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Are you applying to a college or a scholarship that requires a community service essay? Do you know how to write an essay that will impress readers and clearly show the impact your work had on yourself and others?

Read on to learn step-by-step instructions for writing a great community service essay that will help you stand out and be memorable.

What Is a Community Service Essay? Why Do You Need One?

A community service essay is an essay that describes the volunteer work you did and the impact it had on you and your community. Community service essays can vary widely depending on specific requirements listed in the application, but, in general, they describe the work you did, why you found the work important, and how it benefited people around you.

Community service essays are typically needed for two reasons:

#1: To Apply to College

  • Some colleges require students to write community service essays as part of their application or to be eligible for certain scholarships.
  • You may also choose to highlight your community service work in your personal statement.

#2: To Apply for Scholarships

  • Some scholarships are specifically awarded to students with exceptional community service experiences, and many use community service essays to help choose scholarship recipients.
  • Green Mountain College offers one of the most famous of these scholarships. Their "Make a Difference Scholarship" offers full tuition, room, and board to students who have demonstrated a significant, positive impact through their community service

Getting Started With Your Essay

In the following sections, I'll go over each step of how to plan and write your essay. I'll also include sample excerpts for you to look through so you can get a better idea of what readers are looking for when they review your essay.

Step 1: Know the Essay Requirements

Before your start writing a single word, you should be familiar with the essay prompt. Each college or scholarship will have different requirements for their essay, so make sure you read these carefully and understand them.

Specific things to pay attention to include:

  • Length requirement
  • Application deadline
  • The main purpose or focus of the essay
  • If the essay should follow a specific structure

Below are three real community service essay prompts. Read through them and notice how much they vary in terms of length, detail, and what information the writer should include.

From the Equitable Excellence Scholarship:

"Describe your outstanding achievement in depth and provide the specific planning, training, goals, and steps taken to make the accomplishment successful. Include details about your role and highlight leadership you provided. Your essay must be a minimum of 350 words but not more than 600 words."

From the Laura W. Bush Traveling Scholarship:

"Essay (up to 500 words, double spaced) explaining your interest in being considered for the award and how your proposed project reflects or is related to both UNESCO's mandate and U.S. interests in promoting peace by sharing advances in education, science, culture, and communications."

From the LULAC National Scholarship Fund:

"Please type or print an essay of 300 words (maximum) on how your academic studies will contribute to your personal & professional goals. In addition, please discuss any community service or extracurricular activities you have been involved in that relate to your goals."


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Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas

Even after you understand what the essay should be about, it can still be difficult to begin writing. Answer the following questions to help brainstorm essay ideas. You may be able to incorporate your answers into your essay.

  • What community service activity that you've participated in has meant the most to you?
  • What is your favorite memory from performing community service?
  • Why did you decide to begin community service?
  • What made you decide to volunteer where you did?
  • How has your community service changed you?
  • How has your community service helped others?
  • How has your community service affected your plans for the future?

You don't need to answer all the questions, but if you find you have a lot of ideas for one of two of them, those may be things you want to include in your essay.

Writing Your Essay

How you structure your essay will depend on the requirements of the scholarship or school you are applying to. You may give an overview of all the work you did as a volunteer, or highlight a particularly memorable experience. You may focus on your personal growth or how your community benefited.

Regardless of the specific structure requested, follow the guidelines below to make sure your community service essay is memorable and clearly shows the impact of your work.

Samples of mediocre and excellent essays are included below to give you a better idea of how you should draft your own essay.

Step 1: Hook Your Reader In

You want the person reading your essay to be interested, so your first sentence should hook them in and entice them to read more. A good way to do this is to start in the middle of the action. Your first sentence could describe you helping build a house, releasing a rescued animal back to the wild, watching a student you tutored read a book on their own, or something else that quickly gets the reader interested. This will help set your essay apart and make it more memorable.

Compare these two opening sentences:

"I have volunteered at the Wishbone Pet Shelter for three years."

"The moment I saw the starving, mud-splattered puppy brought into the shelter with its tail between its legs, I knew I'd do whatever I could to save it."

The first sentence is a very general, bland statement. The majority of community service essays probably begin a lot like it, but it gives the reader little information and does nothing to draw them in. On the other hand, the second sentence begins immediately with action and helps persuade the reader to keep reading so they can learn what happened to the dog.

Step 2: Discuss the Work You Did

Once you've hooked your reader in with your first sentence, tell them about your community service experiences. State where you work, when you began working, how much time you've spent there, and what your main duties include. This will help the reader quickly put the rest of the essay in context and understand the basics of your community service work.


Not including basic details about your community service could leave your reader confused.

Step 3: Include Specific Details

It's the details of your community service that make your experience unique and memorable, so go into the specifics of what you did.

For example, don't just say you volunteered at a nursing home; talk about reading Mrs. Johnson her favorite book, watching Mr. Scott win at bingo, and seeing the residents play games with their grandchildren at the family day you organized. Try to include specific activities, moments, and people in your essay. Having details like these let the readers really understand what work you did and how it differs from other volunteer experiences.

Compare these two passages:

"For my volunteer work, I tutored children at a local elementary school. I helped them improve their math skills and become more confident students."

"As a volunteer at York Elementary School, I worked one-on-one with second and third graders who struggled with their math skills, particularly addition, subtraction, and fractions. As part of my work, I would create practice problems and quizzes and try to connect math to the students' interests. One of my favorite memories was when Sara, a student I had been working with for several weeks, told me that she enjoyed the math problems I had created about a girl buying and selling horses so much that she asked to help me create math problems for other students."

The first passage only gives basic information about the work done by the volunteer; there is very little detail included, and no evidence is given to support her claims. How did she help students improve their math skills? How did she know they were becoming more confident?

The second passage is much more detailed. It recounts a specific story and explains more fully what kind of work the volunteer did, as well as a specific instance of a student becoming more confident with her math skills. Providing more detail in your essay helps support your claims as well as make your essay more memorable and unique.

Step 4: Show Your Personality

It would be very hard to get a scholarship or place at a school if none of your readers felt like they knew much about you after finishing your essay, so make sure that your essay shows your personality. The way to do this is to state your personal strengths, then provide examples to support your claims. Take some time to think about which parts of your personality you would like your essay to highlight, then write about specific examples to show this.

  • If you want to show that you're a motivated leader, describe a time when you organized an event or supervised other volunteers.
  • If you want to show your teamwork skills, write about a time you helped a group of people work together better.
  • If you want to show that you're a compassionate animal lover, write about taking care of neglected shelter animals and helping each of them find homes.

Step 5: State What You Accomplished

After you have described your community service and given specific examples of your work, you want to begin to wrap your essay up by stating your accomplishments. What was the impact of your community service? Did you build a house for a family to move into? Help students improve their reading skills? Clean up a local park? Make sure the impact of your work is clear; don't be worried about bragging here.

If you can include specific numbers, that will also strengthen your essay. Saying "I delivered meals to 24 home-bound senior citizens" is a stronger example than just saying "I delivered meals to lots of senior citizens."

Also be sure to explain why your work matters. Why is what you did important? Did it provide more parks for kids to play in? Help students get better grades? Give people medical care who would otherwise not have gotten it? This is an important part of your essay, so make sure to go into enough detail that your readers will know exactly what you accomplished and how it helped your community.

"My biggest accomplishment during my community service was helping to organize a family event at the retirement home. The children and grandchildren of many residents attended, and they all enjoyed playing games and watching movies together."

"The community service accomplishment that I'm most proud of is the work I did to help organize the First Annual Family Fun Day at the retirement home. My job was to design and organize fun activities that senior citizens and their younger relatives could enjoy. The event lasted eight hours and included ten different games, two performances, and a movie screening with popcorn. Almost 200 residents and family members attended throughout the day. This event was important because it provided an opportunity for senior citizens to connect with their family members in a way they aren't often able to. It also made the retirement home seem more fun and enjoyable to children, and we have seen an increase in the number of kids coming to visit their grandparents since the event."

The second passage is stronger for a variety of reasons. First, it goes into much more detail about the work the volunteer did. The first passage only states that she helped "organize a family event." That really doesn't tell readers much about her work or what her responsibilities were. The second passage is much clearer; her job was to "design and organize fun activities."

The second passage also explains the event in more depth. A family day can be many things; remember that your readers are likely not familiar with what you're talking about, so details help them get a clearer picture.

Lastly, the second passage makes the importance of the event clear: it helped residents connect with younger family members, and it helped retirement homes seem less intimidating to children, so now some residents see their grand kids more often.

Step 6: Discuss What You Learned

One of the final things to include in your essay should be the impact that your community service had on you. You can discuss skills you learned, such as carpentry, public speaking, animal care, or another skill.

You can also talk about how you changed personally. Are you more patient now? More understanding of others? Do you have a better idea of the type of career you want? Go into depth about this, but be honest. Don't say your community service changed your life if it didn't because trite statements won't impress readers.

In order to support your statements, provide more examples. If you say you're more patient now, how do you know this? Do you get less frustrated while playing with your younger siblings? Are you more willing to help group partners who are struggling with their part of the work? You've probably noticed by now that including specific examples and details is one of the best ways to create a strong and believable essay .

"As a result of my community service, I learned a lot about building houses and became a more mature person."

"As a result of my community service, I gained hands-on experience in construction. I learned how to read blueprints, use a hammer and nails, and begin constructing the foundation of a two-bedroom house. Working on the house could be challenging at times, but it taught me to appreciate the value of hard work and be more willing to pitch in when I see someone needs help. My dad has just started building a shed in our backyard, and I offered to help him with it because I know from my community service how much work it is. I also appreciate my own house more, and I know how lucky I am to have a roof over my head."

The second passage is more impressive and memorable because it describes the skills the writer learned in more detail and recounts a specific story that supports her claim that her community service changed her and made her more helpful.

writing about community service

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Step 7: Finish Strong

Just as you started your essay in a way that would grab readers' attention, you want to finish your essay on a strong note as well. A good way to end your essay is to state again the impact your work had on you, your community, or both. Reiterate how you changed as a result of your community service, why you found the work important, or how it helped others.

Compare these two concluding statements:

"In conclusion, I learned a lot from my community service at my local museum, and I hope to keep volunteering and learning more about history."

"To conclude, volunteering at my city's American History Museum has been a great experience. By leading tours and participating in special events, I became better at public speaking and am now more comfortable starting conversations with people. In return, I was able to get more community members interested in history and our local museum. My interest in history has deepened, and I look forward to studying the subject in college and hopefully continuing my volunteer work at my university's own museum."

The second passage takes each point made in the first passage and expands upon it. In a few sentences, the second passage is able to clearly convey what work the volunteer did, how she changed, and how her volunteer work benefited her community.

The author of the second passage also ends her essay discussing her future and how she'd like to continue her community service, which is a good way to wrap things up because it shows your readers that you are committed to community service for the long-term.

What's Next?

Are you applying to a community service scholarship or thinking about it? We have a complete list of all the community service scholarships available to help get your search started!

Do you need a community service letter as well? We have a step-by-step guide that will tell you how to get a great reference letter from your community service supervisor.

Thinking about doing community service abroad? Before you sign up, read our guide on some of the hazards of international volunteer trips and how to know if it's the right choice for you.

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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Essays About Community Service: Top 5 Examples Plus Prompts

If you are looking for your next writing topic, discover top examples of essays about community service and helpful writing prompts in our guide.

Community service refers to an individual or a group’s volunteer work dedicated to improving the community and its people. In America, Benjamin Franklin introduced community service in the 18th century by developing the idea of ​​the first volunteer firehouse in Philadelphia . Since then, stepping up has become a norm, with more people encouraged to participate.

