How to Write a Reflective Essay on Community Service
Table of Contents
Essay on community service.
Writing a reflective essay on community service is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in your entire life. It comes with responsibility, goal, and dedication. In writing a reflective paper, first, you have a goal – to persuade all of your readers to start doing community service in their own respective community. This might be the most difficult part in composing your essay; thus, you have to be careful and sensitive in placing every detail of your writing. Remember, people can be easily discouraged once they have heard something negative about what you wanted them to do; they can just “no”, and you can no longer do anything about it. Second, a responsibility which means you can take a stand to whatever things you have talked about in the course of your essay. Keep in mind that you need to write only about things you are familiar with. Do not get us wrong in here, we are not asking you to back-off from taking risks in placing new ideas on your essay – you can add things you want but, please, make sure that research was done properly and accordingly. Lastly, as a writer, you should be able to have the dedication. Take notes, put your heart in every sentence, especially when you want to write a perfect essay about community service. So, here are some effective steps for you to use as your guide in writing a reflective essay on community service.
How to start
As an observation, knowing where to start and how to start a reflective paper is the most difficult part. It is not as easy as you think. In writing a reflective paper on community service, you should be able to know your motivation. Know the roots and how does the concept start. We suggest you do research first. Try to read published essays, other blogs, or previous studies that are similar to what you wanted to write about. We have some tips you can consider in starting your reflective essay.
- Compose yourself. You will need to be in the right state of mind.
- Make sure to do some researches and background study to what you are going to write.
- Lastly, properly think who are the receivers or the readers of your essay. Knowing who are going to be your target readers means knowing where to go.
How to write a thesis for a reflective essay on community service
It is known as the summary of your main idea. Usually, in some essays, a thesis statement consists of one to two sentences. Also, keep in mind the goal of a thesis statement, which is to give bird’s eye-view as to what your readers should expect on your essay.
How to write your introduction
Your introduction serves as the welcome paragraph of your essay. It should be as catchy as possible. In your introduction, make sure to state the purpose of your essay, define the concept , and make sure to add some words to trigger your reader’s curiosity.
- So, here are some tips for writing an effective introduction.
- Keep it short. Readers sometimes lose their patience.
- Make it personal. As early as in your introduction, you should have already created a bond between you as the writer and your reader.
- Avoid clichés or common lines to start your introduction.
- State your inspiration in writing your reflective essay.
How to construct body paragraphs
The body is the part of your reflective essay where you can start, elaborate and end your discussions. In this part, your personal experiences in doing community service should be placed. You could add your observations regarding the basic problems your community has as well as the possible help you can give. Usually, writers include their main idea, arguments, experiences and observations in the body. In addition, always keep in mind that every paragraph should be somehow related or connected to other paragraphs. To write your body paragraphs correctly, below are a few tips you should consider.
- First, write the main points you wanted to discuss in a bullet form.
- If needed, place specific supporting points under its respective main point.
- Elaborate, make sure to explain each idea you have placed.
- Turn the body to a sentence form; make sure to use appropriate words.
- Write as if you are retelling a story.
- Each paragraph should have connections to its succeeding paragraph.
- Read it aloud. If it sounds good, then it will surely be pleasant in the eyes of readers.
How to finish your essay
Finishing an essay is a lot easier than starting it. No studies are needed to be done, it is just internalizing. Consider if there is enough learning on your essay. Always keep in mind that a regular essay is different from a reflective essay. A reflective essay talks about the experiences you have, meaning that it is more personal than a regular essay. A conclusion is a summary of whatever you have written in your body, making your conclusion as short as possible is one the secrets for you to be able to have an excellent reflective essay. However, do not sacrifice the substance of your conclusion. Lastly, since what you have written is a reflective essay, make sure of having some lessons on the last part or your essay. Make it relatable, add a personal touch to it.
Revising your essay
In revising your reflective essay , ask someone to read your essay. Ask for possible revisions or recommendations. In addition, revise an hour or two after you are done writing your reflective essay. Lastly, Read it aloud, you as the writer should be able to feel the feeling of fulfillment.
- Purpose of Community Service
- Definition of Community Service
- Thesis Statement
- Experiences you have with community service
- Solution to the problems you have observed
- Review of the main arguments
A reflective essay on community service (Sample)
For our community to be able to survive and take the changes we have in the world today, everyone is expected to extend their help. Giving help comes in different forms; you can lend your helping hand through donations, like giving financial aid to sustain and to support what your community needs. Another way for you to be able to help your community is by simply following your community rules and regulations. For instance, following the basic traffic rules might be a very basic thing to consider; however, doing this every time gives a lasting effect on your community.
