09 Jan Choose a Community Service Project Your Whole Group Will Enjoy
If you’re looking for a group activity that will enrich your life and help people bond, try volunteering. The benefits of volunteering are boundless. It’s a great way work together as a team with your family or group. It can help teach kids empathy. And you get to get outside your regular daily routine and try something new. Whether this activity is for your own family, a scout troop, classroom, or a club you belong to, chances are your community offers plenty of opportunities. Read on to learn how to choose a community service project idea for your group.
Picking a Community Service Project
The first thing to consider is what kind of group are you working with? Is this an opportunity for a unique family bonding experience, a youth group, or perhaps an earth day lesson for your first-grade class? Determining your core values as a group can really help narrow down the list of ideas. A site like Volunteermatch.org could help focus your search. If you live in the Dayton, Ohio area, you might also peruse this list from Dayton.com.
When choosing an activity pick something that the whole team can get excited about. Get the group together for some ideas of what they’d like to participate in? Do they want to help the poor, animals, or nature? Brainstorm as a group and find out what they’re most interested in. If you need more ideas you can also check out kidworldcitizen.org’s list of 35 Service Projects For kids.
Consider the needs and abilities of your group. Do you have young kids or people with special needs? Is everyone comfortable working outdoors? Will you need to coordinate transportation or can people get themselves to the work site? Consider the type of programs they’ll be able to participate in. This way everyone no one feels left out.
Prepare for Your Community Service Project
Once you pick the service project and decided on an organization, you need to sort out the logistics. For instance what time of day will this activity take place? Is it during or after school? Will you do it on a weekday or on the weekend? Make sure that everyone knows when and where the activity is taking place. Keep in mind that all minors will require permission slips from parents and legal guardians. The organization you choose may require additional paperwork too.
Check with the organization you choose. If the project is a full afternoon will they be providing meals or snacks, or will you have to bring your own? Is there a suggested dress code, or is it ok to wear group shirts with logos? Find out if you’ll need to bring any supplies like writing utensils and notebooks, or if those will be provided.
Document Your Experience
Of course you will want photos and video to remember you community service project. Designate one or two people to be in charge of photography. Take turns if you want. That way, everyone else can focus on the activity and stay present in the moment.
If you’re building or transforming something–say, installing a fence or clearing brush from park land–take before and after shots! You will enjoy seeing the results of your work. In addition, the organization you’re helping may appreciate the documentation.
If you’re volunteering as a business or professional group, share your photos on social media. Let your clients know that you care about the community.
It’s Not Over Yet!
Even after you volunteer there’s still so much you can do! The next time you regroup, find out what everyone thought. Lead a group discussion to reflect on the activity. Alternatively, you can have everyone fill out a survey. Ask them if they enjoyed the experience. What did they learn and gain from the activity? What was their favorite memory? Is volunteering something that they’d like to do again?
It’s always a good time to help out in their community. (Don’t wait for the holidays!) Getting kids involved with volunteer work at any age is great way to show them their potential!
IMAGE: Pixnio / CC0 Public Domain