Volunteering helps individuals gain experience, improve self-esteem, expand knowledge, and promote healthy goals. In addition, choosing community service as a topic in your essay allows you to explain its significance to entice your readers to get involved. To give you an idea of ​​how to write essays about community service, here are five examples that will help you.

5 Top Examples On Essays About Community Service

1. essay on community service and its importance by joni kim, 2. community service experience: essay on what i learned by anonymous on, 3. why is community service important by perry mullins, 4. concept of the community services in modern society essay by anonymous on, 5. community service experience essay by writer molly, 1. community service vs. volunteering, 2. community service: then and now, 3. why we should volunteer, 4. community service in schools: mandatory or voluntary, 5. community service and its influences, 6. types of community service, 7. my community service experience, 8. donation or service: what’s better to give.

“The service helps the group of people in need, for example, senior citizens, children, people with disability and the likes. Sometimes community service is geared towards solving problems related to the needs of community members, especially low-income earners.”

Kim explains that community service is a voluntary action done through various means. It includes health and child care services, education, housing, and other improvements to aid and support the community members who need the most assistance. Then, Kim focuses on its importance to individuals, the community, and the country. The essay showcases how community service improves social, interpersonal, and decision-making skills. It also allows students to explore and find their interests. Ultimately, Kim believes that the real-life experience of volunteering assists in determining one’s career path, providing advantages when applying for a job.

“This experience has helped me to cherish my ability to influence and impact others in a positive way, and it helped me to look at community service as a benefit for myself, instead of just another obligation to fit into my schedule.”

In this essay, the writer reflects on their community service experience, sharing the gains they reaped from the program. They discuss how their undying love for animals and tight-knit communities made them realize the gravity of sharing. They also had the opportunity to strengthen and develop a new set of talents and skills from the encounter. However, the author also mentions that when the desire to do good morphs into a forced responsibility, it leads to failure. The writer says they often receive more benefits than the people and animals they help, as the experience makes them more patient, flexible, and responsible.

“True volunteering lies in an individual’s will and drives to help other and enforcing it eliminates that drive.”

Mullins focuses his essay on explaining why it should not be mandatory for students to do community service. For him, mandatory volunteering takes away the true meaning of volunteerism. Students only view it as additional work – an obligatory criterion they must check off their list to graduate. He claims that students will gain nothing but stress instead of new skills and knowledge when compulsory community services are in place.

“As for me, I consider community work as a good opportunity to get the main idea of some particular services, still, I would not have the same great desire to participate in social life if the services would become obligatory for graduation.”

In modern society, volunteering is becoming a necessary factor in many organizations. People with experience in community service have more opportunities to get a job. The author delves into community service’s importance but also criticizes that making it a requisite takes away its value. With various arguments from professionals like Alina Tugend , the essay further argues that no one would want to receive help from people who consider it an obligation.

“The community service project is different from other school educations the community service can teach us how to love others and how to fulfill our heart with joy.”

Molly dislikes homeless people because of their appearance and smell, but this all changes when cleaning and selling preloved items to homeless people becomes the best experience of her life. Community service taught her that the homeless are no different from her. She also learned to be thankful for her situation. She concludes that after the program, she became more respectful, responsible, and caring to other people.

Do you want to secure that A+ Grade? Check out our round-up of the best essay writing apps for students and academics.

8 Helpful Prompts on Essays About Community Service

If you’re still confused about the topic and can’t choose what to talk about, you can use the prompts below:

To write this prompt, the first part of your essay should discuss the meaning of community service and volunteering. Next, identify and examine the different characteristics of a community service worker and volunteer to clearly explain their similarities and differences. Then finish your essay with your opinion on the matter or look for more information you can expound on in your own words. 

This prompt shows how people’s definitions, processes, and perceptions of community service changed over time. Research and write down how community service started in your country or area to make it more relatable. Include examples of community services that made a big difference for the community and consider how these services impacted people’s lives.

Essays About Community Service: Why we should volunteer?

Explain to your readers what voluntary work means and why exposure to it is crucial. Next, write the advantages and disadvantages of volunteering and what they should expect if they decide to be a volunteer. Finally, share your experience to clarify your comments, suggestions, and other points.

The decision to make community service mandatory in every school is still up for debate. First, pen your opinion on this topic and whether or not you agree with compulsory community service. Then, discuss your reasons and provide examples or factual evidence to support your arguments.

Identify and scrutinize the positive and negative effects of community service. Find news articles where one type of community service impacted its volunteers, community, and people differently. Write down how the organizer dealt with different situations and if it affected the program’s outcome.

There are three kinds of community service: direct, indirect, and advocacy. First, discuss and give examples for each one. Then, explain how these services differ from programs under service-learning. For example, direct community service includes directly serving homeless people food and clothes, while in service-learning, volunteers will teach people to garden and earn income. 

Use this prompt to share your memorable experience while doing community service and what you learned from it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short program at your school, work, or organization. The important thing is that you have experience in community service. Include your initial reaction and if it changed over time while you were doing the service.

Some choose to donate money to various organizations that perform community service. Others join the program and personally help other people. In this prompt, share your opinion on the topic and whether you consider donating as community service. To make your essay more intriguing, look for prominent personalities who consistently contribute or engage in community service versus those who only present monetary assistance. 

AI grammar checkers are powerful resources that can help you improve your writing. See our guide on how to use an AI grammar checker. For help with this topic, read our guide explaining what is persuasive writing ?

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Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.

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Tips for Writing a Standout Community Service Essay

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How to Write the “Why This Major” College Essay→

Through your college applications process, you’re likely to come across the term “community service” many times. In fact, you may be asked to write an essay about it. This post will cover the specifics of a community service essay and how to go about writing one, including what to cover and common mistakes to avoid. 

What is a Community Service Essay?

You may encounter the community service essay as you’re writing your supplemental essays for college. These are school-specific prompts that only go to the college that requests them, unlike the personal statement , which goes to every school you apply to. Not all schools require community service essays, but several do. It’s also a common requirement for scholarship applications, especially if it’s a school-specific merit scholarship. 

The community service essay is an essay that describes the initiatives you have taken outside of the classroom to benefit your community. In a 2018 survey of 264 admissions leaders across the US, 58% said that community service is a tie-breaker between students who are otherwise equally qualified. The community service essay offers you the opportunity to shine light on the work you have done to make an impact on the world and people around you, and is an additional way to help you stand out among other applicants. 

Approaching the Community Service Essay 

Understand the essay requirements  .

As with any essay, it’s important to first understand what is expected of your essay. For a start, elements to pay attention to include: 

  • Length requirements
  • Focus or subject of the essay prompt 
  • Organization of the essay 

Although all community service essays ultimately have the same purpose of having you describe your local service activities, they can come with different types of prompts. Below are three sample prompts. Note the differences in topic specificity, length requirements, and breadth of the prompt. 

From the CGCS – Bernard Harris Scholarship Program: 

Please describe a meaningful volunteer or community service experience, including what you learned from participating.

From the University of California Application :

What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? (350 words).

From the Equitable Excellence Scholarship:

Describe your outstanding achievement in depth and provide the specific planning, training, goals, and steps taken to make the accomplishment successful. Include details about your role and highlight leadership you provided. Your essay must be a minimum of 350 words but not more than 600 words.

Brainstorming for your community service essay 

Once you have an understanding of what is required of the specific you are to write, the next step is to brainstorm ideas for a specific topic. If you have various community-engaged service experiences under your belt, consider the following before you finalize your decision. 

The best topics:

Are substantial in length and scope. It’s better to cover a long-term commitment than a one-off afternoon at the food pantry or animal shelter. 

Are transformative or inspiring. Although community service is “others”-oriented, colleges are looking to learn more about you. The ideal community service essay topic should be an experience that changed or challenged your perspective, and was ultimately fulfilling. 

Illustrate personal qualities or passions that you want to highlight. Given the specific prompt, and taking the rest of your application into consideration, which personal interests do you want to highlight? Which activity illuminates the personal quality that you want to bring attention to? 

These are all elements to consider before you begin writing your essay. 

writing about community service

Tips for Writing Your Community Service Essay 

1. include anecdotes.

Anecdotes are a great way to begin your essay, not only as a way to grab your reader’s attention, but by launching right into the experience of your service activity. You can start with a line about a particularly busy afternoon at the orphanage, or a morning cleaning up the streets after a storm, or the sense of accomplishment you felt when you watched a dog under your care at the animal shelter get adopted. 

2. Show, don’t tell 

We’re sure you’ve heard this axiom of general writing before, but it applies to college essays just as much as with any other piece of writing. Opt for evocative examples over plain explaining whenever possible. Take this sentence: “There was a lot of food waste at our school cafeteria.” It’s not nearly as powerful as this description: “I peered into the tall, gray trash cans to inspect the mountain of Styrofoam trays and discarded food. There were countless pizza crusts, globs of green beans, and unopened cartons of milk.” 

Anyone could write the first sentence, and it’s not a unique experience. In the second description, we’re shown the scene of the writer’s lunchroom. We get a peek into their perspective and life, which makes the writing more vivid and relatable. Aim to bring your reader into your world as much as possible.

3. Share your responsibilities and accomplishments.

The more tangible your community service activities feel to the reader, the more powerful your essay will be. Concretize your work by stating the basic details of what kind of work you did and what your duties involved, where it was based, when you began working, and the amount of time you spent working. 

Be sure to quantify your work and accomplishments when possible; it’s better to say your fundraiser yielded 125 books than “a large number” of books. It’s important to also elaborate on why the work you did matters. Why was it important? Did the books you collected or purchased after the fundraiser expand the library of the local orphanage that they already had, or did it offer the children easy access to books that wasn’t available previously? Be specific and detailed.  

4. Highlight what you learned and how you’ll use those lessons moving forward. 

Towards the end of your essay, you’ll want to share how you benefited from the community service work you did. This is an important part of the essay, because it shows how you are able to distill your experiences to applicable lessons in your own life. 

Think of this section in two potential parts: skills you learned, and personal development. Did you gain any hard skills, such as public speaking, poster design, or funds management? Then think about how you developed as an individual. Are you more empathetic or patient now? 

Things to Avoid in Your Community Service Essay 

1. don’t list out everything that happened..

You want to keep your essay well-structured and concise. This isn’t a résumé, or a play-by-play of the entire experience. Stick to the most telling details and anecdotes from your experience. 

2. Avoid using a pretentious or privileged tone.

Humility goes a long way, and entitlement can be smelled from afar. The purpose of this essay is not to paint yourself as a savior of any kind, but rather to show what’s important to you in your non-academic life, and how you approach solving real-world and interpersonal problems. 

3. Avoid clichés.

It may be tempting to quote famous people, but doing so can easily seem like a shortcut, plus it shows little of who you are. Try also to steer clear of trite and vague life lesson lines such as “I learned that people can be happy with so little,” or “I learned the importance of giving back.” Not only do they carry a tone of privilege, they are also sweeping general conclusions and don’t convey anything specific of what you learned. 

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How to write the community service essay

Whether in an interview or an essay, all college applicants should be prepared to talk about the ways they have worked to improve their schools and communities. No college wants to admit a passive recipient of community, they would all much prefer to admit an active and engaged citizen who understands that community requires contribution. Use this essay to define a community (see the community essay for more examples of this) and then talk specifically about how you helped to make that community better. You have a lot of latitude here to define your terms and to define the boundaries of your engagement. Don’t pass up any opportunity to share your active citizenship. These essays will vary in length but are often a “mid-size” supplement of 250-350 words.

