Service is typically defined as individual activities or group projects that partner with a non-profit agency or organization to address community needs. It is common to see the use of words like community service, philanthropy and volunteerism interchangeably. Esstenially, we invest our time, hearts and efforts to help others in need. This can involve direct service to another individual, such as mentoring a child or spending time with the elderly, or it can be geared toward the public good, such as caring for the environment or raising money for a political cause. These projects can be short term or long term. For our purposes, Volunteerism and Service Learning Support considers any type of service not tied to a particular academic goal or learning outcome as volunteerism. Examples of volunteerism can be categorized in some of the following ways:
Direct Service - The most visible volunteers, generally addressing community needs. Examples - delivering food boxes, shelving books in a library, building playgrounds.
Civic Engagement - Typically this volunteering is acting upon or public conversation concerning issues of the public good. Examples: raising awareness about an issue, political engagement, policy and social advocacy.
Philanthropy - This is the act of raising funds or goods to support a cause or need. Examples: holding a fundraiser for breast cancer, contributing money or canned goods to an awareness walk or run.
Good Deeds - Service done by an individual for the benefit of another. Examples: raking a neighbor's lawn, cleaning Grandma's house, watching a friend's dog.
All of these service types are considered a form of volunteerism. For information on the service learning courses that we support, please see the Service Learning Support tab.