It is common for community service to come to mind during the holidays. The holiday season focuses on kindness and giving back and accomplished groups who do this are coined Community Service Clubs. There is no better time to highlight the purpose of these amazing organizations.
A Community Service Club is a voluntary nonprofit organization where members meet to perform charitable projects. Projects might be hands-on or they could be projects that are supported by the group raising money and awareness. Community Service Clubs are sometimes referred to as service clubs or service organizations.
History of Clubs
Many Community Service Clubs began as social and business networking groups, but quickly evolved to spending more time doing service rather than other activities. Service clubs of today are mission driven. Membership benefits like networking and events may be practiced but are secondary to serving the mission.
A Club for Everyone
Many popular Community Service Clubs were started in the early 1900’s. Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions are some of the most well-known. Towns and cities across the US typically have at least one active club. Most will meet weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Many Community Service Clubs have active international chapters and programs.
A more recent group of Community Service Clubs are quite prevalent among young adults. These include: HandsOn Network, BEAN, DoSomething.org and Golden. In 2007 the HandsOn Club joined the Points of Light organization which has become the largest volunteer organization in the world. Points of Light works with network affiliates in each state and in 30 countries. Similarly DoSomething.org boasts an active volunteer count of 5.4 million young people.
Community Service Club activities are rich and varied. Service activities include things like: providing reading help with students, advocating for pharmacies to remove tobacco products, or spending time with a Senior swapping stories. International projects might be health education, improving access to clean water and supporting schools.
Involvement is Easy
Volunteering with Community Service Clubs is popular. It is estimated that 1 in 4 Americans volunteer at least once a year, reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor. The most common reason that is given for volunteering is because someone simply asks for help.
Some employers will even offer employees Community Service Leave. In an effort to address the diverse needs for volunteers that support schools, communities and nonprofit organizations an employee may be excused from work to volunteer. Both DoSomething.org and Golden have searchable features so that you can find a cause, time span and even type of volunteer work that you are interested in.
Most of us will see a Salvation Army Volunteer ringing a bell outside of a grocery store at least once this month. Throughout history Community Service Clubs have helped some of the most disadvantaged groups and continue to provide assistance in all kinds of ways. During this season of warmth and kindness that is something for which we can all be grateful.