Community service
Overview
 
Community service is donated service or activity that is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions.

Volunteers
Volunteering
Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be...

 may provide community service, however, not everyone who provides community service is seen as a volunteer, because some people who provide community service are not doing it of their own free will; they are compelled to do so by:
  • their government as a part of citizenship requirements, in lieu of military service (such as the practice of Zivildienst
    Zivildienst
    Zivildienst is the civilian branch of the national service systems in Austria and Switzerland. In Germany as well Zivildienst was the alternative service to military service until suspension of conscription in 2011...

     in Germany);
  • the courts, in lieu of, or in addition to, other criminal justice sanctions
    Sanctions (law)
    Sanctions are penalties or other means of enforcement used to provide incentives for obedience with the law, or with rules and regulations. Criminal sanctions can take the form of serious punishment, such as corporal or capital punishment, incarceration, or severe fines...

    ;
  • their school, to meet the requirements of a class, such as in the case of service learning or to meet the requirements of graduation, or, in the case of parents, required to provide a certain number of hours of service in order for their child to be enrolled in a school or sports team.


There are also people providing community service who receive some form of compensation in return for their year of commitment to public service, such as AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is a U.S. federal government program that was created under President Bill Clinton by the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 and later expanded by 50 percent under President George W. Bush...

 in the USA (who are called members rather than volunteers).

Community services performed by youth
Youth
Youth is the time of life between childhood and adulthood . Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. An individual's actual maturity may not correspond to their chronological age, as immature individuals could exist at all ages.-Usage:Around the world, the terms "youth",...

 is also referred to as youth service
Youth service
Youth service refers to non-military, intensive engagement of young people in organized activity that contributes to the local, national, or world community. Youth service is widely recognized and valued by society, with minimal or no compensation to the server. Youth service also provides...

.
Encyclopedia
Community service is donated service or activity that is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions.

Volunteers
Volunteering
Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be...

 may provide community service, however, not everyone who provides community service is seen as a volunteer, because some people who provide community service are not doing it of their own free will; they are compelled to do so by:
  • their government as a part of citizenship requirements, in lieu of military service (such as the practice of Zivildienst
    Zivildienst
    Zivildienst is the civilian branch of the national service systems in Austria and Switzerland. In Germany as well Zivildienst was the alternative service to military service until suspension of conscription in 2011...

     in Germany);
  • the courts, in lieu of, or in addition to, other criminal justice sanctions
    Sanctions (law)
    Sanctions are penalties or other means of enforcement used to provide incentives for obedience with the law, or with rules and regulations. Criminal sanctions can take the form of serious punishment, such as corporal or capital punishment, incarceration, or severe fines...

    ;
  • their school, to meet the requirements of a class, such as in the case of service learning or to meet the requirements of graduation, or, in the case of parents, required to provide a certain number of hours of service in order for their child to be enrolled in a school or sports team.


There are also people providing community service who receive some form of compensation in return for their year of commitment to public service, such as AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is a U.S. federal government program that was created under President Bill Clinton by the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 and later expanded by 50 percent under President George W. Bush...

 in the USA (who are called members rather than volunteers).

Youth community service

Community services performed by youth
Youth
Youth is the time of life between childhood and adulthood . Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. An individual's actual maturity may not correspond to their chronological age, as immature individuals could exist at all ages.-Usage:Around the world, the terms "youth",...

 is also referred to as youth service
Youth service
Youth service refers to non-military, intensive engagement of young people in organized activity that contributes to the local, national, or world community. Youth service is widely recognized and valued by society, with minimal or no compensation to the server. Youth service also provides...

. Youth service is intended to strengthen young peoples' senses of civic engagement
Civic engagement
Civic engagement or civic participation has been defined as "Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern."-Forms:...

 and community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

, and to help them achieve their educational, developmental and social
Social
The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms...

 goals.

Youth service hours and/or projects is often required for advancement, e.g. for a Scout to advance to the next rank or for a high school student to graduate.

Service learning is the deliberate connection of community service to stated learning goals. A common misconception among educators, youth workers, and young people is the notion that service learning can be assigned. Several experts attest to the necessity of engaging youth in deliberating, planning, implementing, and reflecting on their community service, thereby sustaining high-quality service learning. This is intended to make community service an effective learning tool.

