Plan a community service project in the winter months

Looking for things to do with your club or children in the winter months? Consider giving back to the community through some fun community service projects.

With the holidays right around the corner it is important to think about what we as individuals, clubs and communities can do to give back. Below are some easy steps to follow to get a community service project started.  

1. Pick a project!  Brainstorm as a family or group and discuss different ideas or interests that you or your club might be interested in. Some other ideas on how to choose a project would be watching the news for events or conduct a survey in your neighborhood.

2. Plan your project and get some publicity! Good planning is crucial to any community service project. While developing your plan, consider your ultimate goals, who will be helped by your service and if the project is needed. In addition to planning, it is important for you to inform the public of your planned community service-learning project.

3. Carry out your project! This is the exciting part of the project because you get to put your plan into action. Remember the key word “community” in community service. This is a team effort. Everyone in the group should know his or her responsibilities and play their part so things run smoothly Do your best and have fun!

4. Time for reflection! As a result of your project, many of your club members should have experienced new things. It is important that you take the time to let the participants share their thoughts and feelings with one another. Here are a few questions that could get your club thinking and reflecting: What exactly was accomplished? What were some of your thoughts and feelings as you carried out the project? Did it go the way it was planned?

5. Celebrate! Be sure to find a way to let club members, key volunteers and funders feel appreciated. Some ideas include providing refreshments, thank you notes or passing out mementos of the day.

 Here are a few suggestions on winter community service projects:

  • Host a coat drive to collect coats, hats and mittens for needy families.
  • Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
  • Collect toys for families who are in need.
  • Shovel snow in the driveways of elderly neighbors.
  • Host a food drive for a local food bank.

To learn more about community service and how to get youth involved in giving back to the community, contact the 4-H program at your local Michigan State University Extension office.

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