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What Are the Best Ideas for High School Community Service?

Volunteering at a local soup kitchen is a great way of helping the community.
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  • Written By: Heather Scoville
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 24 July 2014
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High school students need more than traditional classroom learning to receive a well-rounded education, so many schools emphasize learning through required community service projects. In most cases, the projects are coordinated through the school. With such a wide variety of opportunities available, finding a service project that interests the student should not be difficult. High school community service projects can involve things such as beautifying an area by picking up trash or pulling weeds or helping people by visiting nursing homes or providing service at food banks. Some projects are joint projects between high schools and local community service clubs.

Outdoor projects are a great way to get out and enjoy a nice day while completing community service. These can be as simple as picking up trash in an area or along roadways. Many places have programs in which an organization can apply to the local or regional government to be assigned a stretch of road that must be cleaned annually or more often. Other outdoor activities include weed pulling, yard work for the elderly, painting buildings or community fixtures, cutting brush at a local park, building houses or planting and tending a community garden.

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Indoor service projects can be done year round. Local food banks are always in need of volunteers to sort, organize and box food. Many food banks are connected to soup kitchens that could use cooks, servers and cleaners. Residents of nursing homes and assisted living centers enjoy visitors with whom they can play games, read, sing songs or just talk or who will entertain them. Many organizations and businesses would benefit from volunteer childcare for their meetings.

Hospitals are always in need of volunteers. Most hospitals offer high school community service opportunities to a select few motivated students as "candy stripers." These volunteers help nurses with food and gift delivery and any other odd jobs assigned.

Veteran's hospitals and hospice care centers have a need for holiday cards. Students can make the cards any time of year and deliver them to the hospital. The cards will be delivered to the patients on the proper day.

Working with animals is always a popular high school community service project. Students can go to a local animal shelter to volunteer their services. There are many dogs that need to be walked or washed, and their cages and kennels need to be cleaned. After the project is complete, the students are often able to play with the animals. Many shelters have "adoption days" that require more volunteers to be on hand to help families choose the best pet for them.

The holiday season is a great time for high school community service projects. Many charities need help collecting monetary or gift donations that they use to brighten the holidays for those who are poor or needy. Gift wrapping and shopping assistance for shut-ins or the elderly is also an option. Many elementary schools need volunteers for holiday programs or parties. Helping with holiday decorations is also an easy way to acquire community service hours, as is shoveling a neighbor's driveway if it is in an area that receives snowfall.

Some schools require the students to plan and execute their own community service projects. Any sort of "drive" is a great way to do this. The student can choose to collect things such as cans of food, books for hospital libraries or gently used clothes and furniture to donate to the needy. These types of projects might take more time because they typically require advertising, collection and delivery to the proper charity.

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Discuss this Article

ValleyFiah
Post 3

@ Submariner- I have been looking for community service programs to add to my college resume, but I have been getting frustrated with the slow response from organizations and the lengthy application process involved. I never thought of using social networking and my own initiative to start something like what you described. I like to write so I have been trying to volunteer my time with online organizations looking for someone who could use my skills but haven't had much luck. Now that I think of it though, I like to play disc golf at the parks around my area, and I notice they are always littered with beer bottles, cans, and plastic bags. I should just skip the golf a couple times a month and take a group of friends out to pick up garbage and rake trails.

I have always thought of community service programs as these structured organizations designed to help certain individuals. Now I realize that anything I do to benefit my community can be considered community service.

submariner
Post 2

@ Cougars- A couple years ago, I was helping my younger sister fulfill her high school community service requirements and we came up with the idea to organize a trail clean up event. She lives in Sedona where there are plenty of hiking and biking trails, and plenty of tourists to trash them. She sent out notices on her facebook and myspace accounts to all of her friends, and I did the same. We were able to organize ourselves into a number of groups, each picking a hiking trail to scour for garbage and recyclables.

When we were done, we loaded all of the trash into the back of my truck and took it to the nearest waste management facility for disposal and recycling. This was a great idea for an outdoor project that is fun, and benefits a large number of people. Something like this requires little money and resources. You also go hoe feeling like you have accomplished something. Try coming up with a group idea like the one I described.

cougars
Post 1

Can anyone give me a few community service ideas? I want to do something that helps everyone in a community, not just a group of people. I also would like to do something that is fun and outdoors. I like working with plants and animals, and I love outdoor spaces. Any ideas are appreciated.

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