Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – How Community Involvement Helps Society

Name: Yanelis Torres
From: Hartford, Connecticut
Grade: Freshman
School: University of Connecticut
Votes: 0

Yanelis
Torres

How
Community Involvement Helps Society

Most people find themselves busy with family, jobs, personal loads, and many  pending tasks to be done. As much value as someone may be placing into their daily lives,
community service should be acknowledged because of its great impact on their loved ones’ surroundings. There are many social conflicts seen in today’s societies such as oppressive actions and lack of information amongst the community. There are many volunteers and sponsor organizations that help illuminate awareness of certain illnesses that bring forth the knowledge that communities lack and desperately need. Community services are meant to improve society as a whole. How does one know that their communities are indeed being enhanced and bettered? Societies’ efforts will be recognized when the objective of doing something greater is reached through the contribution of many, or in other words, team work. Volunteer work is needed everywhere and helps everyone especially those who contribute
extensively.

By volunteering, improvement is reached with hard work and effort. When the community volunteers come together to place effort in things that need improvement, their results are apparent and displayed. Community service conduces problem solving skills and inspires strength in good-community values through the exposure of diversity. It is undeniable and irrefutable that people being exposed to different variations and diverse minds are able to come together to accomplish goals.

Community Service, Diversity, and Communication. Community service gives an opportunity for a wide spectrum of ideas on development, refinement, and communication amongst people. As Karl Marx best indicates in his book
Grundrisse
, “Society does not consist of individuals but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand”(239). Once awareness, improvements, and goals are reached, society is able to be a more secure, well rounded, diverse, and
productive environment due to its communication and refinement amongst people. Communication amongst people does not only open doorsfor self-expression but for others’ as  well. With different voices and aspirations, one is able to grow with a understanding of how others articulate their aspirations and come together to talk about their prospects and expectations. Community service is at its best when members work cohesively and when teamwork brings forward copious amounts of opportunities for development.

Not only does community service bring different people together to proliferate improvement, but also has been proven to help people of all ages and demographics of the community. It has been seen and recorded that those who do the act of volunteering actually benefit more than those receiving the service. It aids not only character growth but also the state of one’s mind, and body. This is amplified by The Corporation for National and Community Service when stated that:

This research has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer…. Some of these findings also indicate
that volunteers who devote a ‘considerable’ amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes (Spring,Grimm,Dietz 56).

When people dedicate time to community service they are apt to grow their character and of those around them. The exposure one obtains with community service allows people to establish friendships and create stronger bonds within their community. Joanna Saisan, a member of the Help Guide foundation declares that Community Service and its exposure allows a, “greater support network, exposing you to people with common interest, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities” (Saisan).

Community Service and its Influence on the Establishment of Friendship. The establishment of a positive friendship is important for one’s mental state and physical well being. By volunteering, one is able to make friends in their field(s) of interest. According to Mayo Clinic, the construction of friendship is beneficial to you by increasing: [y]our sense of belonging and purpose, boost your happiness and reduce your stress, improve your self-confidence and self-worth, help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one, and encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise”
(3).

Community service helps people upkeep their well being daily as they go through personal and family loads. It is both beneficial and necessary for one to have a friend that they can agree with, work with, and rely on as they go through the unfortunately common conditions stated above. Through volunteering one is able to obtain these benefits as they
help the less fortunate people that surround them. Not only does
community service offer the establishment of friendship and its
benefits, but also improvement of one’s character socially and
personally.

Volunteering
Aids Character Growth.
The people who are naturally more conservative, or timid, usually break out of their shells and learn how to communicate better and appreciate the value of socializing when they volunteer. Due to their
desires of helping others, their efforts and contributions allow them to work effectively with others to strive for their mutually-desired result. The contributions of others create an equally-motivated team which allows those who are timid to feel free to express themselves and share ideas to reach a wanted outcome.Therefore, volunteering gives opportunities to improve social skills which benefits one’s understanding of others, making them a better person.

As well as helping one’s character with the constitution of
friendship, it increases self-esteem. Once one (i.e the volunteer) is able to accomplish a well-done deed that supports a community, the volunteer receives a sense of accomplishment, giving them the sense of pride and identity. The reason why the volunteers are capable of feeling pride and identity is because they are acknowledging the good that they have done. Being a volunteer allows one to feel and see happy outcomes, knowing that it was only possible through the hands of the giver.

When people dedicate time to community service they are apt to grow their character and of those around them. Another way community service helps character-growth is through the exposure of diverse experiences. With many volunteering opportunities one is able to explore different areas of interest. The more experience one has in regards to their interest, the greater potential they have to decipher what they truly enjoy and what they do not. Community service encourages helping hands for those in need and also an opportunity to become self-actualized and aware of what their desires, interests, and passions are. Volunteerism gives one a better sense of self-worth and acknowledgement.

