Below is part 2 of the Community Service Projects – 101 Ideas article series. Included in part 1 and 2 are 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!
- Organize a neighborhood clean up project to pick up trash, fix, and beautify local roads, parks, schools, and community areas.
- Put together a fund raiser to raise money to beautify a community center, Church, School, building, historical spot, etc.
- Build fences or benches in needed places – also paint fences or benches in need.
- Distribute flyers to do a neighborhood donation and clean-up. Residents can get rid of any old furniture, clothes, toys, tools, books, or ‘junk’ – and then give these to local families in need or charities (or dispose of if necessary).
- Trim bushes or tree branches around any street signs that are difficult to see.
- Locate vacant or run-down properties and help clean, paint, do yard work, and beautify them. Also, contact senior citizens to help them with painting, repairs, and yard work.
- Campaign for or raise money to obtain additional/better lighting for neighborhood streets.
- Contact your local home owners association, government office, community center, or habitat for humanity to see what projects you can volunteer in and help with.
- Organize a neighborhood ‘get-together’ once or twice a year to just have a BBQ or game night where people can talk, build friendships/relationships, and welcome new people to the neighborhood.
- Raise funds to fix pot-holes, establish speed bumps, build a park, create a sidewalk, plant trees, etc.
Outdoors & Environment:
- Organize a ‘recycling drive’ to collect papers, plastics, cans, etc. Better yet, campaign to have local government get recycling bins for each resident.
- Create a car pooling system with local moms to drop off neighbor kids at school; or men/women commuting to work each day from your neighborhood.
- ‘Adopt an Area’ – whether it is a school, a park, river, street, a historical spot, a community area, highway, parking lot, or business – keep this area clean by picking up the trash regularly.
- Collect many aluminum cans and donate the money to a local family in need or charity.
- Raise money to buy many trees and flowers – plant them at schools, parks, along streets, community areas, etc.
- Organize a community workshop to educate local residents about: improving energy efficiency, reducing pollution, reusing and recycling, conserving water, saving gas, unplugging items, encourage biking/walking, etc.
- Work with a local government worker or professional to learn about (and teach others) air quality, testing water for cleanliness or lead, do an asbestos check, energy audits, radon levels, hazardous waste, etc.
- Contact your national parks ranger to organize a project to clean trails, natural parks, campgrounds, river beds, plant trees, etc.
Pets & Animals:
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter, pet store, Veterinarian office, pound, zoo, or petting farm, etc.
- Visit your local wildlife sanctuary, survival center, park ranger, or fish and game department and see if there are any projects you can get involved in to help animals.
- Do a car wash, raffle, or fund-raiser to collect money to buy a dog for someone who is blind (or any person with disabilities).
- Talk to your local nursing home about the possibility of bringing in many pets and putting on a pet show, or just letting the patients play with the animals (dogs, cats, etc.)
- Set up a campaign, in connection with the local vet clinic, to organize a neuter and spay project to control animal population. Ensure it is at a discounted rate.
- Collect many animal food supplies and donate them to the local animal shelter, zoo, or pound.
- Help local neighbors in need by washing their dog (or any pet), taking them for a walk, feeding them, or sitting for them while they run some errands, etc.
- Organize a community workshop to educate residents about what to do in the event of a: hurricane, tornado, lightening storm, fire, wind storm, power outage, an injury or accident, or any other natural disaster. Provide hand-outs, phone numbers, websites, and other resources.
- Set up a class to teach children and teens about safety on the internet. Educate them about what (who) to avoid, what to not say, safety and privacy in chat rooms and social networking sites, to never meet anyone alone, etc.
- Raise money for, or encourage neighbors to prepare their own first aid kits, 72 hour kits, and ideally some food and water storage in the event of an emergency.
- Organize a self-defense class for children, teens, girls and women.
- Put together a workshop to educate people in regards to proper budgeting and saving in the event of unemployment, pay cut, unplanned medical bills, economic downturns, etc.
- Start a campaign to educate teens and adults about: drugs, alcohol, pornography, crime, gangs, abuse, smoking, suicide, sex, etc. Provide resources, phone numbers, brochures, books, websites, and continuing help and workshops.
- Set up a free ‘swimming class’ a few times a summer to teach children and adults how to swim.
- Organize a project to help teach people first aid, cpr, and how to act and handle emergencies and accidents.
- Volunteer to go to local elementary schools to teach children about: safety when crossing railroads, crossing streets and using crosswalks, road bicycle rules, seat belts and car seats, not talking to strangers, etc.
- Organize a tutor or ‘Big Brother / Sister’ program to encourage adults in the community to help struggling children and teens with schoolwork – and to just be their friend, spend time with, talk, play games, etc.
- Raise money for, or encourage local residents to donate necessary school supplies for children in need: backpacks, pens/pencils, uniforms, calculators, etc.
- Organize a ‘book donation’ by going door-to-door or handing out fliers for people to donate old books. Give these books to schools, libraries, and families/children in need of them.
- Prepare a workshop to teach elementary age and middle school kids about: smoking, seat belts, drinking, drugs, pornography, sex education, vandalism, abuse, etc. Also, talk about things like: importance of education, controlling anger, being tolerant of others who are different, respecting adults, importance of work and service, etc. Perhaps invite a police officer to help present.
- Encourage local schools and cafeterias to donate extra food to local homeless shelter.
- Set up a school service project – soliciting the help of those who attend that school to: pick up trash, paint over graffiti, beautify grounds, do repairs and painting, etc.
- Set up weekly classes to help students learning English.
- Get volunteers to make ‘new kid survival kits’ for those new students at school.
- Have children at school (including elementary and high school age kids) make gifts for fellow students who are in the hospital, or for senior citizens in the community.
- Secretly get many students to make a banner to recognize one (or many) teachers, administrators, staff, or janitors at the school.