A community thrives when all of the members contribute their time and effort by performing community service to make their community a prosperous place. Nursing homes, food pantries and other services that benefit the community are able to expand and provide services people need. Community service also teaches discipline, time management and opens a person’s eyes to seeing the purpose of service. Community service should be mandatory in all high schools because it teaches the importance of serving others, morals and experience.
We live in a society that teaches us to be busy in indulging in materialistic items and to remain busy making money. The teaching of the importance of serving others and your community is slowly diminishing. Acts of service isn’t “pro bono” anymore. “We are members of many communities: family, school, neighborhood, city, country, religion and ethnic group. It is from these communities we gain our sustenance. We must each play a role in contributing to our communities so that these communities can survive and prosper.” (Howard and Strauss) In order for food pantries, homeless shelters, nursing homes, community daycares to serve those who depend on these services, we must be the one to convey these services to the members of our community. One way for these services to be provided is by having high school students help out. “We must engage in community service because it needs to be done and because we need our communities to survive.” (Howard and Strauss)
Community services also teach discipline as well as something we often find lacking in our society: morals. Although many parents have decided to leave out teaching morals when raising their children, community service becomes a teacher. “The strength of a community can be found in its moral center; the ability to articulate and act upon a defined moral center will fortify a community. The moral center of a community, that place where we can find the values of empathy, compassion and caring is the basis for civic responsibility and the success of that community.” (Howard and Strauss) Community service opens our eyes to see how other people live and how we can be beneficial to other people’s lives. It also teaches us to be grateful with what we have or don’t have. We begin to count our blessings and help others who are in need of our service. “When an individual goes out in the world and interacts with other people in the spirit of bettering, that individual makes a contribution and will feel a sense of accomplishment.” (Howard and Strauss) The sense of accomplishing something also boosts a student’s morale and self-esteem. It encourages them to go out and make a big difference in the world, starting by making a difference in their community.
In source six Volunteer drawn in The Breeze, James Madison University Newspaper, the cartoon depicts the positive aspect of volunteering. It is true that volunteering has “no bitter taste” and leaves a person satisfied after serving his or her community and helping those in need. Volunteering is also “convenient”. Many community centers and service areas provide volunteering opportunities. There is also a variety of different types of places you can volunteer at according to your interests. The cartoon also depicts healthy ingredients used in the Volunteer drink and mentions its benefits, such as burning calories. The healthy ingredients are the characters one begins to develop after serving his or her community.
Community service also gives a change to students to explore their career choices. If a student is unsure of what they want to do after high school and college, community service is a great way to explore options. When an individual volunteers at a specific facility, doing a specific type of job, they begin to become educated about what the field is all about and the duties that come along with it. This also gets them more excited about the future and future careers they can pursue, thus making them work harder so they can contribute to their field of interest. “Even after high school, Prueter hopes to continue working with the elderly by studying nursing. He says he became interested in the field because of his volunteer work. His dream hob, he says, is working where he volunteers now.” (The Detroit News)
Volunteering has spiritual benefits and has been prescribed in Quran. The Promised Messiah (peace be upon him) said, “The teachings of the Holy Quran can be divided into two major categories. The first being unity of God, love and obedience to Him. The second is to treat kindly your brothers and fellow beings… be kind and merciful to humanity… always work for the good of mankind.” Islam, as well as other religions, has encouraged humans to work for other humans, especially those in need. People must look after each other, not as a job or for a salary, but because it is mankind’s duty to serve one another and create a thriving, healthy and safe community for everyone to feel welcome and live in.
Community service teaches students how to take responsibility and be in service for those who are in need. It develops character and helps a person understand their community and world better. It also encourages people to change their world to make it a better place for people to live in. Community service should be mandatory in all high schools because it teaches the importance of serving others, morals and experience. Students will be able to understand how their society and world work, but most importantly, it will prepare them for the future and encourage them to take further steps to change the world.
Community service has also opened my eyes to many opportunities and interests. Over one summer a group of girls and I raised money to build wells in Africa, part of the One Year One Hundred Wells campaign. The experience opened my eyes to pressing issues like the unavailability of fresh water in certain parts of the world. This made me even more interested to get into International Politics to solve problems like these. Community service has also made me humble and value what I have. Working over that summer made me realize that the simplest things that I have, many people don’t. It thought me not to take advantage of these basic things, like water, and use them wisely. It has also taught me that it is my responsibility to take care of people who are deprived of many things.
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