Example Community Service Questions:

  • U of California: What have you done to make your school or community a better place?
  • MIT: At MIT, we bring people together to better the lives of others. MIT students work to improve their communities in different ways, from tackling the world’s biggest challenges to being a good friend. Describe one way in which you have contributed to your community, whether in your family, the classroom, your neighborhood, etc.  
  • Princeton: Princeton has a longstanding commitment to service and civic engagement. Tell us how your story intersects (or will intersect) with these ideals.


This is an important question! If you have an option to select an essay question among several prompts, choose to write this essay! Why? Colleges want to know that you have made your community a better place. This makes you a compelling applicant. Why else? Because you have done something that can answer this question – even if to you, right now, it looks small in comparison to solving global challenges.

“Community” can be defined however you choose! Be sure to use a few words of this essay to outline the boundaries of the community you identify.


Additional tips and tricks:.

  • Column 1: Identify the problem. Describe the challenge you were (or are currently) facing. The problem could be something global, like an environmental issue, or something more local, like a lack of creative opportunities in your high school.
  • Column 2: Raise the stakes. Help us understand: Why was (or is) overcoming this challenge important? What might happen if this problem went (or goes) unchecked?  
  • Column 3: Articulate the vision. What might the world look like if this problem were solved? Inspire us to dream with you.
  • Column 4: Describe what you did. Tell us the specific things you (or you and your team) did to solve the problem.
  • Column 5: Clarify your role.   Describe your particular involvement. Why were (or are) you crucial to the project’s or club’s success?
  • Column 6: Share the impact you had, lessons you learned, or values you gained. Provide specific evidence that gives us a sense that your work mattered.

Don't forget to use active verbs! Additionally, you can absolutely re-use this essay (being mindful of word count) to respond to multiple community service prompts from different schools.

writing about community service

Elise holds a BA in Political Philosophy from Williams College and an MEd in Administration & Social Policy from Harvard. She has spent the past twenty years working in top-tier independent schools.

Related Content

Why Is Community Service Important? (33 Reasons)

You wake up early on a Saturday, put on some old clothes, and head out to plant trees in the empty lot down the street. Everyone from the neighborhood is there, digging, planting, and laughing.

That is what community service looks like — people coming together to do something good for where they live.

You may wonder, “Do these tree-planting efforts actually make a difference?” Well, that’s just part of a bigger story. Stick around, and I’ll show you just how powerful these efforts can be when we pull together.

Table of Contents

Community Service Boosts Civic Involvement

It unites communities, community service urges social duty, it supports local charities, community service changes lives, it contributes to personal happiness and satisfaction, community service grows compassion, it boosts self-worth, community service provides educational experience, it enhances teamwork skills, community service helps meets needs, it improves well-being, community service fosters leadership, it helps vulnerable people, community service advances careers, it protects the environment, community service strengthens democracy, it encourages innovation, community service bridges gaps, it raises cause awareness, community service lowers crime, it connects people, community service expands networks, it motivates active community role, community service builds generosity, it teaches essential skills, community service sparks local investments, it preserves traditions, community service grows the economy, it shapes compassionate youth, community service broadens cultural insight, it inspires gratitude, it improves public areas, is community service the same as volunteering, why is community service often a requirement for high school students, how do i choose the right community service project for me, do i need specific skills to participate in community service, final thoughts.

When you join in on community service, it’s a high-five to your neighborhood. You’re stepping up, becoming part of something bigger that really matters. It’s not just about the place you live; it’s about actively shaping it to be better.

Think of it like this — you’re not just living in your town; you’re helping it thrive. And that’s something to be proud of.

Example : Imagine yourself at a local park cleanup. Each piece of trash you pick up is a small victory for the environment and your community. That feeling you get, knowing you’re part of positive change, is downright exciting.

Community service is like a potluck where everyone brings something to the table. It’s not just about the work to be done; it’s about the connections made along the way. It’s warmth and teamwork in action.

Ever seen a group of strangers become teammates as they work on a project? That’s what happens here. And trust me, it’s a powerful thing.

Advice: Grab the next chance to work with your neighbors on something worthwhile. Whether it’s a neighborhood garden or a fundraiser, the goal is togetherness. When we unite, the sense of community we create is unbeatable.

There’s this inner call to help others, right? Community service taps into that, turning the need to do good into action that benefits everyone. It’s about knowing that even the smallest act can make a big wave.

Just like a spark can start a fire, your actions can ignite a chain reaction of goodness in the community.

Example : Consider helping out with someone’s groceries. It might not seem like much, but it’s kindness in action. Others see it and are inspired to help, too. Before you know it, the whole neighborhood is buzzing with people doing good just because you showed the way.

Local charities often run on tight budgets, and your help can mean the difference between struggling and thriving. The kind of support goes straight to where it’s needed most.

These local heroes do so much with so little. They feed, teach, and help countless folks. That’s why when you chip in, you’re really fueling a powerhouse of good in your neighborhood.

Example : Just imagine every hour you volunteer at a soup kitchen translates into meals for those who would otherwise go hungry. That’s not just volunteering; that’s touching lives, meal by meal.

When you pitch in with community service, you’re not just changing other people’s lives but also transforming your own. It acts like a mirror, showing you parts of yourself you might not have seen otherwise — like your strength in tough times or your knack for making someone smile.

For every life you touch, there’s a light reflected back on your own. You learn, you grow, and you see the world with new eyes.

Advice : Next time you get involved, look around at the faces of those you’re helping and those working alongside you. You’ll see the impact your actions have, and that’s a mighty good feeling.

Did you know that helping others gives you a happiness boost, too? It’s true! Doing good in your community can lift your spirits higher than a kite on a windy day. That feeling of making a difference is like a warm hug for your soul.

When you take time to lend a hand, whether it’s big or small, it fills you with a sense of purpose and joy . That’s something that money can’t buy and that just doing daily routines doesn’t provide.

Example : That time you organized a neighborhood recyclables collection drive — not only did you help the planet but you also gave yourself and everyone involved a great reason to smile.

Diving into community service is the heart’s way of hitting the gym — it grows stronger and more caring with every effort. When you’re out there making someone’s day a bit brighter, you’re not just doing a task; you’re learning to see the world through their eyes.

It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives, but taking a moment to step outside and help someone else is powerful. In these moments, you realize everyone has a story and a battle they’re fighting.

Example: Whether you’re comforting someone going through a rough patch or simply spending time with those who feel alone, you’re showing that you care.

Helping your community is like planting seeds of self-worth. Each good deed tells you you can make a difference and adds to your value. You’re not just helping others; you’re also boosting your own self-image.

Seeing the impact of your contributions really boosts how you view your abilities and place in the world. It’s reassuring to see that your actions have meaning and are appreciated by others.

Advice: Keep track of what you do and the change that follows, whether it’s smiling faces or a thank you.

Rolling up your sleeves and getting involved in community service is more than altruism; it’s a living classroom . Every task teaches something new — about the world, its people, and yourself. You’re contributing to a cause and taking free life lessons that no textbook can provide.

The beauty of this education is that it comes from real-life experiences. Every person you meet and every story you hear, adds to your understanding of the diverse tapestry of human life.

Example: Imagine tutoring kids or helping organize a workshop — it’s not just about imparting knowledge; it’s about learning patience, communication, and the art of teaching itself. So, while you educate others, you’re enriching your own skills and perspective.

Community service is like a sports team. Everyone works towards a common goal, collaborating and strategizing to achieve it. Each project is an opportunity to learn and shine as a team player.

Working together with a diverse group of individuals also hones your ability to compromise and find common ground . It’s all about giving and taking in the name of progress.

Example: Picture yourself setting up a community fair with a group. As you align your different skills and ideas, you’re not only setting up for the day’s success – you’re also building lasting bonds and teamwork savvy that can apply to any area of life.

Doing community service is like being a superhero without a cape. You get to swoop in and provide help where it’s most needed, making sure that the essentials — like food, clothes, and a helping hand — are there for the people counting on them. You’re directly filling gaps and bringing relief to real-world problems.

The beauty of it is tangible — it’s less of a band-aid and more of a bridge towards stability for many.

Advice: Keep an eye out for what’s needed in your community and consider how you can contribute. It could be as simple as a food drive or as involved as starting a mentoring program.

Helping others can boost your well-being! It’s proven that giving your time and energy for the benefit of others can significantly improve your mood and mental health. It’s a wellness win-win.

Being involved in certain activities can reduce stress, prevent anxiety and depression, improve physical health, and even lead to a longer life.

Example: Recall a time when you joined a local cleanup drive. Not only did you help the environment, but you also got moving, soaked up some sunshine, and left feeling pretty great, right? That’s the kind of wholesome activity that benefits everyone, body and soul.

When you step into a community service role, you’re stepping onto a stage where leadership skills take the spotlight. It’s like being handed a microphone at a karaoke night — you set the tone, and the pace, and bring others into the song.

In these roles, you’ll learn to make decisions, inspire others, and take responsibility — all trademarks of great leaders. It’s a safe space to try out your leadership voice because everyone’s rooting for the cause.

Example: Picture organizing a neighborhood recycling drive. You’ll need to plan, communicate, and motivate your volunteer team. Through such actions, you’re not just reducing waste; you’re cultivating the skills to lead in any aspect of your life.

Joining hands in community service means being a reliable neighbor for those in need. By offering your time and strength to vulnerable folks, like children, the elderly, or families facing hardships, you can make their lives a little bit easier.

By lending a hand, you’re providing more than just immediate help; you’re giving these individuals a sense of belonging and hope that’s priceless. It’s this kind of support that can lift spirits and lighten burdens.

Advice: Look for ways to reach out, like spending time at a senior center or tutoring at-risk youth. The smallest gestures can make the biggest difference in someone’s life, showing them that their community has their back.

Believe it or not, the effort you put into community service can help pave the way for your professional life. It’s like each volunteering stint adds a new line to your resume, boosting your character and skills. Volunteering experience is valued by employers as a sign of initiative and real-world skills .

Plus, the connections you make while volunteering can turn into professional opportunities. It’s networking with a genuine touch — you’re meeting people while doing good together.

Example: Let’s say you’ve been helping to organize community fundraisers. All that planning, budgeting, and team coordination? Those are valuable skills in the business world, too. Your volunteering efforts can open doors you never even knew were there.

Community service is a hands-on way to show love for your little corner of the planet. Whether it’s planting trees, cleaning up rivers, or starting a community garden, each action creates a cleaner, greener neighborhood.

Caring for the environment also means thinking about the future. It’s about making sure the air, water, and land can support life for generations to come. It’s a promise to the kids of today and tomorrow.

Example: Imagine joining a group for a beach cleanup. With every piece of trash you clear, you’re not just sprucing up the sands; you’re saving marine life and keeping the seaside splendid for all to enjoy.

When you engage in community service, you’re actively participating in democracy. It’s about taking part in the decisions that shape your community and having a say in the way things are run. Think of it as a grassroots approach to government, where the power truly lies with the people.

Active citizens create a vibrant, responsive, and accountable democracy. It’s about more than just voting; it’s about continuous involvement and commitment to the common good.

Advice: Find opportunities to serve on local boards, attend town hall meetings, or volunteer for civic initiatives.

Innovation isn’t just for tech companies or creative studios — it thrives in community service, too. When you come together with others to solve community problems, you’re encouraged to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions.

Collaborating with people from different backgrounds and experiences can spark fantastic new ideas. Together, you can find original ways to tackle old problems.

Example : Transform the empty lot in your neighborhood into a community space with gardens and art. Brainstorm with your neighbors to make it happen. Your creativity can turn a neglected spot into a local treasure!

Community service is like a friendly handshake between folks from different walks of life. It’s a way to meet, understand, and appreciate people you might not bump into during your everyday routine.

This kind of service brings down walls and builds bridges instead, creating connections that are for the good of all.

