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What are the Best Ideas for Student Community Service?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
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Community service allows students to take an active part in their community and learn important lessons about civic duty. Student community service can be done through a classroom, student organization, or be a part of outreach by charitable community service organizations. There are many great ideas for student community service, but the best source of ideas may be from the students themselves.

Part of the education of any young person can include time devoted to understanding and helping the community. Many community service ideas begin with the analysis of the needs of the town or city in which the students live. Looking at the problems in the community can lead to brainstorming sessions on how to solve or help the issue: littered beaches that the city can't afford to clean may inspire a weekend volunteer cleaning brigade, a large population of homebound seniors could lead to ideas for meal delivery and entertainment for lonesome elderly folks. Letting students discover these local issues and become passionate about fixing them is a good way to create adults who are active and constructive about their communities.

Many student community service ideas can stretch outside the local community and into the global sphere. Learning about problems and challenges in other parts of the world may help students become more aware of global politics, conservation, and the wider world. Through charitable or non-profit organizations, students can raise money or awareness about issues important to them throughout the world. Some global outreach programs even offer opportunities for students to travel to other parts of the world and help install houses, water pumps, and other basic necessities for people in economic distress.

There are typically two forms that student community service may take: fundraising and acts of service. One of the easiest ways to raise funds is to partner with local merchants, such as restaurants, to offer special evenings where a portion of the receipts is donated to a cause. Fundraising can also be done through sales of goods and services, such as bake sales, car washes, or gift-wrapping stands around the holidays, with all donated funds going toward the cause.

Acts of service allow students to personally get involved in fixing or helping to solve a problem. Ideas for this type of student community service include putting together food or gift baskets for needy families, collecting and distributing blankets and coats to the homeless, cleaning up vacant spaces and turning them into parks or community gardens, or starting after school programs for at-risk children.

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Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis , Writer
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGeek. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

Discussion Comments

By FrameMaker — On Jan 13, 2011

I used to work for a non-profit youth center both as a paid coordinator and as a volunteer. We would offer community service positions for high school students every school year. We would have students volunteer some of their time for the after school program where they would help prepare snacks for the kids, supervise activities, and help during fundraiser events. We were not the only youth center that offered these positions. They were a great way for students to earn community service credit. We also took on volunteers who had court ordered community service hours. For those looking for community service opportunities, working with a boys and girls club, youth center, or United Way is a good option.

By Georgesplane — On Jan 12, 2011

In years past, I have signed up for tutoring programs as a way to work on community service hours. I have a knack for most sciences, math, and French, areas that are traditionally hard for many students. I would schedule about four hours a week at the tutoring center when I would be available for anything related to the subjects that I was good at.

Helping fellow students succeed in their coursework and prepare for tests is very rewarding, and it is a good way to make friends. It also helped me improve my study habits so that I could teach other students efficient ways of learning these subjects.

By GenevaMech — On Jan 09, 2011

I go to a state school and we have an adopt a campus program that makes for good community service. Every semester there are small pieces of lawn and little garden beds that need landscaping and tending too.

I had a friend who adopted a garden bed outside of one of the lecture halls this past semester. She planted all types of flowers and maintained the garden bed through the fall semester. This was a good community service opportunity because it allowed her to work near campus, and spend time on the project in between classes. She did spend a little money however on the flowers and plants that went into the bed.

Jessica Ellis

Jessica Ellis


With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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