Lastly, through community service, there are two connotations when someone hears the word community service, some people might think, this is a punishment to someone who is able to abide himself with the law, on the other hand, community service is an effect of volunteerism, which means, someone just want to do something different for his or her community.
Community service has been the bridge in having a united and a strong community. This has been proven, and this has been observed by almost everyone. There are three benefits community service has; psychological benefit, social benefit, and cognitive benefit. A psychological benefit: with this benefit, psychologists believe that participating in a community service boosts the satisfaction and the feeling of fulfillment of an individual. Moreover, it also gives some social benefits, the moment an individual engaged himself in community service creates a better bond and better relation with another person. Lastly, for the cognitive benefits, the process of a person gain more experiences makes him a better individual.
I can remember when I have participated in a community service; I have seen how camaraderie and unity bring us to where we are now. In this time, I observed how an individual works with another individual. I was able to see sincerity and determination, which I think is a good step in reaching our goal of having a peaceful world or community. I think if we continue what we have started, then, it will be easier for us to attain our ambitions in life.
In a nutshell, community service might be a very difficult thing to do but trust me, once you have started doing it, you will surely love it.
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Essay on Community Service
Here we have shared the Essay on Community Service in detail so you can use it in your exam or assignment of 150, 300, 500, or 1000 words.
You can use this Essay on Community Service in any assignment or project whether you are in school (class 10th or 12th), college, or preparing for answer writing in competitive exams.
Topics covered in this article.
Essay on Community Service in 150 words
Essay on community service in 250-300 words.
- Essay on Community Service in 500-1000 words
Community service is a voluntary act where individuals contribute their time and effort to benefit their community. It plays a vital role in strengthening communities, promoting personal growth, and addressing societal needs. Through community service, people come together to work towards common goals, fostering unity and cooperation.
Volunteers develop new skills, gain valuable experiences, and broaden their perspectives, leading to personal growth and self-improvement. Furthermore, community service addresses various social, environmental, and economic needs within a community, such as poverty, homelessness, and environmental sustainability. It provides essential services and resources to those in need, creating a positive impact on the overall well-being of the community.
Community service also promotes civic engagement and active citizenship, encouraging individuals to participate in local governance and advocate for positive change. By engaging in community service, individuals create a ripple effect of kindness, inspiring others to get involved and contribute to building a stronger and more compassionate society.
Community Service: A Pathway to Social Change
Community service is a powerful force that brings individuals together to make a positive impact on society. It involves volunteering one’s time, skills, and resources to benefit others and improve the well-being of the community. Through community service, individuals have the opportunity to contribute, learn, grow, and foster a sense of belonging.
Engaging in community service plays a pivotal role in building stronger communities. When people come together with a shared purpose, they create a sense of unity and cooperation. By working collaboratively, community members can address local challenges, build resilience, and forge lasting bonds.
Community service also promotes personal development and growth. Volunteers gain valuable experiences and develop skills such as leadership, communication, and problem-solving. They broaden their perspectives by interacting with diverse groups of people, promoting empathy, tolerance, and understanding. Moreover, community service nurtures a sense of purpose and fulfillment as individuals witness the positive impact they can have on the lives of others.
Addressing community needs is another crucial aspect of community service. It provides a platform to tackle social, environmental, and economic issues. Volunteers contribute their time and effort to support vulnerable populations, combat homelessness, alleviate poverty, promote education, and enhance environmental sustainability. By actively engaging in community service, individuals play an instrumental role in creating a more equitable and inclusive society.
Furthermore, community service fosters civic engagement and active citizenship. By participating in community projects, individuals become more aware of societal challenges and the importance of democratic values. They gain firsthand experience in advocacy, community organizing, and local governance, empowering them to become agents of change.
In conclusion, community service is a pathway to social change. It brings people together, promotes personal growth, addresses community needs, and fosters civic engagement. By volunteering our time and skills, we contribute to building stronger, more compassionate communities and creating a brighter future for all. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Essay on Community Service in 500 words
Community Service: Empowering Individuals, Strengthening Communities
Community service is a powerful and transformative force that involves individuals dedicating their time, skills, and resources to serve others and improve their communities. It plays a crucial role in fostering social responsibility, promoting personal growth, addressing community needs, and building stronger and more inclusive societies.
