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community

Why Should You Participate in Community Service?

There are numerous benefits to participating in community service, both for yourself and others.Below are some of the most important benefits of volunteering:

  • Gives you a way to help others
  • Helps improve your community
  • Can help strengthen your resume and college applications
  • Can be a way to meet new friends
  • Often results in personal growth
  • Gives you a way to gain work experience and learn more about certain jobs

Identify possible community projects activities

General Ideas:

  • 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

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
  • Volunteer to help with Vacation Bible School or other religious camps

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
  • Plant a tree for Arbor Day
  • 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

Promoting Community Enhancement:

  • Paint park benches
  • Donate used books to your local library
  • Become a tour guide at your local museum
  • Repaint community fences
  • Plant flowers in bare public areas
  • Organize a campaign to raise money to buy and install new playground equipment for a park
  • Participate in or help organize a community parade
  • Clean up vacant lot
  • Produce a neighborhood newspaper
  • Campaign for more lighting along poorly lit streets
  • Create a newcomers group in your neighborhood to help welcome new families
  • Petition your town leaders to build more drinking fountains and public restrooms
  • Volunteer to clean up trash at a community event
  • Adopt a local highway or road and clean up trash along it
  • Help fix or raise funds to repair a run-down playground
  • Clean up after a natural disaster

How to organize effective community meetings

Community meetings are an intrinsic and essential part of modern day community living. Organizing of such community meets ups in an organized and structured manner can allow members of the society to have an interactive session rather than a dull customary meeting or an erratic /disorderly discusssions and decision Here are some recommended tips that one can use in order to organize effective community/Committee meetings in one’s apartment or housing society that goes a long way in creating a platform for extensive thought exchange leading the improvement of the whole housing community.When you have formed special committees allow the committee to come out with their ideas and never hurry them.

Have a Preset Agenda: Having a preset or pre-planned agenda is recommended before scheduling any community meeting. The preset agenda can be put up on the society notice board or sent as dedicated email to the various community members. Having such a preset agenda allows members to think and reflect on the points and come prepared with their thoughts and ideas leading to a positive idea exchange. If the point of discussion is introduced in the meeting itself, chances are that not many people would hit upon unique and innovative solutions or ideas to tackle the problem at hand.

Don’t Mix Business with Pleasure: A cardinal sin committed by a lot of community meet ups is to mix serious discussions at social events. A dedicated society meeting not only brings a sense of professionalism, but also allows members to be prepared with the agenda under discussion allowing free flow of thoughts and ideas.

Have a Time Bound Discussion: In this day and age of fast paced life, long meetings can deter society members to actively attend and participate in the discussions. Having a time bound session pre decided considering the points of discussions not only make the meetings short, but also deters members from time wasting by exploring formal welcome address and long lectures.

Focus on the Main Agenda: One of the common mistakes overlooked by most organizing members is to digress from the main agenda. While a social interactive session can help build bonds between new society members and the management team, it is imperative to focus on the main agenda. The longer the meeting is dragged; chances are that members might not be interested in interactive discussions after a certain point..

Have an Interactive Session: It is the imperative of the members of the organizing committee to make all community meetings as interactive as possible . Unless there is a two way exchange of ideas and thoughts, community meetings may end up as a lecture with announcements and rules.

Create Awareness for Social Responsibilities: The role of a successful organizing community committee does not end with the meeting. Creating awareness on the agenda and the solutions discussed with all members of the housing society goes a long way in embedding the thoughts especially with the children and the elderly. Discussing informally with members of the housing society helps in creating awareness and allows all members to be a part of the overall social responsibility

community mobilisation

Community mobilization is the process of engaging communities to identify community priorities, resources, needs and solutions in such a way as to promote representative participation, good governance, accountability and peaceful change.

 

Community mobilization has been defined as a capacity building process through which community individuals, groups, or organizations plan, carry out and evaluate activities on a participatory and sustained basis to improve health and other needs on their own initiative or stimulated by others.  Mobilization increases the participatory decision-making processes by bringing diverse stakeholders to the table.  It brings those people to the table who may not normally be involved in the decision making process.  Mobilization also fosters strong relationships between local governments, businesses and community members.

 

Mobilization strengthens and enhances the ability of communities to work together to achieve goals that are important for that community. Community mobilization is not something that is done over night, but it is a process that requires time and commitment from all parties involved.  The key to successful mobilization efforts is making sure that communities are in the driver’s seat during the process.  Mobilization is not something that happens to the community; it is something that the community does.  One of the primary goals of mobilization is to make sure mobilization efforts are community driven.  This allows a community to solve its problems through its own efforts which is the key to having sustained outcomes within a community.

information and resources required for ensuring good community relations

A meeting is a coming together of people for a specific purpose. The meeting can involve a large number of people, or a smaller (under 10) number of people who focus on a specific problem or purpose. Meetings generally have a facilitator who encourages two-way communication, and a recorder who records suggestions and issues that are revealed at the meeting.

Public meetings provide a good focal point for media interest in an event, and photos can provide a visual indicator or levels of interest and the range of people who attended. Public meetings are often the springboard for a movement or for the establishment of a common-interest group which will continue to act on the issues raised and suggestions made.

Public meetings are familiar, established ways for people to come together to express their opinions, hear a public speaker, or plan a strategy. They can build a feeling of community and attendance levels provide an indicator of the level of interest within a community on a particular issue.

Smaller focus group meetings can be made up of people with common concerns who may not feel confident speaking up in a larger public gathering (e.g. women, those who speak English as a second language, Indigenous groups). In a separate venue, these people can speak comfortably together, share common issues and a common purpose. The findings from focus group meetings can be presented to larger group meetings, giving a ‘voice’ to those in the community who are unable to speak up in a larger meeting

 Special considerations/weaknesses:

 Unless well facilitated, those perceived as having power within the community, or those who are most articulate and domineering in their verbal style can dominate the meeting.

  • Participants may not come from a broad enough range to represent the entire community.
  • Organisers must be aware of potential conflicts.
  • Community members may not be willing to work together.
  • May not achieve consensus.
  • Can be time and labour intensive.

Resources required:

 Venue rental/ Facilities

  • Catering
  • Staffing
  • Moderator/facilitator
  • Overhead projectors
  • Data projectors
  • Video
  • Slide projector
  • Projection screen
  • Props for working in groups (pens, paper, pins, etc.)
  • Children’s requirements
  • People
  • Communications and warning technologies
  • Fire protection and life safety systems
  • Pollution control systems
  • Equipment
  • Materials and supplies
  • Funding
  • Special expertise
  • Information about the threats or hazards