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the University of Maryland, College Park
University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park is a top-ranked public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C...

 researches young people and their community service. CIRCLE analyzes trends in community service/volunteering over time and by subgroups, such as sex, race and ethnicity.

Youth Organizations

Youth organizations actively involved in community service include Key Club International, Scouts, Camp Fire USA
Camp Fire USA
Camp Fire USA, originally Camp Fire Girls of America, is a nationwide American youth organization that began in 1910. The organization has been co-ed since 1975 and welcomes youth from pre-kindergarten through age 21. Camp Fire was the first nonsectarian, multicultural organization for girls in...

, 4-H
4-H
4-H in the United States is a youth organization administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture , with the mission of "engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development." The name represents...

, DeMolay, International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a Masonic youth service organization which teaches leadership training through community service...

, Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force . CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and...

, JROTC, Key Club
Key Club
Key Club International is the oldest and largest service program for high school students. It is a student-led organization whose goal is to teach leadership through serving others. Key Club International is a part of the Kiwanis International family of service-leadership programs...

, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
Ashoka: Innovators for the Public is a nonprofit organization based in Arlington, VA, supporting the field of social entrepreneurship. Ashoka was founded by Bill Drayton in 1981 to identify and support leading social entrepreneurs through a Social Venture Capital approach with the goal of...

,the Air Cadet League of Canada
Air Cadet League of Canada
The Air Cadet League of Canada is a volunteer organization that provides financial support and oversight to the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. The Air Cadet League owns all of the aircraft used in the Air Cadet Gliding Program...

, the Army Cadet League of Canada
Army Cadet League of Canada
The Army Cadet League of Canada is the civilian non-profit organization which works with the Department of National Defense to support the Royal Canadian Army Cadet program. It was founded in 1971 with a branch in every province and one for the northern region....

, the Sea Cadet League of Canada, the Navy League Cadet Corps (Canada)
Navy League Cadet Corps (Canada)
The Navy League of Canada created the Navy League Cadet Corps for young boys in 1948, and the Navy League Wrennettes for girls in 1950. The Wrennette program no longer exists as Navy League Cadet Corps are now open for boys and girls between the ages of 9 to 13.The Navy League Cadet Programme is...

, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets
Royal Canadian Air Cadets
Royal Canadian Air Cadets is a Canadian national youth program for persons aged 12 to 18. It is administered by the Canadian Forces and funded through the Department of National Defence with additional support from the civilian Air Cadet League of Canada...

, the Royal Canadian Army Cadets
Royal Canadian Army Cadets
The Royal Canadian Army Cadets is a Canadian national youth program sponsored by the Canadian Forces and the civilian Army Cadet League of Canada. Administered by the Canadian Forces, the program is funded through the Department of National Defence with the civilian partner providing support in...

, Royal Canadian Navy Cadets, Royal Canadian Sea Cadets
Royal Canadian Sea Cadets
Royal Canadian Sea Cadets is a Canadian national youth program sponsored by the Canadian Forces and the civilian Navy League of Canada. Administered by the Canadian Forces, the program is funded through the Department of National Defence with the civilian partner providing support in the local...

,and Interact Club

High school graduation and Community Service

Many educational jurisdictions in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 require students to perform community service hours to graduate from high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

. In some high schools in Washington State, for example, students must complete 60 hours of community service to receive a diploma
High school diploma
A high school diploma is a diploma awarded for the completion of high school. In the United States and Canada, it is considered the minimum education required for government jobs and higher education. An equivalent is the GED.-Past diploma styles:...

. Some of the Washington school districts, including Seattle Public Schools
Seattle Public Schools
Seattle Public Schools is the school district serving Seattle, Washington, USA. Its headquarters are in the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence.-List of schools:...

, differentiate between community service and "service learning," requiring students to demonstrate that their work has contributed to their education. If a student in high school is taking an AVID
Advancement Via Individual Determination
Advancement Via Individual Determination is an American college-readiness system designed to increase the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges, focusing on students in the academic middle. The formula is to raise expectations of students...

 course, community service is required. The SFUSD (San Francisco Unified School District) made high school students complete 100 hours of community service (25 hours a year) in order to graduate high school.

