Types of Community Service Projects

There are almost a limitless number of projects that can be done to benefit a community. The scope of community service projects can be wide or narrow, with types ranging from volunteering at a soup kitchen to building houses to spending an afternoon reading to senior citizens at nursing homes.

  1. Youth Projects

    • Many community service projects are designed to help foster principles of civic engagement in young people. Community service is one of the foundational pillars of groups like the Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and many 4-H clubs. Projects like bottle drives and litter collection are common among groups like these. Many community service projects for youth seek to bridge the gap between the young and old. Whether it's reading, singing or simply spending some time chatting, bringing together the young and aging can be mutually beneficial.

    Disaster Relief

    • Unfortunately, hurricanes, tornadoes and fires can wreak havoc with little warning, and the results can be devastating. As a result, organizing disaster relief is one of the more common types of community service projects in which Americans take part. Organizations like the American Red Cross keep lists of volunteers, whom they contact in times of emergency. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) performs a similar function. If a disaster happens locally, ad hoc groups of community members are often formed to help gather food, clothing and water, as well as to billet people whose homes have been destroyed.

    Neighborhood Projects

    • Volunteering with organizations such as the Salvation Army is a common form of community service. Around the holidays in particular, volunteers help with projects like food and clothing drives. Churches are often hubs for community service volunteers as well. Other common neighborhood community service projects include setting up a neighborhood watch, mobilizing snow shoveling groups to help the elderly clear their walks and driveways, and organizing a volunteer fire department.

    National and International

    • There are a number of larger organizations that coordinate national and international community service volunteers. Groups like Habitat for Humanity help in the construction and renovation of houses both in the United States and abroad. Organizations like the Peace Corps and USA Freedom Corps also organize community service projects across America and abroad. The Peace Corps World Wise Schools project, for example, allows students to learn about children in other societies through volunteer work.

    Types of Community Service Work

    • Many people volunteer for community service simply in order to give back to their community. From youth to families to the elderly, community service volunteers come from all stages of life and from diverse backgrounds. However, not all people perform community service projects voluntarily. Some community service projects -- such as some state-organized roadside litter pickup projects -- are mandated for criminals by judicial systems in lieu of jail time, for instance. Some schools also require students to perform community service as part of their credit requirements.

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