LOVE your Community and Giveback

Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” This Valentine’s Day don’t forget a very special someone, your Community! You help out and show your LOVE for your Community by giving back! By doing community service, volunteers are changing the lives of individuals. It may seem like a small and simple task for some, but it could completely change the world for another. For those who are more fortunate, it’s easy to take things for granted. Donating clothes or helping feed the homeless it an act of community service that can totally improve someone’s life. There are many benefits to participating in community service; some of the most common are listed below:

  • Gives you an opportunity to help others

  • Helps you gain experience and new skills

  • Helps improve your community

  • Chance to make new friends

  • Can cause personal growth

There is no community service location or activity that is “best” for everyone. You should decide where to perform community service based on your interests and skills, as well as your community’s demand for volunteers. Ask yourself the following questions:

What Do I Enjoy Doing?

Do you like working with kids? You may want to consider volunteering at a school. Are you an animal lover? Maybe a local shelter is the best place for your community service. Doing something you like will make your community service more enjoyable, and make it more likely for you to continue volunteering.

What Kind of Career Do I Want?

It’s not a requirement, but if your community service helps you get skills needed for future jobs, that’s an added bonus that will give you extra motivation as you volunteer. For example, if you want to be a doctor, you may consider doing community service at a hospital or nursing home.

Which Problems Do I Want to Help Solve?

Are you concerned about the environment? Animal cruelty? Education standards? Chances are you’ll be able to find a community service project related to an issue you care about.

Which Places in My Community Are Important to Me?

If there is a particular place in your community that’s important to you, whether it’s a park you played at as a child or the nursing home where your grandfather lives, performing community service there lets you show your gratitude and appreciation.

Volunteering doesn’t have to take over your life to be beneficial. In fact, research shows that just two to three hours per week, or about 100 hours a year, can offer the most benefits—to both you and your chosen cause. The important thing is to volunteer only the amount of time that feels comfortable to you. Volunteering should feel like a fun and rewarding hobby, not another chore on your to-do list. Valentine’s Day is getting closer and closer. It’s a day that reminds everyone to show love to others and lend a helping hand to those in need. This Valentine’s remember to LOVE your community and giveback!


Upward Bound is funded by the U.S. Department of Education & sponsored by Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority Inc.