Conditions of participation

Contribution of service is a condition of enrollment in some programs. Most commonly, parents may be required to serve for their child to be enrolled in a school or sports team.

Colleges

Though technically not a requirement, many colleges make community service an unofficial requirement for acceptance. However, some colleges prefer work experience over community service, and some require that their students also continue community service for some specific number of hours to graduate. Certain academic honor societies such as Delta Epsilon Sigma
Delta Epsilon Sigma
Delta Epsilon Sigma is a national scholastic honor society that was established in 1939 for students of Catholic universities and colleges in the United States. The society was founded at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa in 1939 by Father Fitzgerald. Requirements for membership are as follows...

 have rejected 4.0 GPA students that lacked community service experiences on their applications, because they honor community service so much.

Many student organizations exist for the purpose of community service, the largest of which is Alpha Phi Omega
Alpha Phi Omega
Alpha Phi Omega is the largest collegiate fraternity in the United States, with chapters at over 350 campuses, an active membership of approximately 17,000 students, and over 350,000 alumni members...

. Community service projects are also done by sororities and fraternities
Fraternity
A fraternity is a brotherhood, though the term usually connotes a distinct or formal organization. An organization referred to as a fraternity may be a:*Secret society*Chivalric order*Benefit society*Friendly society*Social club*Trade union...

.

Alternative sentencing

In this form of community service, people convicted of crimes are required to perform community services or to work for agencies in the sentencing jurisdiction either entirely or partly in lieu of other judicial remedies and sanctions
Sanctions (law)
Sanctions are penalties or other means of enforcement used to provide incentives for obedience with the law, or with rules and regulations. Criminal sanctions can take the form of serious punishment, such as corporal or capital punishment, incarceration, or severe fines...

, such as incarceration
Incarceration
Incarceration is the detention of a person in prison, typically as punishment for a crime .People are most commonly incarcerated upon suspicion or conviction of committing a crime, and different jurisdictions have differing laws governing the function of incarceration within a larger system of...

 or fines.

For instance, a fine may be reduced in exchange for a prescribed number of hours of community service. The court may allow the convict to choose their community service, which then must be documented
Documentation
Documentation is a term used in several different ways. Generally, documentation refers to the process of providing evidence.Modules of Documentation are Helpful...

 by credible agencies, or may mandate a specific service.

Sometimes the sentencing is specifically targeted to the convict's crime, for example, a litter
Litter
Litter consists of waste products such as containers, papers, wrappers or faeces which have been disposed of without consent. Litter can also be used as a verb...

er may have to clean a park or roadside, or a drunk driver might appear before school groups to explain why drunk driving is a crime. Also, a sentence allowing for a broader choice may nonetheless disallow certain services that the offender would reasonably be expected to perform anyway; for example, a convicted lawyer
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 might be specifically prohibited from counting pro bono
Pro bono
Pro bono publico is a Latin phrase generally used to describe professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee as a public service. It is common in the legal profession and is increasingly seen in marketing, technology, and strategy consulting firms...

legal services.

Most jurisdictions in the United States have programs by which the court may require minor offenders to perform work for city or county agencies under the supervision of the police
Policing in the United States
Law enforcement in the United States is one of three major components of the criminal justice system of the United States, along with courts and corrections. Although there exists an inherent interrelatedness between the different groups that make up the criminal justice system based on their...

 or sheriff department, often on weekends, as an alternative to confinement in jail
Jail
A jail is a short-term detention facility in the United States and Canada.Jail may also refer to:In entertainment:*Jail , a 1966 Malayalam movie*Jail , a 2009 Bollywood movie...

. Jail and prison
Prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...

 inmates are also typically used for labor either in the jail or at outside work that benefits society, such as in light manufacturing, repair work, office work, on labor camps or farms, on chain gang
Chain gang
A chain gang is a group of prisoners chained together to perform menial or physically challenging work, such as mining or timber collecting, as a form of punishment. Such punishment might include building roads, digging ditches or chipping stone...

s or on land conservation projects. This is, however, more properly considered a form of penal labor than community service.

At least part of the philosophy behind this kind of sentencing is that providing a service to the community is more beneficial than punishment for its own sake. Through community service, the community sees a benefit while saving the costs associated with incarceration of the convict and having the work carried out by paid staff. It is also thought to be a way to educate convicts on what constitutes ethically acceptable behavior.

