The Benefits Of Community Service: Giving Back To The Community
Different people have different reasons for taking up community service programs. Irrespective of one’s circumstances and motives, community service activities have and should help accomplish several goals in an area. However, giving back to the community should not only be about meeting particular personal and program objectives but also making an effort to directly or indirectly impact others’ lives. Through my experience volunteering in several areas within my community, ranging from the church and local tennis center to soup kitchens and food delivery activities, I have come to appreciate the significance of community service both to an individual and the society. Other than allow one to be an active member of society, volunteering in community projects and programs, I found, has lasting effects, psychologically, emotionally, and socially.
Essentially, community service provides an opportunity to not only apply talents and knowledge to real-life situations but also learn new life skills and understanding, benefiting society, and oneself in the process. Ideally, community service programs and activities are structured around social problems and bring on different people to act in multiple capacities in solving each social issue. As such, individuals who engage in community service bring on their expertise and also learn from others. Other than learn to become significant contributors through collaboration with others, individuals are to develop problem-solving skills through real-life challenges and real-time experiences. However, community service has other long term benefits to both individuals and society.
The emotional and psychological benefits associated with community service are immeasurable. It is incredibly gratifying to realize that one’s simple efforts positively shape the lives of others in one way or another. For instance, through my voluntary work in my church where I help maintain the grounds through simple activities like cutting the grass in the lawn, I not only help keep the church neat but also safeguard the health of the church members. Knowing that my work, in a more extensive way, is appreciated and beneficial to others, makes me feel good about myself and be satisfied in and with life. When I coach children at my local tennis center (Blossom tennis center), the same feelings are replicated. However, while I feel worthy by knowing that I am directly impacting the children’s lives by helping them become better at the game, I also enjoy spending time with them doing one of the things I love. The overall effect of such feelings and gratification is that it decreases stress and eases depression.
Besides benefiting individuals emotionally and psychologically, community service is essential in increasing people’s sense of social responsibility. Voluntary work at the community level brings people in touch with their environment and provides a global view of their society. It helps people to engage with their communities, create and intensify social awareness, and develop individual bonds with different groups in society. For example, through my soup kitchens and food delivery volunteer activities where I get to serve the needy and homeless, I have gained an understanding of the struggles and hardships that many people encounter daily. As a result, my outlook on life and society is different. I am increasingly feeling the need to give back to the community, to serve others, and help to reduce the strain that some have in life, albeit in simple ways.
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