Importance of Community Service
Community service is essential for the well-being and progress of society. It brings people together, fostering a sense of unity and cooperation among community members. It promotes personal development by providing opportunities to acquire new skills, gain valuable experiences, and broaden perspectives. Moreover, community service addresses various social, environmental, and economic needs within a community, making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.
Benefits for Volunteers
Engaging in community service offers numerous benefits for volunteers. Firstly, it provides an avenue for personal growth, self-reflection, and self-improvement. Volunteers develop skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving. They gain valuable experiences and broaden their understanding of diverse cultures, lifestyles, and perspectives. Furthermore, community service boosts self-esteem and a sense of fulfillment, as volunteers witness the positive impact they have on the lives of others. It also provides an opportunity for networking and building social connections, creating a stronger support system.
Benefits for the Community
Community service plays a vital role in addressing community needs and creating positive change. Volunteers contribute their time and efforts to support marginalized groups, combat poverty, provide educational opportunities, improve healthcare access, and enhance environmental sustainability. Community service initiatives create a safety net for those in need, fostering a more equitable and inclusive society. Moreover, community service projects inspire others to get involved and create a ripple effect of kindness, leading to greater community engagement and collective action. By addressing local challenges, community service strengthens the fabric of the community and enhances its resilience.
Promoting Civic Engagement
Community service is closely tied to civic engagement and active citizenship. When individuals actively participate in their communities, they develop a stronger sense of civic responsibility and a deeper understanding of democratic values. Through community service, individuals learn about the importance of equality, justice, participation, and collective decision-making. It encourages people to engage in local governance, advocate for policy changes, and contribute to the overall well-being of society. By fostering a culture of service and civic engagement, community service empowers individuals to be agents of positive social change.
Creating Lasting Impact
Community service initiatives have the potential to create a lasting impact beyond immediate beneficiaries. By addressing systemic issues and root causes of social challenges, community service projects can bring about structural change. Moreover, community service inspires others to join the cause and create a culture of service in their own lives. When individuals witness the power of community service, it creates a ripple effect, multiplying the positive impact. Through collective efforts, community service projects have the potential to transform communities and shape a better future for all.
In conclusion, community service is a powerful force that empowers individuals, strengthens communities, and creates positive social change. By engaging in community service, volunteers not only contribute to the betterment of society but also experience personal growth and fulfillment. Community service is a pathway to building stronger, more inclusive societies where individuals actively participate in shaping a better future for all.
Essay on Community Service in 1000 words
Here is an Essay on Community Service in detail (more than 1000 words for competitive exams).
Title: The Power of Community Service
Community service is a powerful and transformative force that involves individuals dedicating their time, skills, and resources to serve others and improve their communities. It plays a crucial role in fostering social responsibility, promoting personal growth, addressing community needs, and building stronger and more inclusive societies. This essay explores the importance of community service, its benefits for volunteers and the community, and the long-lasting impact it can have on society.
I. Importance of Community Service
A. fostering a sense of unity and cooperation, b. promoting personal growth and development, c. addressing community needs.
Community service brings people together, fostering a sense of unity and cooperation among community members. By working collaboratively towards common goals, individuals develop a shared sense of responsibility and belonging. Community service initiatives create platforms for community members to come together, break down barriers, and build relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.
Engaging in community service provides opportunities for personal growth and development. Volunteers acquire new skills, gain valuable experiences, and broaden their perspectives. They develop important life skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving. Furthermore, community service exposes volunteers to diverse cultures, lifestyles, and perspectives, fostering empathy, tolerance, and global awareness.
Community service plays a vital role in addressing various social, environmental, and economic needs within a community. Volunteers contribute their time and efforts to support marginalized groups, combat poverty, provide educational opportunities, improve healthcare access, and enhance environmental sustainability. By actively engaging in community service, individuals make a positive impact on the lives of those in need, contributing to a more equitable and inclusive society.
II. Benefits for Volunteers
A. personal growth and self-reflection, b. interpersonal and communication skills, c. enhanced well-being and social connections.
Community service provides an avenue for personal growth, self-reflection, and self-improvement. Volunteers develop a greater sense of self-awareness as they learn more about their strengths, weaknesses, and values. They enhance their ability to adapt to new situations and work effectively with diverse groups of people. Moreover, community service allows individuals to explore new interests, discover their passions, and identify potential career paths.
