community service the power of working together

2 Doubts You Should Clarify About Community Service.

A Rich Retirement

Whether it is you who is approaching those golden years we call retirement or one of your loved ones is in those years, there is no question that making that transition from the working world and decades of responsibility and hard work is not always easy. The sudden change of lifestyle and that feeling of “no longer being useful” is one of the most difficult aspects of retirement and growing older. When you combine that with reduced activity and the natural decline in physical ability that aging brings, you have a powerful emotional transition to go through.

That is why people who actively counsel the elderly have learned that the most positive thing a person can do to combat that depression and sense of “uselessness” that plaque retirees is to make themselves useful. And there is no better place for them to do that than in community service.

Connect with the opportunity

There are a variety of great reasons that volunteerism among the elderly is such a great idea. And if you are in a position to counsel an aging family member or friend, it is important to remember that doing community service is not all about being charitable and helping out the down and out. It is just as much about the health and well-being of the retiree as it is for the good of the community and the people in it.

By getting out into the community and finding rewarding ways to perform community service, that sense of “being needed” and being a part of something is given back to the retiree. Community service and the retirement set are a perfect match for each other. People who are staffing community service projects are always in need of an army of qualified and mature help, especially from those who have sufficient time to really do a good job with a community service project.

This is just right for a retiree who if anything suffers from too much time on their hands. Too often, that time can be turned to self-pity or indulging in less than healthy lifestyle choices. Community service is, after all, “work”. And as a people who are enjoying their rewards from a lifetime of work, this is just the thing to transition to a life of retirement.

Even a day makes a difference

Community service can also call upon the elderly to participate in some level of physical activity. Now your local community service coordinator can make sure that their elderly volunteers are given assignments appropriate to their physical abilities. But just getting out there and greeting others, reading to the blind, helping with a food or blood drive, or jumping in where they can on a big community project gets the blood moving and maybe just the right kind of exercise they need to stay active and healthy.

Community service also provides opportunities to socialize with people of all ages and social backgrounds. One of the greatest dangers of a retirement lifestyle is the loneliness and isolation stepping out of the working world causes. Even if the elderly person lives in a retirement community, the chance to socialize with younger people and people of many backgrounds and orientations is tremendously healthy for the mental stability of one in that stage of life.

The benefits to the retiree of getting involved in community service are many. But giving that retired person that sense of personal value and worth that they have come to expect from each day’s work is valuable beyond measurement. Many community service projects are short-term so the volunteers get that immediate gratification that gives anyone a boost, but even more so a retiree who feels left out and not useful. Community service may be just the medicine to cure those ills.

The Power of Working Together

All around the country, community service is powered by such a wide variety of organizations that it almost seems like they would trip over each other to find ways to help out those in need. The spirit of giving and the desire to help others is evidenced strongly in the work done by churches, charitable organizations, youth groups, and social clubs that gather to pitch in and help. But when you think of community service, one organization stands out because their work literally grabs headlines by bringing together those dozens of organizations into one coordinated effort. That group is appropriately named The United Way.

More than any other effort, the United Way has made the greatest strides at mobilizing this army of volunteers into one coordinated effort to participate in ongoing community service in the communities they serve. Each fall, if is almost impossible not to be aware of the United Way as they mount their annual fundraising campaign to get their year off in a strong way.

The United Way has found the resources to penetrate an area of society that has the greatest resources to make a difference in community service and that is the American business community. Through the “Fair Share” program, businesses small and large commonly make the United Way campaign a significant part of their corporate life each fall. The ethic of reaching 100% participation and the recognition that the United Way gives to businesses who can muster that level of enthusiasm from their employees goes a long way to help the United Way reach the kind of success they have achieved.


But achieving “100% participation” for a business means more than just getting each employee to set aside their fair share of money to help out the many organizations that benefit from the United Way. It also means sending armies of volunteers from their corporate ranks out into the community to pitch in and paint schools, plant gardens, build playgrounds and participate in dozens of other coordinated projects that the United Way sponsors during their annual campaign. This united effort gives companies a chance to raise their profile as solid members of the community and encourage their employees to give back to the community in gratitude for allowing the business to prosper in that town.

It is truly amazing the number of companies that actually give every employee in their company a paid day to go and participate in United Way projects. This is called the “United Way Day of Service” and it demonstrates that even though the business is about making money, the heart of the business is about doing good for others as well and they too can find a way to pitching if someone gives them the opportunity. The United Way makes that opportunity and everybody benefits from their strong leadership.

Christmas at Sunnyvale Community Services

Without a doubt, one of the big reasons the United Way is so successful is that they represent so many charitable organizations. The United Way is not in existence to benefit just one cause. The “united” part of the United Way means that yes, they are bringing together businesses, churches, and every institution they can rally to work together for community service. But it also means that their work will go to benefit literally dozens of worthwhile causes from the outcome of the fundraising and coordinated volunteer work of United Way sponsors.

We can be grateful that this approach to community service has been put together so each small charity does not have to struggle alone. By becoming part of the United Way, even small businesses can make an effort to combine with larger businesses to make a real difference in their community. The United Way has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that there really is power in working together.


Find an opportunity

Find the best volunteer opportunities near. How do I find the right volunteer opportunity?

Check out websites geared to skill-based volunteering.

A few excellent ones where you can find appropriate nonprofit opportunities:,,, (for professionals),, and (for pro bono work). May 11, 2016

From –

Why Should You Participate in Community Service?

You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment.

Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.

From: –,your%20life%20and%20future%20goals.

What are some examples of community service?

Helping the Hungry and/or Homeless Build a house with Habitat for Humanity.

Donate your old clothes.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

Donate old eyeglasses to an organization that collects that and distributes them to people in need.

Donate non-perishable food to a food bank.

Donate blankets to a homeless shelter.

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