Below are listed 101 of the best community service project ideas. There are multiple project ideas ranging from individual service acts, to family service activities, to large group service projects. Regardless of whether you are looking for ideas of how to start and get involved to make a difference, or you are a regular volunteer – the reality is that we all can do a little more to help those with a lot less. Take the ideas below and implement those that fit your personality, interests, and situation. Be creative and allow these ideas to generate new and even better ideas and service projects that are perhaps applicable to your town and environment. Most importantly however, just do something – serve, volunteer, and make a difference. Have fun and help others in the process!
- Help a local foster family or orphanage by babysitting, playing with the kids, reading books, or helping with homework, etc.
- Volunteer at local elementary school.
- Become a ‘Big Brother / Sister’ – choose a child who is struggling or in need and be their friend, help with school work, tutor them, play games with them, etc.
- Organize a drive to collect clothing, toys, books, blankets, stuffed animals, food, etc. for needy children.
- Visit the sick children at the local hospital, nursery, orphanage, etc.
- Organize play groups, after-school activities, educational and learning field trips, etc. for local children.
- Organize a service project to clean up the local playgrounds, community areas, parks, and Churches. Pick up trash, beautify grounds, repaint where needed, etc.
- Beautify and pick up trash around a local stream, river, campground, historical site, highway, road, school, etc.
- Help repaint, do yard work, and do small maintenance repairs for senior citizens or low-income residents.
- Paint over any graffiti in town
- Contact the local Churches, Non-Profit’s, Salvation Army, United Way’s and ask what projects you can help with to benefit local community.
- Help organize workshops to help people with employment, job skills, interviewing abilities, resume tips, communication skills, etc.
- Organize self-help classes (for FREE): budgeting and finance, home repairs, car maintenance, cooking and sewing, first aid, nutrition and exercise, reading and education, etc.
- Help organize workshops for those addicted to: drugs, alcohol, pornography, those who have been abused, etc.
- Organize a workshop to teach both youth and adults about how to protect themselves, phone numbers to call, what resources are available, places and people to avoid, what not to do or say, etc.
- Organize a ‘Neighborhood Watch’ program
- Create a neighborhood ‘crime box’ that people can anonymously leave tips and clues in about information they know, without getting involved.
- Establish a volunteer group that will go out once every other month and paint over any graffiti.
- Organize a self-defense class for girls, women, and children.
- Contact your local police department for any informational resources to distribute, and to see if there are any service projects to be involved in.
- Promote community crime prevention organizations like D.A.R.E or McGruff.
- Hold bi-monthly neighborhood meetings about what is causing crime, how to combat and prevent it, and how to help.
- Put together a DVD, a play/skit, email distribution, brochure, or any other medium to educate people about crime prevention. Put on the play, show the DVD, hand out the brochure at schools, Churches, athletic events, community meetings, etc.
- Create a flyer with phone numbers, hot lines, websites, and other resources – distribute to neighbors, teens, and community members.
Diversity & Special Needs:
- Organize a ‘Cultural Awareness Night’ at the local community center. Invite people of varying backgrounds, cultures, countries, and faiths to come and present or set up a display about who they are, where they are from, what they believe, etc.
- Organize a workshop that teaches children and teens how to deal with and treat others with handicaps and special needs. In connection with this, teach them also about diversity – how to be tolerant, accepting, and educated about others who may be different than themselves.
- Volunteer at the developmental center, the next ‘Special Olympics,’ rehabilitation center, or a Mental Health clinic.
- Collect books, magazines, pictures, and movies about different cultures, religions, and races. Advertise a ‘Diversity Day’ and take these around to schools and Churches for people to learn.
- Organize a campaign to encourage local stores, churches, and public centers to become wheelchair friendly. Build a ramp at the house of an individual in need.
- Volunteer as a tutor and help someone who is trying to learn English.
- Set up a buddy system where local children/teens help those with special needs. It could as simple as a once a month visit to read, play games, go on a walk, or just talk.
- Organize a fund raiser to collect money to buy books for the blind or visually impaired (large print Braille books).
- Set up a class to teach others about people with diseases. Then, make gifts and take them to children at the hospital or cancer center, etc.
Government & Citizenship:
- Volunteer for a political campaign/candidate, or help out during the next election.
- Organize a ‘voter pick up’ service to help people who otherwise couldn’t, go out and vote. Also, volunteer to phone or knock doors to encourage local residents to go out and vote.
- Reach out to local government offices and enquire as to what projects you can get involved in on a voluntary basis.
- Set up a pre-election evening of displays, resources, speakers, and information to educate residents about the candidates and issues.
- Call your legislator and ask how to help/serve on issues that you believe in and are committed to. Campaign for, publicize, and support important legislation.
- In preparation to the next election, go out and register voters door-to-door.
- Occasionally recognize public servants (politicians, police officers, government workers, mayor, teachers, etc.) for the positive and meaningful work they do.
Health & Fitness:
- Contact the local hospital and ask how you can volunteer, do service projects that are health related, or help the patients in any way.
- Put together a community workshop to promote proper nutrition, food proportions, meal preparation, healthy eating, and proper exercise, etc.
- Set up a community health fair / health clinic at local schools, Churches, and community centers.
- Organize after-school workshops to teach kids/teens how to eat properly and exercise. Play games with them, be active, and help them lose weight and increase confidence.
- Organize a blood drive with the local Red Cross.
- Have your local health department conduct neighborhood health checks, or to do immunizations.
(To view the remaining 50 service ideas, please view part 2 of the Community Service Project article series in this blog).