Volunteering enhances volunteers’ interpersonal and communication skills. By interacting with individuals from different backgrounds and cultures, volunteers develop stronger communication and interpersonal abilities. They learn to listen actively, empathize with others, and collaborate effectively within a team. These skills are invaluable in all aspects of life, including personal relationships, academic pursuits, and professional careers.
Engaging in community service has a positive impact on volunteers’ mental and emotional well-being. The act of helping others and making a difference in the community promotes a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Volunteers often report increased levels of happiness, satisfaction, and self-esteem as they witness the positive impact of their efforts. Furthermore, community service provides an opportunity for volunteers to build social connections, expand their networks, and develop meaningful relationships with fellow volunteers and community members.
III. Benefits for the Community
A. provision of essential services and resources, b. empowerment and inclusivity, c. strengthening the social fabric.
Community service addresses immediate needs by providing essential services and resources to vulnerable populations. For example, volunteers may assist in food drives, clothing donations, or homeless shelters, ensuring that basic needs are met for those facing hardship. In the educational sector, volunteers may offer tutoring, mentorship, or after-school programs, empowering students and enhancing their academic outcomes. Furthermore, community service initiatives focused on environmental sustainability promote the preservation and conservation of natural resources, leading to a healthier and greener community for future generations.
Community service fosters a sense of empowerment and inclusivity within the community. By providing opportunities for skill-building, education, and support, community service initiatives empower marginalized individuals and groups. It ensures that everyone has access to resources and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Additionally, community service promotes inclusivity by breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, and creating an environment where all community members are valued and respected.
Community service strengthens the social fabric of a community by promoting civic engagement and collective action. It inspires individuals to actively participate in their communities, advocate for policy changes, and contribute to the overall well-being of society. By fostering a culture of service and civic engagement, community service projects create a ripple effect of kindness, leading to greater community engagement and a sense of shared responsibility.
IV. Creating Lasting Impact
A. addressing systemic issues, b. inspiring others to take action.
Community service initiatives have the potential to address systemic issues and root causes of social challenges. By working towards long-term solutions, community service projects can bring about structural change and create lasting impact. Volunteers can collaborate with community organizations, policymakers, and other stakeholders to identify and address underlying issues that perpetuate inequality, poverty, and injustice.
When individuals witness the power of community service, it inspires them to get involved and create a culture of service in their own lives. By sharing their experiences and stories, volunteers can motivate others to take action and make a difference in their communities. This creates a ripple effect, multiplying the positive impact and fostering a sense of collective responsibility for creating positive social change.
Community service is a powerful force that empowers individuals, strengthens communities, and creates positive social change. By engaging in community service, volunteers not only contribute to the betterment of society but also experience personal growth and fulfillment. Community service is a pathway to building stronger, more inclusive societies where individuals actively participate in shaping a better future for all. Through their dedicated efforts, volunteers address community needs, foster unity and cooperation, and inspire others to join in the cause. Community service is a catalyst for creating a more equitable, compassionate, and resilient world.
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How to Write the Community Essay – Guide with Examples (2023-24)
September 6, 2023
Students applying to college this year will inevitably confront the community essay. In fact, most students will end up responding to several community essay prompts for different schools. For this reason, you should know more than simply how to approach the community essay as a genre. Rather, you will want to learn how to decipher the nuances of each particular prompt, in order to adapt your response appropriately. In this article, we’ll show you how to do just that, through several community essay examples. These examples will also demonstrate how to avoid cliché and make the community essay authentically and convincingly your own.
Emphasis on Community
Do keep in mind that inherent in the word “community” is the idea of multiple people. The personal statement already provides you with a chance to tell the college admissions committee about yourself as an individual. The community essay, however, suggests that you depict yourself among others. You can use this opportunity to your advantage by showing off interpersonal skills, for example. Or, perhaps you wish to relate a moment that forged important relationships. This in turn will indicate what kind of connections you’ll make in the classroom with college peers and professors.
Apart from comprising numerous people, a community can appear in many shapes and sizes. It could be as small as a volleyball team, or as large as a diaspora. It could fill a town soup kitchen, or spread across five boroughs. In fact, due to the internet, certain communities today don’t even require a physical place to congregate. Communities can form around a shared identity, shared place, shared hobby, shared ideology, or shared call to action. They can even arise due to a shared yet unforeseen circumstance.
