Community service allows students to take an active part in their community and learn important lessons about civic duty. Student community service can be done through a classroom, student organization, or be a part of outreach by charitable community service organizations. There are many great ideas for student community service, but the best source of ideas may be from the students themselves.
Part of the education of any young person can include time devoted to understanding and helping the community. Many community service ideas begin with the analysis of the needs of the town or city in which the students live. Looking at the problems in the community can lead to brainstorming sessions on how to solve or help the issue: littered beaches that the city can't afford to clean may inspire a weekend volunteer cleaning brigade, a large population of homebound seniors could lead to ideas for meal delivery and entertainment for lonesome elderly folks. Letting students discover these local issues and become passionate about fixing them is a good way to create adults who are active and constructive about their communities.
Many student community service ideas can stretch outside the local community and into the global sphere. Learning about problems and challenges in other parts of the world may help students become more aware of global politics, conservation, and the wider world. Through charitable or non-profit organizations, students can raise money or awareness about issues important to them throughout the world. Some global outreach programs even offer opportunities for students to travel to other parts of the world and help install houses, water pumps, and other basic necessities for people in economic distress.
There are typically two forms that student community service may take: fundraising and acts of service. One of the easiest ways to raise funds is to partner with local merchants, such as restaurants, to offer special evenings where a portion of the receipts is donated to a cause. Fundraising can also be done through sales of goods and services, such as bake sales, car washes, or gift-wrapping stands around the holidays, with all donated funds going toward the cause.
Acts of service allow students to personally get involved in fixing or helping to solve a problem. Ideas for this type of student community service include putting together food or gift baskets for needy families, collecting and distributing blankets and coats to the homeless, cleaning up vacant spaces and turning them into parks or community gardens, or starting after school programs for at-risk children.