Example: Joining a community kitchen not only helps feed those in need, but it also allows volunteers from varied backgrounds to cook and serve together, nurturing respect and friendship.

Getting involved in community service lets you use your voice — big and strong — for causes that often go unnoticed.

From spreading the word about homelessness to promoting literacy initiatives, your active role ensures that these critical topics get the attention they urgently need.

Here’s how raising awareness makes a real difference:

Community service can help keep streets safer by providing support and alternatives to those who might engage in criminal activities. It makes people feel valued and creates a sense of belonging, which can steer them away from crime.

Plus, clean and busy neighborhoods are less likely to have crime. If people look out for each other, they make it harder for crime to take root. It’s about being present, visible, and active.

Example: Consider after-school programs for youth. These not only keep kids busy but also give them a sense of purpose and belonging. That time spent in a productive, caring environment is time away from negative influences, leading to a safer community for everyone.

Community service is the social glue that brings different people together. Imagine a book club, but instead of talking about novels, you’re out there making real stories happen. Volunteering connects people who might never meet otherwise , each bringing their unique skills and experiences to the table.

These new connections can become friendships that last a lifetime. It’s a feel-good network where everybody has a role, and every role matters.

Example: Think about a group of people from different parts of town coming together to set up a community garden. They share a love for green spaces and soon start sharing stories, tips, and laughs.

When you help your community, you get a chance to meet different types of people. This includes business owners and other volunteers. It’s not just about making friends, though; you can make connections that might help you in unexpected ways.

These aren’t just brief hellos and goodbyes — these are meaningful networks that open doors to new ideas, opportunities, and collaborations.

Advice: Next time you volunteer, swap stories and contact info. You never know when a chance encounter can lead to a new project, job, or even a lifelong mentor.

Getting involved in community service can make you feel like you belong, and it’s addictive. Although you may start as a volunteer, you’ll soon become a community champion looking for ways to take on a larger role.

This active participation is a win for everyone: the community thrives with fresh energy, and you find purpose and fulfillment in the work.

Example: By organizing a neighborhood block party, you might start seeing the community as an extended family rather than just a collection of houses.

Getting involved in community service is like planting seeds of generosity that will grow and flourish. When you give your time or resources without expecting anything in return, you’re showing real kindness. This creates a ripple effect, inspiring others to open their hearts and do the same.

Seeing the impact of giving encourages even more giving. It’s not just about money; it’s about time, effort, and compassion.

Example: When you donate books to the local library, that’s not just you being generous — you might inspire others to share their own books, and suddenly, there’s a whole wave of community sharing going on.

When you lend a hand in community service, you’re also signing up for a hands-on skills course. It’s not about textbooks and tests — it’s real-life, practical learning. From organizing events to fixing things, these skills aren’t just good for the moment. They’re building blocks for your future.

Whether you’re young or simply young at heart, these are skills that will help out in every chapter of life.

Advice: Next volunteer opportunity, take a mental note of what you’re learning. Leadership? Check. Time management? You got it. These are the essentials that you’ll use time and time again.

When a community is bustling with volunteer activities and projects, it often catches the eye of residents looking to invest. Picture a neighborhood that’s energized and cared for — this is where businesses want to be. It’s about more than just fixing up — it’s about bringing in new growth and opportunities.

These investments mean jobs, services, and an economy that benefits everyone in the neighborhood.

Example: Imagine your community service group revitalizes a rundown playground. This could spark interest from local businesses to invest in the area, maybe adding a cafe or a daycare center nearby due to the increased foot traffic and community involvement.

Community service is like a memory box for a whole community. When you volunteer, you help keep the stories, celebrations, and customs of your area alive and well. It’s not just about holding onto the past; it’s about sharing it with new generations.

This is how histories are kept vibrant — how children learn the dances, songs, and stories that make your community unique.

Example: When you volunteer for a local heritage festival, you’re part of a team that passes on the torch of culture and community pride. You’re making sure those traditions don’t just survive but thrive.

Believe it or not, community service is a power player in strengthening the economy. Think of it as groundwork — when you contribute to community projects, you’re laying down the foundation for a stronger community and economy. It’s about building a place where people want to shop, work, and live.

A flourishing community attracts new businesses and encourages locals to support what’s around them. Each project adds to the appeal and vitality of your neighborhood.

Advice: Get involved in projects that beautify and uplift your area. Whether it’s cleaning up a park or painting a mural, these activities can boost the local charm and draw in visitors and investors alike, kick-starting an economic ripple effect.

Community service is crucial to raising empathetic children. Involving kids in volunteering helps them develop kindness and generosity. They learn by doing, seeing that even small actions can make a big difference in someone else’s life.

This hands-on experience is more valuable than anything they can learn from a screen or a book. It shapes them into adults who care deeply about their community.

Example: Guide a group of young volunteers in organizing a charity bake sale. It’s fun, it’s sweet, and it shows them that they have the power to make a real difference just by sharing their time and talents.

Community service exposes you to diverse cultures and customs, broadening your understanding of the world and providing insights into various ways of life.

This exposure fosters a sense of global unity and respect for cultural differences. It’s a hands-on education in cultural diversity, teaching participants about the traditions, beliefs, and values that shape communities.

Volunteering promotes gratitude by helping individuals recognize their blessings and motivating them to give back.

Seeing the direct impact of your actions on the lives of others reinforces the importance of community and the power of selfless service. It’s a powerful reminder of the good we can do when we come together.

Advice: Reflect on the positive changes you’ve witnessed through volunteering. Let these experiences develop gratitude and inspire you to continue making a difference.

Community service enhances public spaces, making them more inviting and accessible. Projects like park cleanups , community gardens , and mural painting beautify neighborhoods, creating welcoming environments for people to gather.

Improving public areas not only elevates community pride but also encourages outdoor activities and social interaction. These spaces become hubs for community life, where friendships blossom, and families make lasting memories.

Advice: Get involved in local projects aimed at revitalizing public spaces. Your efforts can transform these areas into vibrant centers of community activity, enjoyed by all ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

While similar, community service is often considered a subset of volunteering. Community service specifically refers to volunteer activities that benefit the local community and can sometimes be part of a court mandate or school requirement.

Volunteering, on the other hand, can comprise a broader range of activities, including those that don’t necessarily have a direct impact on the local community.

Many high schools require students to engage in community service to help them develop empathy, gain practical skills, and understand the significance of contributing to the well-being of others. It’s also a great way for young people to discover new interests and potential career paths.

Think about what you’re passionate about and look for a project that aligns with those interests. Also, consider your schedule and how much time you can commit. It’s important to choose something that feels meaningful to you, as this will make the experience more fulfilling.

Not at all. Most community service projects welcome volunteers of all skill levels and are happy to teach you whatever you need to know. What’s more important is your willingness to help and your commitment to the cause.

If you have specific talents or expertise, though, you might find them beneficial in certain types of community service projects!

Those tree-planting efforts we talked about at the start? They do more than just beautify the street — they bring people together, create homes for birds, and freshen the air we breathe. Just like that, a simple act of planting trees touches lives in many ways, proving that every act of service counts.

When we all chip in, our combined efforts can truly transform our community. And that’s why community service is so powerful — it’s the love we pour into our neighborhoods that makes them thrive.

Why don’t you try and start something good too? Pick something important to you, whether it’s litter picking, reading to kids, or volunteering. Let’s make our community brighter together!

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Jessa Claire

Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant.

When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.


Essay about Community Service and its benefits

Essay about Community Service (Importance & Benefits)

Essay about Community Service

Community service is a great way to get involved in your local community. It helps you meet new people and learn new skills, while also giving back to those in need. You might think that the only people who do community service are volunteers or teachers, but anyone can do it! All you need is some time on your hands and a desire to help others. Volunteering can be fun (and even rewarding), so don’t be afraid to give it a try!

What is community service?

Community service is a way for people to give back to their communities, and it involves any kind of volunteer work. Most organizations that provide community service opportunities will have an opportunity for you to find out more about what they do, or how you could help them. You can also contact your local government, school district, or nonprofit organization and ask if they need volunteers.

Once you know what type of volunteer opportunity interests you most—whether it’s working with children at an after-school program or helping out seniors in your neighborhood—you can search online for more information on how to get involved by contacting the organization directly.

What does community service teach you

Community service teaches you to be a good person. It teaches you to be selfless, helpful, and giving. You learn that it is important to give back, not just take from the world around you. Community service will teach your empathy and tolerance as well as how to react towards other people who are different than yourself.

Importance of community service

Volunteering is a great way to give back and help make the world a better place. It’s also good for your health, as studies have shown that people who volunteer have lower rates of depression than those who don’t. Volunteering helps you learn new skills, meet new people and understand other cultures and backgrounds.

If you’re concerned about giving up time that could be spent doing something else, consider how much of your free time is already taken up with social media or watching TV shows or movies at home instead of going out with friends. You might also consider how many hours each day are spent on things like scrolling through Instagram or Facebook—hours during which you may not be actively helping anyone but yourself. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to spend some time helping others while making new friends in the process!

Benefits of community service

Volunteering is a great way to meet people, learn new skills, and make a difference in the world.

Volunteering can help you develop your career. For example, if you are interested in social work or community organizing and want to get some experience before going to college or university, volunteering at an organization that does this kind of work would be an excellent way for you to learn more about it.

You might also benefit from volunteering by learning how another culture works. If you have friends who are members of different ethnic groups than yourself, volunteer with them so that you will get a better understanding of their backgrounds and cultures.

Getting involved in your local community

If you’re a student, there’s no better way to get involved in your local community than by becoming a member of the student council. It’s an excellent way to build leadership skills and gain experience that will serve you well throughout your life, whether you decide to go into politics or not. Since it’s a volunteer position, it’s also one of the most flexible ways for students who want to get involved but don’t have time for anything else (or even those who simply aren’t sure what they want).

If you’re a parent or guardian, there are plenty of ways for parents and guardians as well—from volunteering as sports coaches or teachers at schools and community centers; helping out with fundraising activities like bake sales; even participating on committees such as school PTAs/PTCs (Parent-Teacher Associations / Parent-Teacher Councils). Just getting involved in these kinds of events will help people see that they can make an impact on their community when they work together!

As you can see, there are many benefits to volunteering and giving back to your community. There is no better feeling than knowing that you are helping others in need or working towards making your local area a better place for everyone. We hope that this essay has inspired you to get out there and get started

Essay about Community Service

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45 Moving Quotes about Community Service and Support

Meaningful quotes about communities coming together and the importance of community building and service. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

A community is usually defined as “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.”

When we’re searching for a new place to call home, we can only hope to stumble upon nice neighbors. We all need to be surrounded with people that genuinely care for the well-being of others. Only this type of people can create a community that is more than just a bunch of individuals living next to each other.

It doesn’t matter how different we are. What matters in building a community is the desire to live in a peaceful and caring environment, in spite of all our differences.

Moreover, we have to bring our own contribution if we want to make our community a better place. It doesn’t have to be something huge — as long as you are kind and willing to help others in need, you’ll be a great community member.

In exchange, your community will give you a sense of belonging and the feeling that you are never alone.

Here Are 45 quotes about community building, service, engagement, involvement and support

Quotes about community building.

