics.
Helping Children and Schools:
- Tutor children during or after school
- Donate stuffed animals to children in hospitals
- Organize games and activities for children in hospitals or who are visiting hospitalized relatives
- Knit or crochet baby blankets to be donated to hospitals or homeless shelters
- Collect baby clothes and supplies to donate to new parents
- Organize a Special Olympics event for children and teenagers
- Sponsor a bike-a-thon and give away bike safety gear, like helmets and knee pads, as prizes
- Collect used sports equipment to donate to families and after-school programs
- Volunteer at a summer camp for children who have lost a parent
- Sponsor a child living in a foreign country, either on your own or as part of a group
- Coach a youth sports team
- Put on performances for children in hospitals
- Give free music lessons to schoolchildren
- Become a volunteer teen crisis counselor
- Organize a summer reading program to encourage kids to read
- Organize an Easter egg hunt for neighborhood children
- Create a new game for children to play
- Organize events to help new students make friends
- Babysit children during a PTA meeting
- Organize a reading hour for children at a local school or library
- Donate used children’s books to a school library
- Work with the local health department to set up an immunization day or clinic to immunize children against childhood diseases.
Helping Senior Citizens:
- Read to residents at a nursing home
- Deliver groceries and meals to elderly neighbors
- Teach computer skills to the elderly
- Drive seniors to doctor appointments
- Mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn
- Host a bingo night for nursing home residents
- Host a holiday meal for senior citizens
- Make birthday cards for the elderly
- Donate and decorate a Christmas tree at a nursing home
- Organize a family day for residents of a retirement home and relatives to play games together
- Ask residents of a retirement home to tell you about their lives
- Pick up medicine for an elderly neighbor
- Perform a concert or play at a senior center
- Help elderly neighbors clean their homes and organize their belongings
- Rake leaves, shovel snow, or wash windows for a senior citizen
- Deliver cookies to a homebound senior citizen
Helping Animals and the Environment:
- Take care of cats and dogs at an animal shelter
- Clean up a local park
- Raise money to provide a bulletproof vest for a police dog
Place a bird feeder and bird fountain in your backyard
Start a butterfly garden in your community
Sponsor a recycling contest
Grow flowers in your backyard then give bouquets to hospital patients or people who are housebound
Help create a new walking trail at a nature center or park
Update the signs along a nature trail
Adopt an acre of rainforest
Help train service dogs
Participate in the cleanup of a local river, pond, or lake
Foster animals that shelters don’t have space for
Organize a spay and neuter your pet program
Care for a neighbor’s pet while they are away
Sponsor an animal at your local zoo
Train your pet to be a therapy animal and bring it to hospitals or nursing homes
Build and set up a bird house
Organize a carpool to reduce car emissions
Campaign for more bike lanes in your town
Volunteer at a nature camp and teach kids about the environment
Test the water quality of a lake or river near you
- Plant native flowers or plants along highways
Helping the Hungry and/or Homeless:
- Build a house with Habitat for Humanity
- Donate your old clothes
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
- Donate old eyeglasses to an organization that collects that and distributes them to people in need
- Donate non-perishable food to a food bank
- Donate blankets to a homeless shelter
- Host a Thanksgiving dinner for people who may not be able to afford their own
- Offer to babysit or nanny for a family in need
- Make “care kits” with shampoo, toothbrushes, combs, etc. to donate to homeless shelters
- Prepare a home-cooked meal for the residents of a nearby homeless shelter
- Collect grocery coupons to give to a local food bank
- Help repair or paint a local homeless shelter
- Donate art supplies to kids in a homeless shelter
- Help organize and sort donations at a homeless shelter
- Babysit children while their parents look for jobs
- Become a Big Buddy for children at a homeless shelter
- Take homeless children on outings
- Bake a batch of cookies or loaf of bread and deliver it to a soup kitchen
- Build flower boxes for Habitat for Humanity houses
- Organize a winter clothes drive to collect coats, hats, scarves, and gloves to be donated
- Make first aid kits for homeless shelters
Reducing Crime and Promoting Safety:
- Volunteer at a police station or firehouse
- Become a certified lifeguard and volunteer at a local pool or beach
- Paint over graffiti in your neighborhood
- Organize a self-defense workshop
- Organize a drug-free campaign
- Sponsor a drug-free post-prom event
- Start or join a neighborhood watch program
- Create and distribute a list of hotlines for people who might need help
- Teach a home-alone safety class for children
- Create a TV or radio public service announcement against drug and alcohol use
- Become CPR certified
- Volunteer as a crossing guard for an elementary school.
1. Volunteer at a Special Olympics event.
2. Work with kids who have special needs on an art project.
3. Set up a buddy system with the special needs program at your school.
4. Raise money with SignUpGenius Payments to purchase Braille books, large print books, or other needed materials for the special needs program at a local school or community center.
5. Make gifts with friends for kids in the hospital. Distribute Valentines, Halloween candy, or Christmas treats/toys.
6. Build a ramp for a person in a wheelchair to make their house more accessible.
7. Volunteer to read books or newspapers to those who are visually impaired.
8. Visit a local care center to learn more about those with special needs, and ask how you can help.
9. Recruit some friends or a class to help set up a library at a children’s hospital.
10. Create a pamphlet that includes helpful tips concerning the respect of and interaction with people who have special needs.
1. Adopt a “grandfriend”. Write them letters, call them, and visit often.
2. Gather friends and create a “shop squad” to pick up groceries and medicine for elderly.
3. Deliver meals to homebound individuals.
4. Gather family and friends and organize a summer songfest or play to perform at a nursing home.
5. For the holidays, go caroling, bring (easy-to-eat) treats, or just go and visit senior citizens.
6. Offer to read to people.
7. Provide your local nursing home or library with more large-print books.
8. Teach a senior how to use a computer or the Internet.
9. Call up elderly people who live alone to check if they need anything.
10. Volunteer to do general home maintenance for a senior citizen.
1. Volunteer at your local animal shelter.
2. Gather newspapers and give to a local animal shelter.
3. Learn about raising and training a pet to give to a disable person, and consider whether it is an option for you and your family.
4. Visit and volunteer at a local aviary, zoo, or wild animal rehabilitation center.
5. Organize a community dog wash, and donate the proceeds to organizations that aid animals.
6. Locate homes and shelters for abandoned pets.
7. Start a Chow Drive for the community to donate food and toys to a local shelter.
8. Offer dog-walking services to those who can’t (or won’t) give their pets the proper amount of exercise.
9. Take pictures or videos of pets that are in the pound and use them when organizing a supplies drive.
10. Adopt a pet! Or, if this is not an option, volunteer to become a temporary foster parent for a pet in the pound.
1. Clean up trash from a local outdoor space.
2. Organize a hike or nature walk with friends, and bring bags to collect trash along the trails.
3. Have fun with creating homemade paper out of used paper with friends (It’s easy, fun, and green!)
4. Grow your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs in an organic garden, and encourage others to do the same.
5. Instead of using the car, choose the healthy route and bike to your next location. Burn energy, not gasoline!
6. Choose a family “energy watchdog” to shut off lights, television, and dripping sinks when not in use.
7. Switch your current Internet home page to an energy-saving one, such as Google’s “Blackle”, and turn down the computer screen brightness level as well. (It’s unhealthy for both the environment and your eyes.)
8. Create a children’s nature garden. Create a path, label plants and trees, and schedule guided tours.
9. Purchase recycled products as opposed to generic ones.
10. When buying food or drinks of any kind, it is better to stick to a large jug or tub as opposed to a collection of individually packaged goods.