Humans are social “animals”, and that is why we still live in groups, forming communities that can shield us and protect us in the moments of need. Since communities are useful to us, we have to nurture them, and different forms of community service have been invented over the years.
Whether we live in urban, suburban, or rural areas, people who are living around us are important to us, and we simply cannot ignore the fact that we are not alone and that public space is something we all share. Since our neighbors and friends are important to us, we have a moral obligation of giving back to the community, and this can be performed in various ways.
Community engagement can be divided into four general groups, or types, and all of these groups are targeting a different area of social interaction. Those groups are development, participation in decision-making, help with the work of certain organizations, and social change. Of course, different categorizations and classifications are present, and experts are still debating about the definitive way in which community engagement can be divided, but the essence of the “problem” is summarized in these four types.
However, if we get down to the more practical matters, we can see that we have numerous possibilities when it comes to community service and that motivation is the only requirement for making a change within our residential area. Having the will to help and the empathy to recognize the need are the two most important characteristics that a person willing to get involved in the activities within a community should have. We all have free time on our hands, no matter the profession we are involved in, and it is up to us the make those free hours meaningful and beneficial to everyone around us. Numerous benefits will result from our participation, from better social relations and interaction to improved living conditions, both for us and for the others who are living in our community.
For example, some people choose church as a place to start, or they volunteer at the Red Cross. Fundraisers are a similar form of community engagement, and this activity can be very useful and beneficial, and it doesn’t require a lot of time and effort at the same time. Schools and kindergartens are always in need of help, and volunteers who enjoy working with children and young ones can be of great assistance in those facilities. On the other side of the spectrum are senior citizens, and they are perhaps the ones who need our help the most. They are usually unable to care for themselves, or they have problems with performing a lot of everyday tasks, and a visit to a nursing home or your neighbor can be a lovely way to help someone and make their day a bit brighter and satisfying.
Also, environmental activities are a form of community service as well, and mowing, hedging, trimming, gardening, or trash pickups are a way in which we can make our community look nicer and become a more pleasant living environment.