We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race.   CICERO
It is not more bigness that should be our goal. We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility, and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children’s future.   ROBERT F. KENNEDY
Some people think they are in community, but they are only in proximity. True community requires commitment and openness. It is a willingness to extend yourself to encounter and know the other.  DAVID SPANGLER
What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.   KURT VONNEGUT
We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.   DOROTHY DAY
The minute we become an integrated whole, we look through the same eyes and we see a whole different world together.   AZIZAH AL-HIBRI
This world of ours… must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.   DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Every person is defined by the communities she belongs to.   ORSON SCOTT CARD

Quotes about community coming together

One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.  JEAN VANIER
There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.   MARGARET J. WHEATLEY
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.   HERMAN MELVILLE
Alone, we can do so little; together , we can do so much.  HELEN KELLER
There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.   IDOWU KOYENIKAN
Our generation has the ability and the responsibility to make our ever-more connected world a more hopeful, stable and peaceful place.   NATALIE PORTMAN

Quotes about community support

In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.   MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.   CORETTA SCOTT KING
As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others . AUDREY HEPBURN
Plant seeds of happiness, hope , success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature. STEVE MARABOLI
The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.   JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
Diversity is about all of us, and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together.   JACQUELINE WOODSON
One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.   SHANNON L. ALDER
Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.  PAUL RYAN
No man can become rich without himself enriching others.   ANDREW CARNEGIE

Quotes about community service, engagement and involvement

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.  MUHAMMAD ALI
Community service gives me a valuable opportunity to walk into a different community that is less familiar to me but just as colorful and most importantly, in need. CAROLINE LANDRY
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.   MAHATMA GANDHI
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’   MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.  GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
Teaching kids how to feed themselves and how to live in a community responsibly is the center of an education.   ALICE WATERS
Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.   SHERRY ANDERSON
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. MARGARET MEAD ( more Margaret Mead quotes )
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.   LEO BUSCAGLIA
The purpose of life is not to be happy, but to matter  to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.   LEO ROSTEN
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.   ANNE FRANK
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.   DR. SEUSS
Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.   H. JACKSON BROWN JR.
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.   OSCAR WILDE
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.   MARTIN LUTHER KING
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.   MAYA ANGELOU
Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.   JOHN F. KENNEDY

Quotes about community health

The power of community to create health is far greater than any physician, clinic or hospital.   MARK HYMAN
For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people’s love and concern for each other.   MILLARD FULLER
Communities and countries and ultimately the world are only as strong as the health of their women. MICHELLE OBAMA
When elected officials abandon our environment and ruin our natural resources, public health is endangered. I know the importance of providing a clean environment for our children. GWEN MOORE
And I believe that the best buy in public health today must be a combination of regular physical exercise and a healthy diet. JULIE BISHOP
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Posted on Nov 19, 2018

15 of the Best Online Writing Communities for Aspiring Authors

As enjoyable and fulfilling as writing can be, the truth is that it’s often a solitary endeavor. While we might romanticize the focused artist typing away while imaginary worlds and narratives swirl inside their minds — authors know the truth: writing can get lonely. And moreover, when you’re working on a one-person project, it can be hard to remain motivated and accountable. That’s where writing communities come in.

Writing communities are the perfect place to find answers to your writing questions and to discuss the ins and outs of the writing life with people who actually understand what you’re talking about.

So, if you are tired of listening only to the voices in your head, take a look at our list of top online writing communities. (And if you're hungry for more, check out our more exhaustive list of the very best writing websites !)

Top online writing communities

1. absolute write water cooler.

With over 68,000 members, this is a large and highly active community. Here you can find threads on every genre imaginable, as well as discussions about freelance writing , the publishing industry, pop culture, writing prompts and exercises, and much more.

Perfect for: writers who are looking for a large and active community.

2. AgentQuery Connect

While this forum will come in handy for any writer, it’s especially helpful for authors who have already completed their manuscript and are wondering what to do next. The site boasts a wealth of information on publishing topics such as querying agents, self-publishing tips, and book promotion advice.

Perfect for: writers who are looking to connect with agents and learn more about the publishing industry.

3. Camp NaNoWriMo

If you’ve ever wanted to go to a writer’s retreat but can’t afford it just yet, then this site might help scratch your itch. Holding online “camp sessions” in April and July, Camp NaNoWriMo offers a digital space to encourage and empower writers at any point of their career. Here you can work on drafts, revisions, short stories, or any other writing project that involves word-count goals.

Perfect for: writers who can’t wait until November to crack their writing goals .

writing about community service

4. Critique Circle

Feedback should be a vital part of any writer’s process, and this is exactly what Critique Circle offers. This members-only site allows authors to post stories in exchange for feedback on other people’s writing. You can also find storyboarding tools , writing prompts , workshops, name generators , games like hangman, and much more.

Perfect for: writers who want honest feedback on their writing.

5. Chronicles

As the world’s largest Science Fiction and Fantasy online community, Chronicles offers writers the opportunity to get together and discuss the latest books, news, and pop culture in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy world. This is an active community with thousands of threads that include genre-specific challenges, workshops, critiques, and even publishing and industry information.

Perfect for: writers interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy writing.

6. Facebook Groups

If social media is more your style, don't miss the chance to interact with your fellow writers by joining Facebook groups in your own niche. Look for groups with a strict "no self-promotion" rules so that it remains supportive and useful to your writing goals.

There are a lot of groups out there in a variety of topics that range from genre-specific writing tips to traditional and self-publishing industry news. Here are just a few of them:

The Street Team — Reedsy's own book marketing group for self-publishing authors. 10 Minute Novelists — a group for the time-crunched writer. Calls for Submissions  — for writers looking for publication opportunities. Fiction Writers Global — a great resource for information about traditional and self-publishing. Writers Unite! — an active group with plenty of support and motivation for novice and experienced writers alike.

Perfect for: writers who prefer using social media.



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7. Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Whether you are a debut or seasoned author, there’s no doubt that writing a book can be intimidating and rife with bouts of self-doubt. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group aims to help you overcome those insecurities by hosting a community of like-minded authors.

Perfect for: writers who have doubts about their writing and are in need of encouragement.

writing about community service

8. The Next Big Writer

This is an international forum where writers can receive feedback on their writing and support on every other part of the creative process from drafting to publishing and marketing. The critiques are often thorough and many come from published authors. Keep in mind that there is a monthly cost associated with the membership, but it might be worth it to be able to bend the ear of published authors.

Perfect for: writers seeking in-depth critiques from an international audience.

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More than just a single writing community, Reddit has countless ‘subreddits’ where writers of all genres, interests, and levels of experience flock. While it may not offer workshops or tools, members can find niche threads that relate to their interests, critique other people’s work, and discover helpful sources of information.

There are so many different subreddits that you can get lost browsing them, but here are a few of the most popular ones:

r/writing — for general writing purposes. r/writingprompts — for user-submitted writing prompts. r/destructivereaders — beware, if you don’t like harsh criticism this may not be the best fit. But if you are willing to endure it, you will come out a better writer at the end. r/worldbuilding — user submitted fiction worlds. r/fantasywriters — for anybody interested in the fantasy genre. r/characterforge — the place to be for character building. r/writerchat — for those interested in talking with fellow writers. r/selfpublish — for anybody interested in self-publishing. r/logophilia — “the love of words and word games,” and that’s exactly what you’ll find here. r/freelanceWriters — for anybody interested in a career in freelance writing . r/books — because reading is just as important as writing if you want to be a successful author.

Perfect for: writers who want niche threads based on a particular interest or need.

10. Scribophile

One of the largest communities in the world, Scribophile offers workshops, tutorials, and critiques for authors in just about any genre imaginable. While it is free to join, only users who pay for a membership get access to all their features.

Perfect for: authors whowant to take part in writing workshops alongside writers of all experience levels.

writing about community service

11. She Writes

With over 30,000 members, this is the largest writing community exclusively for women. Here you can find articles on writing, editing, and marketing for every genre. There are forums tailored to specific needs, like travel writers, writing about trauma, NaNoWriMo, and many other topics.

Perfect for: women writers who want a place to connect and learn from fellow writers.

12. Talentville

If your passion lies in screenwriting, then you’ll want to book a one-way ticket to Talentville. Here you can get feedback on your writing and learn the skills necessary to perfect your screencraft. Plus, you can work on and build your network of contacts: the site is also a frequent stop for industry professionals (like agents, managers, and producers) on the lookout for new talent.

Perfect for: writers whoare interested in screenwriting and networking.

13. Underlined

A writing community by Penguin Random House. While any author can find helpful information on this website, it’s geared more towards younger writers. It has a well-designed platform, quizzes, genre-specific information, the latest news on book releases, Q&As with authors, and even some giveaways and excerpts as perks.

Perfect for: younger writers who are looking for genre-specific information and bookish perks.

writing about community service

14. Writers Helping Writers

This is a free-to-register community where you can find resources for writers, teachers, and editors alike. They offer a vast array of tools to perfect your craft, no matter your level. Their extensive creative library includes webinars, free writing and marketing tools, a thesaurus collection, story maps, idea generators, and more.

Perfect for: writers, editors, and teachers who are looking to build up their writing toolbox.

15. #WritingCommunity

Sometimes, all you need is a hashtag. And indeed, Twitter's own #WritingCommunity is one of the most robust writing collectives on the web. Ask a question, and it'll almost certainly get answered (without a lot of Twitter's trademark snark). The key here is to keep your questions concise, reply often to others, and don't go crazy with other hashtags. The community can tell if you're just thirsty for RTs. Perfect for: writers who are finally ready to use Twitter for good — and not just for procrastinating.

Do you belong to a writing community? Which one is your favorite one? Add yours in the comments below!

13 responses

27/11/2018 – 22:42

Very useful post. Thanks for this. I will be linking to it on my blog.

Dr Jack Edward Effron says:

18/02/2019 – 16:40

You left out It’s truly free. They are not going to give you a rubbish service to make you join their pay site because they have no pay site. Your story can be 8,000 words. They are not going to force you into flash fiction of 3,000 words. One critique out, one critique in: no mucking about with “karma” or critiquing 5+ stories to get one critique. The great new idea whose time has come! And it’s British, not American.

marieseltenrych says:

08/05/2019 – 12:28

Reedsy, thank God you are here! I want to ask a question to other authors or self publishers here: I have been approached by OmniScriptum to publish my books (research) with them. I cannot find much about this company online, so wondered if anyone has published with them recently? Thanks Reedsy in anticipation. Marie

↪️ Reedsy replied:

08/05/2019 – 12:29

Hi Marie! Sounds potentially very shady to me. If you haven't already, check out our post on predatory companies in publishing. One of the rules of thumb is that if a publisher contacts you first, be very wary. I just did 20 seconds worth of Googling and found some people who had a bad experience.

Eunice Brownlee says:

I am a member of illuminate, which is a group designed around supporting women who want to share their stories but don't know how. The majority of us write non-fiction essays and memoirs, but we have a few poets and fiction writers in the mix as well. The overall goal is to support each other, especially through those harder moments of not wanting to write, or not knowing where to start. There are monthly themes and prompts, a weekly exercise inside the Facebook group, and cross-sharing of what we're working on. My favorite feature is the expert review, where you can submit any piece you're working on each month and you'll get quality feedback from one of the editors that manage the group. This group is perfect for anyone who is just getting started writing.

↪️ Brittani B replied:

11/02/2020 – 19:27

I tried the link multiple times both from this page and separately searched and was unable to access the site.

Harry says:

05/06/2019 – 07:51

Personally I think you missed out the best writing community: Jericho Writers is a free writing community that writers can safely share thought, make friends, swap work and get advice

Christian says:

08/08/2019 – 12:21

I only recommend Scribophile if you enjoy being coerced into groupthink. If you hope to get meaningful critique that will help you, look elsewhere. The critiques here are mostly SPAG, and it's forbidden to discuss your work on the main forums, except in the broadest, vaguest way.