What is the Community Essay All About?
In a nutshell, the community essay should exhibit three things:
- An aspect of yourself, 2. in the context of a community you belonged to, and 3. how this experience may shape your contribution to the community you’ll join in college.
It may look like a fairly simple equation: 1 + 2 = 3. However, each college will word their community essay prompt differently, so it’s important to look out for additional variables. One college may use the community essay as a way to glimpse your core values. Another may use the essay to understand how you would add to diversity on campus. Some may let you decide in which direction to take it—and there are many ways to go!
To get a better idea of how the prompts differ, let’s take a look at some real community essay prompts from the current admission cycle.
Sample 2023-2024 Community Essay Prompts
1) brown university.
“Students entering Brown often find that making their home on College Hill naturally invites reflection on where they came from. Share how an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you, and what unique contributions this might allow you to make to the Brown community. (200-250 words)”
A close reading of this prompt shows that Brown puts particular emphasis on place. They do this by using the words “home,” “College Hill,” and “where they came from.” Thus, Brown invites writers to think about community through the prism of place. They also emphasize the idea of personal growth or change, through the words “inspired or challenged you.” Therefore, Brown wishes to see how the place you grew up in has affected you. And, they want to know how you in turn will affect their college community.
“NYU was founded on the belief that a student’s identity should not dictate the ability for them to access higher education. That sense of opportunity for all students, of all backgrounds, remains a part of who we are today and a critical part of what makes us a world-class university. Our community embraces diversity, in all its forms, as a cornerstone of the NYU experience.
We would like to better understand how your experiences would help us to shape and grow our diverse community. Please respond in 250 words or less.”
Here, NYU places an emphasis on students’ “identity,” “backgrounds,” and “diversity,” rather than any physical place. (For some students, place may be tied up in those ideas.) Furthermore, while NYU doesn’t ask specifically how identity has changed the essay writer, they do ask about your “experience.” Take this to mean that you can still recount a specific moment, or several moments, that work to portray your particular background. You should also try to link your story with NYU’s values of inclusivity and opportunity.
3) University of Washington
“Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds. Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc. Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the UW. (300 words max) Tip: Keep in mind that the UW strives to create a community of students richly diverse in cultural backgrounds, experiences, values and viewpoints.”
UW ’s community essay prompt may look the most approachable, for they help define the idea of community. You’ll notice that most of their examples (“families,” “cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood”…) place an emphasis on people. This may clue you in on their desire to see the relationships you’ve made. At the same time, UW uses the words “individual” and “richly diverse.” They, like NYU, wish to see how you fit in and stand out, in order to boost campus diversity.
Writing Your First Community Essay
Begin by picking which community essay you’ll write first. (For practical reasons, you’ll probably want to go with whichever one is due earliest.) Spend time doing a close reading of the prompt, as we’ve done above. Underline key words. Try to interpret exactly what the prompt is asking through these keywords.
Next, brainstorm. I recommend doing this on a blank piece of paper with a pencil. Across the top, make a row of headings. These might be the communities you’re a part of, or the components that make up your identity. Then, jot down descriptive words underneath in each column—whatever comes to you. These words may invoke people and experiences you had with them, feelings, moments of growth, lessons learned, values developed, etc. Now, narrow in on the idea that offers the richest material and that corresponds fully with the prompt.
Lastly, write! You’ll definitely want to describe real moments, in vivid detail. This will keep your essay original, and help you avoid cliché. However, you’ll need to summarize the experience and answer the prompt succinctly, so don’t stray too far into storytelling mode.
How To Adapt Your Community Essay
Once your first essay is complete, you’ll need to adapt it to the other colleges involving community essays on your list. Again, you’ll want to turn to the prompt for a close reading, and recognize what makes this prompt different from the last. For example, let’s say you’ve written your essay for UW about belonging to your swim team, and how the sports dynamics shaped you. Adapting that essay to Brown’s prompt could involve more of a focus on place. You may ask yourself, how was my swim team in Alaska different than the swim teams we competed against in other states?
Once you’ve adapted the content, you’ll also want to adapt the wording to mimic the prompt. For example, let’s say your UW essay states, “Thinking back to my years in the pool…” As you adapt this essay to Brown’s prompt, you may notice that Brown uses the word “reflection.” Therefore, you might change this sentence to “Reflecting back on my years in the pool…” While this change is minute, it cleverly signals to the reader that you’ve paid attention to the prompt, and are giving that school your full attention.
