Community Service Reflection
Community service, also known as volunteering, can be defined as the voluntary provision of service by an individual, with the aim of benefiting the wider community. In the provision of community service, emphasis is placed on doing away with the expectation of monetary gain. Over the years, governments around the world have put in place interventions aimed at promoting community service considering its value to the community. First, I think community service is a key player in the growth of the community from an economic perspective; a role it plays alongside employers and service providers whose primary focus is to add on the global economic output. In this line, community service creates conditions that allow economic flourishment through boosting skills, training, and aiding in the employability of personnel. Second, community service plays an integral role in the growth of the community from a social viewpoint. Through community service, several people who might not be frequently in contact come together. Hence, community service helps strengthen social connections among people in the community, build strong, safe, and cohesive communities, enhance civic engagement, and provide opportunities for the delivery of public goods and services. Third, people involved in community service have the opportunity to enhance their personal knowledge, grow and embracing new experiences, and develop better interpersonal communication skills, which are valuable to the community. However, I believe community service can be counterproductive to a considerable extent. I support opponents of community service in their argument that the fact that students are the primary participants in it provides an opportunity of interference with learning the basics as well as holding part-time job opportunities. Also, I agree with the argument that community service is an unfair burden to youthful members of the community, especially in situations where it is considered mandatory. Many proponents and supporters of community service believe that it shapes and helps people to develop morally and ethically. In disagreement, I am of the view that the responsibility of ensuring the moral and ethical development of children lies with parents and not community service as alleged. The counterproductivity of community service is also evident in the fact that it is similar to slave-labor. I cannot agree more that mandatory community service provides a platform where people are forced into the provision of free service, and this could create a generation of people who are strongly against the practice.
From a personal standpoint, community service remains an integral part of the community’s social growth. Currently, the community is dealing with contentious social issues such as drug use and abuse and increased crime rates, discrimination, racism, and others. These social issues are the backbone of the community’s growth in economic, political, and religious contexts. To start with, selected parts of the global community have struggled economically due to the existence of social issues such as racism and gender discrimination. The developed world cannot be excluded when it comes to examining the adverse effects of social issues on economic growth and development. I cannot refute the argument that some of the slow economic challenges faced in the US are because of racism. With my experience on the significance of community service on the social development of the community, I believe that social malpractices such as racism would have no place in society if everyone embraced community service. As already mentioned, community service helps build strong connections among members of the community as well as building strong and safe communities. I firmly believe that cohesive and connected communities, enabled by community service, will eradicate runaway racist practices witnessed in society today. Similarly, crime remains one of the greatest social challenges in contemporary society, which can be attributed to harsh social conditions that exist. However, an emphasis on community service will ensure increased civic engagement and opportunities for the delivery of public goods and services thereby reducing the possibility of people’s involvement in criminal activities. Youths are the primary participants in community service in society today, a perspective that has been crucial to the reduction of youth involvement in practices such as drug abuse. In light of the highlighted benefits of community service, interventions ought to be put in place to ensure a mandatory embrace of community service for youths.
Other than being valuable to the community, I agree that community service is valuable to personable development. My involvement in community service has enabled me to learn my personal strengths and weaknesses. It has also seen me develop skills in areas such as communication, leadership, teamwork, and finding solutions to problems. My personal development in terms of communication, skills acquisition, and finding solutions to problems has been largely dependent on my role of serving the community in numerous ways that have been part of my life so far. One of the ways in which I have served my community is visiting hospitals on numerous occasions where I delivered gifts to patients, helped nurses and other health experts to stock medical supplies, and interacted and played with young patients. I believe that hospitals are among several public places in dire need of volunteers for a variety of activities, and like myself, several people could volunteer in hospitals near them to be of service to the community. Also, I serve my community by visiting preschools such as kindergartens frequently. Preschool teachers face numerous challenges when it comes to dealing with young students, and this is one of the factors that have motivated me to offer community service to the institutions. On several occasions, I have helped tutor young learners in preschool, create school murals, help them across busy highways, and supervise after-school programs. Moreover, I have been of service to my community through regular visits to food banks and helping with sorting food donations, delivering meals to people in need, and organizing food drives and food security campaigns.
There is no doubt that community service makes a difference, especially to community members who lack basic amenities such as food, shelter, and clothing. Additionally, I think that community service is important to people who live in areas that are prone to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Organizations such as Red Cross often work alongside community service providers to help people affected by natural disasters. Moreover, it should be noted that community service is of benefit to both those who provide service and those who receive the service. The service providers benefit from the opportunity to develop their skills in communication, leadership, and teamwork. On the other hand, those who receive the service benefit from access to basic amenities and resources. Also, they are granted the opportunity to interact with others as well as learn their strengths and weaknesses.