Randy says:

18/08/2019 – 06:11

I have all my dads writing research and copyrights to 18 different books....all this was before the digital world .... many negatives photos ....every major story from all over the world with his .copyright . These are huge stores and his books are really well written ....what should I do with them .....incredible spy work as well

Ratih says:

27/08/2019 – 03:50

As a new writer this article is really useful for me. Thank you reedsy

Jennifer says:

02/09/2019 – 14:15

Hi guys! Great blog! Just wanted to let you know that we linked to you in a blog on the Peaceful Living Wellness Online Magazine :) It will be published on Friday, September 6th, 2019

↪️ Martin Cavannagh replied:

17/09/2019 – 09:04

Thanks! We appreciate that!

Kaylee Downey says:

14/02/2020 – 19:09

Um...what about Wattpad?

Comments are currently closed.

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101 Creative Community Service Ideas for Kids, Teens, and Adults

These are the most impactful ways you can volunteer and make a difference.

creative community service ideas for kids, teens, and adults

Participating in community service is one of the most rewarding things you can do. No matter your age, giving back can help you build friendships, develop new skills, and increase life satisfaction — all while making the world a better place. It's no wonder that in a Good Housekeeping poll of over 4,000 people, 19% of respondents said they typically volunteer once a month and another 19% said they volunteer even more than that.

Community service ideas for kids

  • Make cards for seniors.
  • Grow vegetables and donate the produce to neighbors or a food bank.
  • Use chalk to write inspiring quotes on the sidewalk.
  • Choose which gently used clothes to donate to charity.
  • Pick up litter at a local park.
  • Write cards to service members.
  • Make a "New to the Neighborhood" guidebook for new kids at school.
  • Put on a talent show at a nursing home.
  • Offer water bottles or snacks to sanitation workers.
  • Collect donations in lieu of birthday gifts.
  • Choose foods at the grocery store to donate to a food bank.
  • Make "You Made My Day" cards and give them to cashiers, baristas, delivery people, or anyone else you meet.
  • Write a thank-you note to your mail carrier.
  • Cheer on the athletes at a Special Olympics event.
  • Host a lemonade stand for a special cause.
  • Invite someone new to play at the playground.
  • Participate in a local charity walk.
  • Decorate placemats for Meals on Wheels .
  • Plant a tree.
  • Put a tip in a tip jar.
  • Recycle bottles and donate the proceeds to a special cause.
  • Donate hair to an organization that makes wigs for kids who have cancer.
  • Choose toys at the mall to donate to a toy drive.
  • Greet new neighbors with a gift package filled with local goods.
  • Collect coins for a special cause.

Community service ideas for teens

  • Rake leaves or shovel snow for a neighbor.
  • Tend to a neighborhood garden.
  • Tutor elementary school children.
  • Be a "grand-friend" to a senior in your area.
  • Host a bake sale or hot chocolate stand for a special cause.
  • Start a Little Free Library .
  • Create craft kits or activity sets for kids in hospitals or homeless shelters.
  • Volunteer for the National Park Service.
  • Serve or prepare food at a soup kitchen.
  • Do a fundraiser for a cause you're passionate about.
  • Run a local non-profit or community organization's social media accounts.
  • Organize a walk or run for charity.
  • Become a conversation volunteer for people learning English.
  • Host a group clean-up day at a park or beach.
  • Give out baked goods in the lobby of a hospital.
  • Maintain a local hiking trail.
  • Unpack and shelve food at a food pantry.
  • Perform live music at a senior center (or anywhere else that would appreciate it).
  • Host a school campus clean-up day.
  • Start a Little Free Pantry.
  • Teach computer skills to seniors.
  • Build sets or work as an usher for a local community theater group.
  • Paint a mural or beautify a public space.
  • Create a recycling program at school.
  • Couch a youth sports team.

Community service ideas for adults

  • Deliver meals for Meals on Wheels.
  • Sort donations at a homeless shelter.
  • Become a mentor to a student interested in your career path.
  • Deliver groceries to those in need.
  • Become CPR certified.
  • Volunteer as a poll worker on election day.
  • Establish a day of service at your workplace.
  • Choose a non-profit or charity you care about and ask how you can volunteer on a long-term basis.
  • Offer job interview training at a community center.
  • Start a neighborhood welcome committee.
  • Bring surplus food donations from local restaurants and grocers to a nearby food bank.
  • Clean graffiti in your neighborhood.
  • Teach an ESL class at a local school or library.
  • Become a member at a museum, theater, or cultural institution and volunteer at events.
  • Clean up after a natural disaster or storm.
  • Drive seniors to doctors appointments.
  • Host a coat drive at your workplace or a local business.
  • Become a Big Brother or Big Sister.
  • Babysit for a neighbor in need.
  • Organize a musical hour or reading program for kids at a local park or library.
  • Assemble bags of socks, snacks, and other essentials to give to people in need.
  • Teach a class at a community center.
  • Quilt or knit blankets for local hospitals, NICUs, or hospice centers.
  • Foster a cat or dog.
  • Help train a service dog.
  • Register people to vote.

Virtual community service ideas

  • Read books with a buddy on StoriiTime .
  • Start a Pay It Forward or Buy Nothing group for your neighborhood on Facebook.
  • Volunteer as a crisis counselor for a crisis hotline.
  • Help people who are blind or have low vision via video chat using Be My Eyes .
  • Become a translator for important causes through Translators Without Borders .
  • Start a positive-news-only Instagram account for people in your community.
  • Conduct mock interviews on video chat.
  • Convert public domain books into ebooks with Distributed Proofreaders.
  • Use your professional skills to help a non-profit through Catch a Fire .
  • Become an online volunteer listener through 7Cups .
  • Tutor students on video chat.
  • Help others navigate challenges at work by becoming a peer counselor with Empower Work .
  • Archive historical documents for the Smithsonian Institute .
  • Host a donations drive on Facebook for your birthday.
  • Play games with seniors on video chat.
  • Share petitions you're passionate about to bring attention to important causes.
  • Find a pen pal.
  • Support to victims of sexual assault by becoming a crisis counselor with RAINN .
  • Teach a skill to a local Girl or Boy Scouts group on video chat.
  • Write positive reviews to help local businesses.
  • Mentor a small business owner on MicroMentor .
  • Write supportive messages to healthcare workers.
  • Become an adoption photographer for Together We Rise
  • Answer questions about your career path on Career Village .

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Creating Photo Essays About Community: A Guide to Our Where We Are Contest

Step-by-step directions for depicting what’s memorable and meaningful about groups and the places where they gather.

A group of young people lying on a weathered wooden stage, with their heads resting on one another's stomachs and their arms embracing one another. Some of the people are texting or holding their phones up to take selfies.

By Katherine Schulten

It’s hard not to be inspired by the immersive 2023 photo-essay series Where We Are .

As you scroll through and are introduced to young female wrestlers in India , rappers in Spain , band kids in Ohio and Black debutantes in Detroit , you can’t help but think about the communities you have been a part of — or have noticed in your own neighborhood or school.

That’s why we hope you’ll participate in our new contest , which invites teenagers to use these photo essays as mentor texts to document the local, offline communities that most interest them.

How do you go about that? The steps are outlined below.

Have fun, and if you are submitting to our contest, make sure you do so by March 20.

How to Create Your Photo Essay

Step 1: read the where we are series closely., step 2: decide what local community will be the subject of your photo essay., step 3: take photos that show both the big picture and the small details., step 4: interview members of the community about why it is special., step 5: give your photo essay context via a short written introduction., step 6: write captions for your photos that give new information or add depth or color., step 7: edit all the pieces together and submit..

Immerse yourself in several of these photo essays, using our related activity sheet to help you start to notice and name some of the things that make this series special.

When you’re done, we’ll help you use those same strategies to document the community you have chosen.

Here are free links to the entire series:

1. The Magic of Your First Car 2. At This Mexican Restaurant, Everyone is Family 3. Where the Band Kids Are 4. In This Nigerian Market, Young Women Find a Place of Their Own 5. At Camp Naru, Nobody Is ‘an Outlier’ 6. For Black Debutantes in Detroit, Cotillion Is More Than a Ball 7. At This Wrestling Academy, Indian Girls Are ‘Set Free’ 8. In Seville, Spain, These Young Rappers Come Together to Turn ‘Tears Into Rhymes’ 9. For a Queer Community in Los Angeles, This Public Park Is a Lifeline 10. In Guatemala, a Collective of Young Artists Finds Family Through Film 11. On a Caribbean Island, Young People Find Freedom in ‘Bike Life’ 12. At This Texas Campus Ministry, ‘Inclusive Love’ Is the Mission 13. For Young Arab Americans in Michigan, the Hookah Lounge Feels like Home

A local band and its fans? The kids who hang out at a nearby basketball court? The people who tend a community garden? Your grandpa’s weekly breakfast with old friends at a local diner?

Our related Student Opinion forum will help you brainstorm ideas and then encourage you to detail what’s special about the people and place you choose. Remember that our rules allow you to work with up to three other people on this project, so consider sharing ideas with others to find a project that excites all of you.

Though we will allow you to choose a community you are a part of, we encourage you not to. Approaching a group as an outsider can help you notice and document aspects of that community with relative objectivity, capturing details that insiders may be too close to see.

Once you’ve chosen a group to photograph, begin by introducing yourself to ensure the participants are open to your project. Make sure they understand that, if you are a finalist, the pictures you take may be published on the New York Times website. You should also be sure to get contact information from each member of the group for any follow-up questions.

Next, spend a day or so just observing, noticing how and where the members of this community spend time, what they do together and how they relate to one another. Start to plan your piece, keeping in mind that, via six to eight photos, photo captions and a short introduction, you’ll need to impart the following:

What is this community?

Who is in it?

Where and when does it meet?

How did the community come to be? How does it operate?

Why does it matter to its participants? What is it about the connections people make in this space that makes it special? Why should it matter to viewers?

If there’s one thing to notice about the Where We Are series, it is that the photos and the writing both “zoom out” to provide a big picture and “zoom in” to focus on the meaningful details. If you have followed our related activity sheet , you’ve already noted how individual pieces do that.

You might have also observed that in each photo essay there are images that show the physical space; images that spotlight the people who gather there; and close-up images that focus on meaningful objects or details, like food, clothing, tattoos, jewelry, hair or hands.

Here are some steps you can take to do this too.

1. Ground your piece in a specific physical space.

Keep in mind that our contest allows you to submit only eight photos, so the more specific you can be about the place you choose, the easier it will be to tell a story. For example, rather than trying to document everything about the boys’ soccer team at your school, you might focus on their Wednesday practices at a local field.

Take photos that establish that space, perhaps at different times of day, from a variety of angles, with and without people. Here, for instance, is Sarapes, a Mexican restaurant in a quiet Connecticut suburb that is a “headquarters” for a group of 20-somethings.

As you look at this image and the ones below, ask yourself:

What can you tell about this space from the photograph?

What can you guess about the people who gather here, and what might this place might mean to them? What do you see that makes you say that?

Here is a meeting area at the Texas Wesley Foundation , a Methodist campus ministry group at University of Texas at Austin.

And here is the caption that comes with it:

“We call ourselves a Methodist group, but we are enthusiastic to accept people of other faiths, people who might not have any faith, or who are questioning their faith,” said Brandon. “We really like to meet people where they’re at.”

How do the caption and image echo and build on each other?

Next is one of many shots of Camp Naru , a summer camp for Korean American youth, where fostering a “strong, secure sense of identity and community is one of the main goals.” How can you see that in this image?

Finally, here is a big-picture look at the Southern California landscape that is the setting for “ The Magic of Your First Car .” What adjectives come to mind? Before you read the full piece, what can you already imagine about the teenagers who “get away from the prying eyes of parents” by driving? What additional images might you expect to see in the full essay?

2. Focus on the people who gather there.

Community is all about people, so consider the ways you can document both the ways they come together and the ways they might experience the group individually.