Corporate social responsibility

Some employers involve their staff in some kind of community service programming, such as with the United Way of America. This may be completely voluntary or a condition of employment, or anything in between.

Outside Canada

Community service in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 is often similar to that in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. In Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, community service is an option for many criminal sentences as an alternative to incarceration. In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, community service is now officially referred to by the Home Office
Home Office
The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

 as more straightforward "compulsory unpaid work". Compulsory unpaid work includes up to 300 hours of activities, such as conservation work, cleaning up graffiti, or working with a charity. The Howard League for Penal Reform
Howard League for Penal Reform
The Howard League for Penal Reform is a London-based registered charity in the United Kingdom. It is the oldest penal reform organisation in the world, named after John Howard. Founded in 1866 as the Howard Association, a merger with the Penal Reform League in 1921 created the Howard League for...

 (the world's oldest prison reform organisation) is a prominent advocate for the increased use of community sentencing in order to reduce the prison population and improve the rehabilitation of those sentenced for criminal activity.

Starting in 2010, Danish High School students will receive a special diploma if they complete at least 20 hours of voluntary work. However, a number of the students fear that this will remove focus from their education, and representatives from the labor union fear that it will move tasks from paid job to voluntary work. Exchange students are warned that use of the term community service on a transcript may damage future career possibilities as it could indicate a criminal record.

The International Baccalaureate program requires 50 hours of community service, together with a written reflection on the service performed, to fulfill the requirement of 150 hours of CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) and receive an IB Diploma.

Example projects

  • Cleaning a park.
  • Collecting items for charity such as clothes, food, or furniture.
  • Getting involved with Habitat for Humanity
  • Cleaning roadside verges.
  • Helping the elderly in nursing homes.
  • Helping the local fire or police service.
  • Helping out at a local library.
  • Tutoring children with learning disabilities
    Learning disability
    Learning disability is a classification including several disorders in which a person has difficulty learning in a typical manner, usually caused by an unknown factor or factors...

    .
  • Cleaning nursing home gardens

See also

  • Volunteering
    Volunteering
    Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be...

  • Volunteer travel
    Volunteer travel
    Volunteer travel, volunteer vacations, voluntourism, or vacanteerism is travel which includes volunteering for a charitable cause. In recent years, "bite-sized" volunteer vacations have grown in popularity. The types of volunteer vacations are diverse, from low-skill work cleaning up local...

  • List of community topics
  • Community development
    Community development
    Community development is a broad term applied to the practices and academic disciplines of civic leaders, activists, involved citizens and professionals to improve various aspects of local communities....

  • Community building
    Community building
    Community building is a field of practices directed toward the creation or enhancement of community among individuals within a regional area or with a common interest...

  • Community economic development
    Community economic development
    Community Economic Development is a field of study that actively elicits community involvement when working with government, and private sectors to build strong communities, industries, and markets...

  • Community practice
    Community practice
    Community Practice is a branch of social work in the United States that focuses on larger social systems and social change, and is tied to the historical roots of United States social work...

  • Volunteer Centres Ireland
    Volunteer Centres Ireland
    Volunteer Centres Ireland is the national body with responsibility for promoting and developing volunteering in Ireland, both locally and nationally. VCI is a membership organisation, established by volunteer centres to co-operate and network on any issue relating to volunteer centres and...

  • Subbotnik
    Subbotnik
    For the Jewish-identifying community, see Subbotniks.Subbotnik and voskresnik were days of volunteer work following the Bolshevik seizure of power. The tradition is continued in modern Russia and some other former Soviet Republics...

  • Working Saturday
    Working Saturday
    In some countries which have a 5-day workweek with Saturday and Sunday being days off, on some occasions some Saturdays may be declared working Saturdays.-Community Service Day:Community service days are very popular in the US corporate culture...

  • The Howard League for Penal Reform
    Howard League for Penal Reform
    The Howard League for Penal Reform is a London-based registered charity in the United Kingdom. It is the oldest penal reform organisation in the world, named after John Howard. Founded in 1866 as the Howard Association, a merger with the Penal Reform League in 1921 created the Howard League for...

  • List of awards for volunteerism and community service

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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