What to Avoid When Writing the Community Essay
- Avoid cliché. Some students worry that their idea is cliché, or worse, that their background or identity is cliché. However, what makes an essay cliché is not the content, but the way the content is conveyed. This is where your voice and your descriptions become essential.
- Avoid giving too many examples. Stick to one community, and one or two anecdotes arising from that community that allow you to answer the prompt fully.
- Don’t exaggerate or twist facts. Sometimes students feel they must make themselves sound more “diverse” than they feel they are. Luckily, diversity is not a feeling. Likewise, diversity does not simply refer to one’s heritage. If the prompt is asking about your identity or background, you can show the originality of your experiences through your actions and your thinking.
Community Essay Examples and Analysis
Brown university community essay example.
I used to hate the NYC subway. I’ve taken it since I was six, going up and down Manhattan, to and from school. By high school, it was a daily nightmare. Spending so much time underground, underneath fluorescent lighting, squashed inside a rickety, rocking train car among strangers, some of whom wanted to talk about conspiracy theories, others who had bedbugs or B.O., or who manspread across two seats, or bickered—it wore me out. The challenge of going anywhere seemed absurd. I dreaded the claustrophobia and disgruntlement.
Yet the subway also inspired my understanding of community. I will never forget the morning I saw a man, several seats away, slide out of his seat and hit the floor. The thump shocked everyone to attention. What we noticed: he appeared drunk, possibly homeless. I was digesting this when a second man got up and, through a sort of awkward embrace, heaved the first man back into his seat. The rest of us had stuck to subway social codes: don’t step out of line. Yet this second man’s silent actions spoke loudly. They said, “I care.”
That day I realized I belong to a group of strangers. What holds us together is our transience, our vulnerabilities, and a willingness to assist. This community is not perfect but one in motion, a perpetual work-in-progress. Now I make it my aim to hold others up. I plan to contribute to the Brown community by helping fellow students and strangers in moments of precariousness.
Brown University Community Essay Example Analysis
Here the student finds an original way to write about where they come from. The subway is not their home, yet it remains integral to ideas of belonging. The student shows how a community can be built between strangers, in their responsibility toward each other. The student succeeds at incorporating key words from the prompt (“challenge,” “inspired” “Brown community,” “contribute”) into their community essay.
UW Community Essay Example
I grew up in Hawaii, a world bound by water and rich in diversity. In school we learned that this sacred land was invaded, first by Captain Cook, then by missionaries, whalers, traders, plantation owners, and the U.S. government. My parents became part of this problematic takeover when they moved here in the 90s. The first community we knew was our church congregation. At the beginning of mass, we shook hands with our neighbors. We held hands again when we sang the Lord’s Prayer. I didn’t realize our church wasn’t “normal” until our diocese was informed that we had to stop dancing hula and singing Hawaiian hymns. The order came from the Pope himself.
Eventually, I lost faith in God and organized institutions. I thought the banning of hula—an ancient and pure form of expression—seemed medieval, ignorant, and unfair, given that the Hawaiian religion had already been stamped out. I felt a lack of community and a distrust for any place in which I might find one. As a postcolonial inhabitant, I could never belong to the Hawaiian culture, no matter how much I valued it. Then, I was shocked to learn that Queen Ka’ahumanu herself had eliminated the Kapu system, a strict code of conduct in which women were inferior to men. Next went the Hawaiian religion. Queen Ka’ahumanu burned all the temples before turning to Christianity, hoping this religion would offer better opportunities for her people.
Community Essay (Continued)
I’m not sure what to make of this history. Should I view Queen Ka’ahumanu as a feminist hero, or another failure in her islands’ tragedy? Nothing is black and white about her story, but she did what she thought was beneficial to her people, regardless of tradition. From her story, I’ve learned to accept complexity. I can disagree with institutionalized religion while still believing in my neighbors. I am a product of this place and their presence. At UW, I plan to add to campus diversity through my experience, knowing that diversity comes with contradictions and complications, all of which should be approached with an open and informed mind.