For instance, here is an arresting close-up image from “ For a Queer Community in Los Angeles, This Public Park Is a Lifeline .” What is interesting about it to you? How does the photo speak to the title of the piece?

Here is an image from “ Where the Band Kids Are .” What adjectives would you use to describe this community based on what you see here?

Here is another group shot. What adjectives would you use to describe this community? What would you expect individual portraits of its members to show?

Now, look at the related photo essay to see how close your answers were.

Here are some of the people that call Sarapes , the Mexican restaurant, their refuge. Action shots like this one often tell a viewer more than posed photos. What does this one say to you?

Finally, here is an image from “ On a Caribbean Island, Young People Find Freedom in ‘Bike Life.’ ” Though we don’t see any faces, the composition of the photo tells us a great deal. What do you think is going on here? What do you see that makes you say that? After you make your guesses, click into the photo essay and see how accurate your ideas were.

3. Zoom in on telling details about the people and the place.

You looked at a “zoomed out” image above from “ The Magic of Your First Car .” Here is a close-up. What does it tell you? What compositional elements give you that information? Why do you think the photographer chose this focus?

If you’ve already looked at several of the photo essays, you may have noticed that many, like this one, contain close-ups of hands. Why do you think that is?

Next, can you guess which photo essay the image below is from?

Before we reveal the answer, here is another close-up from the same photo essay, this one taken at night. Are you getting warmer?

Answer: “ At Camp Naru, Nobody Is ‘an Outlier.’ ” If you got it right, what clues in the photos helped? How do the images echo the idea expressed in the title?

Below is a photo that focuses on one member of a queer community in Los Angeles . What do you notice? What do you admire about the composition, the lighting, the angle or anything else? Why?

Now let’s look at a big-picture image and a close-up to see how they work together. Here is a shot from “ For Black Debutantes in Detroit, Cotillion Is More Than a Ball .”

Finally, here is a close-up. What do the two tell you together? What would be missing if you only took one type of shot?

4. Don’t forget to experiment and have fun.

If you’ve mastered the ideas above, now it’s time to play. As you worked through the images, you asked yourself, “How does composition convey meaning?” even if you didn’t realize that was what you were doing.

Our detailed photo guide , developed for an earlier contest, encourages you to think about how to experiment with basic composition techniques like rule of thirds, angle, depth of field, leading lines, framing and distance. It also helps you think about lighting, color and cropping, as well as making the best use of the tools available on most smartphones.

Read through it before and after you have documented your community and then look through the images you have taken. Do you have enough variety? Can you identify techniques like rule of thirds and leading lines in the images from the Where We Are series? If you haven’t used them in your own work, could you experiment?

Below are a few more images from Where We Are essays for inspiration. What do you notice? What compositional choices did the photographer make? How would different choices change the meaning?

Last question: Two of the four images above are from the same photo essay. Which are they, which piece do they come from, and how did you know? What unites the two images?

According to the rules of our contest, you only need one quote from a member of the community you have chosen, but, of course, you are allowed to use many more. We encourage you to weave them into both your captions and your introduction, just as the authors of the Where We Are series did.

Never conducted an interview before? We have advice. Scroll down to Steps 3 and 4 in this guide we created for our Profile Contest to find many practical tips from Times journalists for preparing for and conducting an interview.

But to start, you just need a few good questions. For example, you might ask:

What’s special about this community for you?

What do you like to do here?

What are some of your favorite memories or stories about this group?

What would an outsider to this community not understand or notice?

Is there history about this place or these people that I should understand?

If you were photographing this community, what important places, objects or moments would you try to capture? Why?

Finally, many journalists end interviews with this question: “Is there anything I didn’t ask that you wish I did?” Sometimes the most interesting information is elicited that way!

Then look over what you wrote down and choose the best quotes. Maybe they give information that your photo essay needs, maybe they are colorful and show personality or maybe they do all of those things.

To see how this works, we’ll look at one of the essays, “ At This Texas Campus Ministry, ‘Inclusive Love’ Is the Mission .”

Here is how the first quote was used, in the introduction:

Sydney had grown up Methodist and thought she knew what to expect from a Christian student organization. But she was surprised by just how welcoming the Wesley was. The students and adult leaders seemed genuinely invested in drawing her out of her shell and getting to know her, with no agenda. “It’s really not about getting people into this religion,” she said. “It’s just about being a community who supports others and loves others. And that was huge to me.”

How does it both paraphrase Sydney’s words and directly quote her? What does that quote tell the reader up front about this community? Why is that information important, and why might a participant’s own words be a compelling way to express this?

Later we meet Ethan. What does his experience — again, both paraphrased and directly quoted — add to your understanding of the inclusivity of this community? What colorful description does he offer for what happens in this group? How does this description add information to what is depicted in the photos?

Ethan’s parents are Buddhist and were surprised when their son started spending so much time with a Methodist organization. For his part, Ethan describes himself as agnostic and says he hasn’t felt any pressure from the Wesley to change that, but he appreciates the camaraderie the group offers. “There was this one worship where, when there was a swell in the music, someone burst into tears, and then they hugged one of their friends. I am not sure what was going on there, but it was definitely a very profound experience,” he said.

Listen for the same things as you interview. How can one person’s description of an experience add necessary information, depth, history or background to what you have depicted in images? Did you get any quotes that are too good not to use? How could you highlight them? Do they belong in your introduction or as a photo caption?

The essays in the Where We Are series are longer than the introductions you will write if you are participating in this contest. Many of those essays are about 600 words, double what we have allowed student participants. (You have up to 300 words, but you can use fewer if you can still convey what you need to.)

But you can use the first few paragraphs of each essay — what appears before the first photos — as mentor texts for your own introductions, and we’ll show you how, below.

First though, let’s remember your broader goals. As we wrote at the top of this post, together, your introduction, photo essay and captions should answer these questions:

Why does it matter to its participants? Why should it matter to viewers?

Take a look at “ In This Nigerian Market, Young Women Find a Place of Their Own ” as an example. Here is the introduction, the first 200 or so words before the photo essay begins to scroll:

At the bustling Yaba Market in Lagos, Nigeria, there is something for everyone. Chatter rises from the traders, whose stalls sprawl over miles of cracked gray concrete and packed earth. They might be selling baskets of fresh fruit, wheelbarrows stuffed with phone cases, piles of sequined fabrics or racks of second-hand clothes. If you’re lucky, you might find a vintage jacket you’ve been searching for, or a pair of long-lasting Levi’s jeans. But you’re never going to be as lucky as Dencity : the coolest of the cool kids of Lagos. These skaters, often clad in a uniform of baggy pants and crop tops, head to the market to go thrifting each week. They’re armed with fashion knowledge only the young, fun and determined can possess and seek out the best streetwear they can find. Founded by 26-year-old Blessing Ewona in 2020 in response to the dearth of spaces for young queer people and female skaters in Nigeria, Dencity skate, dream and thrift together. From their trips to the market to regular skate meet-ups at the dilapidated National Stadium or Tarkwa Bay beach, they have traced their own map of the city.

How many of the questions we listed above do these paragraphs answer? How do they work with the top image, which we’ve embedded above this section? What descriptions stand out? What context and background does it provide?

Now let’s break your task down.

1. Make your writing as vivid and varied as your images.

Much of the writing in these essays is just as interesting as the photos, as the example above shows. Here is another, the opening of “ At This Wrestling Academy, Indian Girls Are ‘Set Free’ ”:

As the winter sun ascends over a mustard farm, pale orange bleeding into sharp yellow, a line of 36 girls all dressed alike — T-shirts, track pants, crew cuts — emerges into an open field, rubbing sleep from their eyes. Under a tin shed, they sit on their haunches, bent over stone mortars. For the next 20 minutes, they crush raw almonds into a fine paste, straining out a bottle of nut milk. They will need it to regain their strength.

And here is how “ On a Caribbean Island, Young People Find Freedom in ‘Bike Life’ ” begins:

On a warm evening in October 2021, Enzo Crispin mounted his cobalt motorcycle and set off into the night. Hundreds of others joined his caravan, the rumbles of their engines filling the air of Fort-de-France, the capital of the French Caribbean island territory of Martinique. The riders popped up on one wheel, stood up on their bikes, brushed their hands along the ground — all while zooming along at top speed. Completely exhilarating. Potentially illegal, at least on public streets. This is “cabrage,” which roughly translates from French as a rodeo on wheels.

How do these introductions both “zoom out” and “zoom in”? How do they play on your senses, helping you see, hear, taste, touch and smell this place and what happens in it? How could you do those things in your introduction?

2. Offer background to help viewers understand what they are seeing and what it means.

Here is the introduction to “ For Young Arab Americans in Michigan, the Hookah Lounge Feels Like Home ”:

Coming of age is marked by a series of firsts. Your first kiss. Your first job. Your first drink. Many who grew up in Dearborn, Mich., would add to the list: your first hookah. Located just outside downtown Detroit, Dearborn is home to one of the United States’ largest Arab American communities: Nearly 50 percent of residents identify as having Arab ancestry, according to the U.S. census . Middle Eastern shops, where you may find portable hookah cups , dot the streets. There is also the Arab American National Museum (which sells hookah-themed socks) and the Islamic Center of America , one of the nation’s oldest and largest mosques. And then there is the long list of hookah lounges, where locals spend hours leisurely smoking flavored tobacco through water pipes while catching up, watching soccer games or enjoying a live Arabic music performance. “A spot like a hookah lounge, it’s sacred,” particularly for immigrants and refugees far from home, said Marrim (pronounced Mariam) Akashi Sani, 25, who is Iraqi-Iranian. “And it’s something you have to create for yourself when you’re displaced, and you might not ever be able to go back home because you don’t really know what home is anymore.”

How do the opening two lines grab your attention? How does the demographic information in the third paragraph explain the focus on hookah lounges? How does the quote at the end offer important information that complements the demographic data and gives it meaning?

Next is the introduction to “ For Black Debutantes in Detroit, Cotillion Is More Than a Ball ”:

In a heady swirl of bright white silk and lace, the young ladies of the Cotillion Society of Detroit Educational Foundation are presented as debutantes. The Society’s annual ball is the culmination of eight months of etiquette lessons, leadership workshops, community service projects and cultural events. As the girls take to the dance floor, they become part of a legacy of Black debutantes in the city and beyond. Debutante balls, which traditionally helped girls from high society find suitable husbands, emerged from Europe in the 18th century. Black Americans have adopted a unique version of them since at least 1895 . Responding to the politics of the Jim Crow era, these balls, which emphasized women’s education, echoed the work of the racial upliftment movement and women’s clubs, said Taylor Bythewood-Porter, the curator of a recent exhibition on Black cotillions at the California African American Museum. Organizers saw the balls as a way to “dismiss the idea of Black people not being smart enough, or good enough, or worthy enough.” For today’s debutantes, many of whom grew up in predominantly white neighborhoods of Detroit, gaining an informal network of Black adult mentors was “life-changing,” said Sage Johnson, 17. “Signing up for debutantes, I thought it was just one big ball. But there were a lot more layers to it.”

How do the second and third paragraphs add key context and history to this photo essay? How does the quote at the end bring these cotillions into the 21st century, and help you anticipate what is to come?

Ask yourself, What background will my viewers need to understand what they are seeing, and appreciate its nuances? Do I need to add that information myself, or can some of the quotes from participants do that work for me?

In most traditional newspaper articles, you will find a caption under each photo explaining more detail about the image and its relationship to the story. As you scroll through Where We Are, however, you’ve probably noticed that, thanks to the elegant way these pieces are produced, the captions float up on or around the photos.