UW Community Essay Example Analysis
This student also manages to weave in words from the prompt (“family,” “community,” “world,” “product of it,” “add to the diversity,” etc.). Moreover, the student picks one of the examples of community mentioned in the prompt, (namely, a religious group,) and deepens their answer by addressing the complexity inherent in the community they’ve been involved in. While the student displays an inner turmoil about their identity and participation, they find a way to show how they’d contribute to an open-minded campus through their values and intellectual rigor.
For more on supplemental essays and essay writing guides, check out the following articles:
- How to Write the Why This Major Essay + Example
- How to Write the Overcoming Challenges Essay + Example
- How to Start a College Essay – 12 Techniques and Tips
- College Essay
With a BA in Literary Studies from Middlebury College, an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Translation from Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Kaylen has been working with students on their writing for over five years. Previously, Kaylen taught a fiction course for high school students as part of Columbia Artists/Teachers, and served as an English Language Assistant for the French National Department of Education. Kaylen is an experienced writer/translator whose work has been featured in Los Angeles Review, Hybrid, San Francisco Bay Guardian, France Today, and Honolulu Weekly, among others.
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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 129 great examples of community service projects.
Are you interested in performing community service? Do you want examples of service projects you can do? Community service is a great way to help others and improve your community, and it can also help you gain skills and experience to include on your resume and college applications.
Read on for dozens of community service ideas to help you get started volunteering.
What Is Community Service?
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. Community service is often organized through a local group, such as a place of worship, school, or non-profit organization, but you can also start your own community service projects.
Many people participate in community service because they enjoy helping others and improving their community. Some students are required to do community service in order to graduate high school or to receive certain honors. Some adults are also ordered by a judge to complete a certain number of community service hours.
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
How Should You Use This List?
This list of over one hundred community service examples is organized by category , so if you're particularly interested in working with, say, children or animals, you can easily find community service activities more related to your interests.
In order to use this list most effectively, read through it and make note of any community service ideas that match your interests and that you may want to participate in. Some considerations to keep in mind are:
Is there a specific group of people or cause you are passionate about? Look for projects that relate to your passion and interests. You may also just want to perform particular community service activities that allow you to do hobbies you enjoy, like baking or acting, and that's fine too.
Perhaps you don't have enough time to regularly devote to community service. In that case, it may be better to look for opportunities that only occur once or sporadically, such as planning special events or helping build a house.
Some people prefer to participate in community service activities that have a quantifiable impact, for example, activities where you know the specific number of kids you tutored, dollars you raised, or cans of food you collected. This is in contrast to activities that don't have such clear numbers, such as creating a garden or serving as a volunteer lifeguard. Some people prefer quantifiable activities because they feel they look stronger on college applications, or because they simply enjoy knowing their exact impact on the community.
Many community service activities can help you gain skills. These skills can range from teaching to medicine to construction and more. If there is a particular skill you'd like to learn for future classes, jobs, or just out of personal interest, you may want to see if there is a community service activity that helps you learn that skill.
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List of Community Service Examples
Below I've listed over 100 community service ideas to get you started with brainstorming.
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
- 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
Now that you know what your options are for community service, you can take the following steps to start getting involved:
#1: Look over your interests: Which activities seem most appealing to you? Were they mostly in one particular category, like children or the environment? If so, that's a good starting place for choosing specific organizations to contact.
#2: Figure out how much time you can devote to community service: Are you available for two hours every week? Are you not free on a regular basis but can volunteer for an entire weekend now and then?
Think about transportation as well and how you'll be able to get to different locations. Knowing this information will help you choose which community service projects to pursue, and it's helpful information for volunteer coordinators to know.
#3: Do some research to see what projects you can do in your community: Check at your school, place of worship, or town hall for more information on volunteering. You can also contact the place where you'd like to perform your community service, such as a particular animal shelter or nursing home, and ask if they take volunteers.
#4: Start volunteering! This list ranges from small projects that you can complete on your own in a few hours, to much larger projects that will take more time and people. If you find a project you can start on your own, do it!
If you want to do a project where you'll need more resources or people, check around your community to see if a similar program already exists that you can join. If not, don't be afraid to start your own! Many organizations welcome new volunteers and community service projects.
Considering doing volunteer work in another country? Read our guide on volunteer abroad programs and learn whether or not you should participate in one.
Are you in college or will be starting soon? Extracurriculars are one of the best parts of college! Check out our guide to learn which extracurricular activities you should consider in college .
Did you know that you can use your community service work to help pay for college? Check out our step-by-step guide on how to win community service scholarships.
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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.
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