In these essays, the captions continue the story. Your captions will do that too. But in the Where We Are pieces, photo captions are interspersed with more of the written essay. Because you are doing a “mini” version of this project, however, after your initial introduction, the only writing we will read will come from your captions. Make sure they continue to tell your story in a way that makes sense to the reader and helps build meaning.

For instance, here is an image from “ In Guatemala, A Collective of Young Artists Finds Family Through Film .”

The caption?

The team has quickly become a family, meeting up for dinners and to celebrate each other’s birthdays. They are, said Sebastián, a community first and a production house second.

Notice how those words work with the image. Can you see “family” and “community” and “team” conveyed in the way this image is composed, the looks on the faces, the colors and light? How?

Here is another example, from “ In Seville, Spain, These Young Rappers Come Together to Turn ‘Tears Into Rhymes’ .” Before you read the caption, what do you imagine is happening in this picture?

Here is the caption, which both offers some background about the group and includes a wonderful quote:

Luis Rodríguez Collado, at right, the youngest of the group, grew up in Spain, the child of Mexican immigrants. “We aren’t just emoting with language, but with song and dance, with sounds and rhythm,” said Luis, a.k.a. Luis 3K. “At 19, I sincerely don’t know anything more liberating than this.”

As you construct your captions, ask yourself:

What information do I need to add to these images to make the meaning and nuances clear?

Can using quotes from participants work? What might they add?

How do these captions continue the story I started in my introduction? Do they build on one another and make sense both separately and together? Do they avoid repetition, with each other or with the introduction? Do they strengthen the key ideas of my piece? How?

At this point you may have dozens of images, and pages of notes. How do you put it all together?

Way back when you were first analyzing the Where We Are series, we called your attention to the fact that the images, essay and captions don’t repeat information exactly the same way . Each element adds something new.

We also talked about how, from the very first image, the one the authors chose for the top, a theme is hinted at, and then echoed in the introduction and continued in the captions. Whatever key ideas about this community you want to get across — maybe that it is a refuge or home, that it offers freedom or that it challenges participants creatively or athletically — look through your images and writing and find all the ways you think you have done that. Do you need more emphasis on this theme? A variety of ways of showing it?

Speaking of variety , that’s another lens to look through when considering your piece as a whole. In terms of both the photos and the writing, have you “zoomed out” enough to establish a place and a context? Have you “zoomed in” to show detail? Are your images taken from different angles and points of view? Do they show both the group and individuals? Are they dynamic and interesting and surprising?

Then, show your work to others, and, perhaps, ask them to analyze it using the last four questions on our related activity sheet . That will prompt them to tell you what is working, but make sure to also ask them if there is anything confusing about your piece, or if they think there is information missing.

Then, go back and fill in anything your piece needs, and play with the sequence of your images until they tell the story you want to tell.

Good luck. We can’t wait to see the results!

Katherine Schulten has been a Learning Network editor since 2006. Before that, she spent 19 years in New York City public schools as an English teacher, school-newspaper adviser and literacy coach. More about Katherine Schulten

writing about community service

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IELTS Writing task 2 | Community service in high school

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You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programmes (for example working for a charity, improving the neighbourhood or teaching sports to younger children).

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

High school programmes teach students a variety of valuable knowledge and skills, both in the classroom and through guided discovery tasks. However, the subjects and abilities which are taught only cover a narrow range of skills, and thus do not produce high school graduates with a well-rounded skill set. Adding unpaid community service to the curriculum would be beneficial not only to local communities, but also to the students themselves.

The first benefit of students performing community service is that it makes teenagers more active in their local communities. They have a great deal to contribute to society, for example by helping the elderly to meet their social needs, or educating primary school children. However, under current systems in which teenagers are completely focused on academic study, their potential remains unused. By introducing mandatory community service in high school, teenagers can become more involved and included in their local communities.

Community service would also provide valuable work experience that can teach high school students useful skills that they do not learn in school. Working for charities or teaching younger children would give teenagers a greater degree of trust and responsibility. These skills are essential for the world of work, and would prepare the students to become responsible adults. It would also teach them useful communication and cooperation skills. As a result, adding community service to the high school curriculum would help to build a generation that is better prepared to enter the workforce as adults.

In conclusion, making high school students perform unpaid community service is an excellent idea, and this policy should definitely be adopted. Communities would be greatly strengthened and it would allow teenagers to make a meaningful contribution to society, and it would teach students a range of useful and valuable skills for the future.

More to explore

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IELTS Writing task 2 | Sports facilities

This IELTS writing task 2 practice question is perfect for trying out your essay structure for ‘discuss both views’ questions.

writing about community service

IELTS Writing task 2 | Working from home

IELTS Writing task 2 | Working from home: In this task 2, we look at the benefits and drawbacks of working from home. What do you think?

writing about community service

In this IELTS writing task 2 you have to decide whether community service should be part of the school curriculum.

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IELTS Writing task 2 | Job satisfaction

This IELTS writing task 2 deals with the world of work. How well can you discuss job satisfaction, and can you consider it in a societal context?

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Ielts essay # 218 - unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school, ielts writing task 2/ ielts essay:, some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programmes (for example working for a charity, improving the neighbourhood or teaching sports to younger children)., to what extent do you agree or disagree.

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Harris Legal Support Services Launches Series of Grant Writing Workshops

Published 10:19 am Friday, February 23, 2024

By Timothy Holdiness

writing about community service

RESERVE, La. – Harris Legal Support Services, LLC, successfully hosted a heavily attended Grant Writing Workshop on February 20, 2024, at River Parishes Community College, located at 181 Regala Park Road, Reserve, Louisiana. This event, which is just the beginning of a series of free grant writing workshops planned for the area, was designed to empower a wide array of local individuals and organizations by providing them with the tools needed to secure funding through effective grant proposals.

The workshop saw an impressive turnout, indicating a strong community interest in developing grant-writing skills. Raychelle Harris, a seasoned expert in legal support services and grant writing, led the training. Her expertise provided attendees with invaluable insights into crafting successful grant applications, beneficial for both beginners and experienced professionals in the field.

This initiative by Harris Legal Support Services, LLC, underscores the firm’s dedication to promoting community growth and development through educational opportunities. The overwhelming attendance and the comprehensive training delivered are indicative of the workshop’s significant impact on enhancing the grant-writing abilities of local entities. This, in turn, is expected to greatly assist them in securing funding for various projects and initiatives, setting a positive trajectory for future events in the series.

writing about community service

About Timothy Holdiness

writing about community service

Timothy Holdiness is a native of Louisiana and has been published in several state, national and international publications. He has earned two undergraduate degrees in Biology, most recently from Northwestern State University in 2022. Notably, Holdiness was the 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist United States Champion in PowerPoint 2010.

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Ailey II Engages SCPPS Students in Artsperience Series During Black History Month

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St. Charles Parish Waterworks Billing Office Reopens After Hurricane Ida Repairs

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St. James Parish Council to Unveil Community Initiatives in Upcoming Meeting

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FACT SHEET: President   Biden Cancels Student Debt for more than 150,000 Student Loan Borrowers Ahead of   Schedule

Today, President Biden announced the approval of $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers currently enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan. The Biden-Harris Administration has now approved nearly $138 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 3.9 million borrowers through more than two dozen executive actions. The borrowers receiving relief are the first to benefit from a SAVE plan policy that provides debt forgiveness to borrowers who have been in repayment after as little as 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in student loans. Originally planned for July, the Biden-Harris Administration implemented this provision of SAVE and is providing relief to borrowers nearly six months ahead of schedule.

From Day One of his Administration, President Biden vowed to fix the student loan system and make sure higher education is a pathway to the middle class – not a barrier to opportunity. Already, the President has cancelled more student debt than any President in history – delivering lifechanging relief to students and families – and has created the most affordable student loan repayment plan ever: the SAVE plan. While Republicans in Congress and their allies try to block President Biden every step of the way, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to cancel student debt for millions of borrowers, and is leaving no stone unturned in the fight to give more borrowers breathing room on their student loans.

Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s SAVE plan, starting today, the Administration will be cancelling debt for borrowers who are enrolled in the SAVE plan, have been in repayment for at least 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in loans for college. For every additional $1,000 a borrower initially borrowed, they will receive relief after an additional year of payments. For example, a borrower enrolled in SAVE who took out $14,000 or less in federal loans to earn an associate’s degree in biotechnology would receive full debt relief starting this week if they have been in repayment for 12 years. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) identified nearly 153,000 borrowers who are enrolled in SAVE plan who will have their debt cancelled starting this week, and those borrowers will receive an email today from President Biden informing them of their imminent relief. Next week, the Department of Education will also be reaching out directly to borrowers who are eligible for early relief but not currently enrolled in the SAVE Plan to encourage them to enroll as soon as possible. This shortened time to forgiveness will particularly help community college and other borrowers with smaller loans and put many on track to being free of student debt faster than ever before. Under the Biden-Harris Administration’s SAVE plan, 85 percent of future community college borrowers will be debt free within 10 years. The Department will continue to regularly identify and discharge other borrowers eligible for relief under this provision on SAVE. Over four million borrowers have a $0 monthly payment under the SAVE Plan Last year, President Biden launched the SAVE plan – the most affordable repayment plan ever. Under the SAVE plan, monthly payments are based on a borrower’s income and family size, not their loan balance. The SAVE plan ensures that if borrowers are making their monthly payments, their balances cannot grow because of unpaid interest. And, starting in July, undergraduate loan payments will be cut in half, capping a borrower’s loan payment at 5% of their discretionary income. Already, 7.5 million borrowers are enrolled in the SAVE Plan, and 4.3 million borrowers have a $0 monthly payment.  

Today, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released an issue brief highlighting how low and middle-income borrowers enrolled in SAVE could see significant saving in terms of interest saved over time and principal forgiven as a result of SAVE’s early forgiveness provisions.

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President Biden’s Administration has approved student debt relief for nearly 3.9 million Americans through various actions

Today’s announcement builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s track record of taking historic action to cancel student debt for millions of borrowers. Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration has approved debt cancellation for nearly 3.9 million Americans, totaling almost $138 billion in debt relief through various actions. This relief has given borrowers critical breathing room in their daily lives, allowing them to afford other expenses, buy homes, start businesses, or pursue dreams they had to put on hold because of the burden of student loan debt. President Biden remains committed to providing debt relief to as many borrowers as possible, and won’t stop fighting to deliver relief to more Americans.

The Biden-Harris Administration has also taken historic steps to improve the student loan program and make higher education more affordable for more Americans, including:

  • Achieving the largest increases in Pell Grants in over a decade to help families who earn less than $60,000 a year achieve their higher-education goals.
  • Fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program so that borrowers who go into public service get the debt relief they’re entitled to under the law. Before President Biden took office, only 7,000 people ever received debt relief through PSLF. After fixing the program, the Biden-Harris Administration has now cancelled student loan debt for nearly 800,000 public service workers.
  • Cancelling student loan debt for more than 930,000 borrowers who have been in repayment for over 20 years but never got the relief they earned because of administrative failures with Income-Driven Repayment Plans.
  • Pursuing an alternative path to deliver student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Administration’s original debt relief plan. Last week, the Department of Education released proposed regulatory text to cancel student debt for borrowers who are experiencing hardship paying back their student loans, and late last year released proposals to cancel student debt for borrowers who: owe more than they borrowed, first entered repayment 20 or 25 years ago, attended low quality programs, and who would be eligible for loan forgiveness through income-driven repayment programs like SAVE but have not applied.
  • Holding colleges accountable for leaving students with unaffordable debts.

It’s easy to enroll in SAVE. Borrowers should go to to start saving.  

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  1. 40+ Free Community Service Letter Templates [& Examples]

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