Simon Sinek in year 2009, wrote a book named, Start
Why With Why
which stated,
Working  hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion” (36). With the hard work and great community contribution, one is able to enrich goals, be more cognizant of whom they are and that they aspire to be. As the National Scholarship Providers Association in the year 2012, stated that:

[p]articipating in community service allows students to build upon their existing  skill sets. As students work in a real-life setting, they can use volunteering

projects to explore and improve upon existing skills. Students can explore  potential
careers and find out what they need to develop in order to work in the
field. (“Benefit of Volunteerism In College” 1).

Community service provides people a chance to put in practice their interest and serves as a motivator and fulfilling act. The importance of community service has been acknowledged for its benefits in schools and has even become a graduation requirement for most schools. Many people believe that during stressful years of high school many students lack identity and for them community service is a gateway for self discovery.
Some schools also require community service because they are able to value the skills that volunteer service has to offer. Due to volunteering service, The Corporation for National & Community Service believes that, “Students participating in
community service are often faced with challenges and tough problems to tackle. By working through them as a volunteer, they learn how to better solve problems, and enjoy the satisfaction of overcoming a hurdle” (Bell 14). Volunteer service helps students understand what they truly enjoy and how to overcome difficulties such as problem solving; thus, benefiting their future and helping people expand their minds.

Community Service Creates Beneficial Relationships.
Molly Latham, an area extension specialist says that the exposure that young people receive while volunteering establishes and cultivates a caring relationship amongst the society. With cultivated-relationships full of diversity and improvement, the present will be bettered, and the future will be placed in well- rounded hands. Molly Latham once wrote in her publication
Young Volunteers: The Benefits Of Community Service[y]ouths who take part in volunteering activities become more involved in their communities, and as a result, tend to care more about what happens in those communities. Often, students who have participated in community service will grow up to become young voters and remain involved in their communities throughout their lives” (3).

Community Service and its Aftermath.The
life-changing impact and aftermath that community service generates affects people in a positive way, allowing them to look at things positively, with pride, honor, and confidence. Community service is encouraged at all ages and for all types of people, even those with disabilities. People with disabilities have felt accomplished and great about themselves knowing that they are capable of giving to others by doing things like home-tutoring, or tasks within their capabilities. The benefits of community service does not only correspond to certain people, it includes all types of people with different capabilities. Leonard Cheshire Disability, a company that gives disabled people volunteer opportunities claims that 
[e]very
year, we support thousands of people in the UK and around the world
with physical and learning disabilities to fulfil their potential and
live the lives they choose. We work for a society in which every
person is equally valued. We believe that disabled people should have the freedom to live their lives the way they choose – the
opportunity… to participate fully in society.That belief is at the
heart of everything we do.” (1).

People who are disabled deserve to help others by helping themselves just as people without disabilities do.

Community Service Helps Depression.
Forming the good habit of helping others through volunteering makes people astute of their surroundings, becoming a light for those who are conflicted or in abysmal paradoxes. Once people are able to recognize society’s need, they are able to ignite awareness, and induce others to join in the help to better communities. Today in our society there is an unfortunate uprising of depression that hampers character development and leaves many in darkness. When considering character development and what can hinder it, one must take in value
depression. According to Mayo Clinic: 
[d]epression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depression … it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn’t worth living (Mayo Clinic Staff).



According to The National Institute of Mental Health, “Each year about 6.7% of U.S adults experience major depressive disorder” (“What Is Depression” 3). Unfortunately, adults are not the only impaired by depression. According to the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement, “About 11 percent of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18” (NIMH Publications). Lucidly, depression is a serious disorder that can lead to heart-breaking events and situations hindering people of all ages of the opportunity of character-growth and the benefits of friendship.

Depression.
Depression is very disheartening and lonesome. Depression is capable of affecting a person’s everyday life and obstructing them from mental peace and happiness. As a community everyone must strive to make their surroundings happier for their friends and loved ones. Community service serves as an invitation to help or even prevent depression of all of ages.

According to the Help Guide Fondation:
A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, in which protects you
against stress and depression when you’re going through times. Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to…reduce stress and anxiety (Saisan).

If one is in conflict, it is soothing and harmonious knowing that
resolution is available by aiding themselves, thriving to get better and yet, helping others or even animals at the same time. People who have formed a bond of friendship due to the exposure of community service are able to then make positive friendships that can only induce others to continue to help the surrounding communities and societies. One can rely on volunteering to feel better and create support networks because volunteerism is about teamwork and mutual efforts.

A World Without Volunteers.
What would the world be without volunteers? If people did not take into consideration the values of community service and its benefits the world would be much darker and lonesome. The world would be very obscure because without the essence of volunteer work, people around the world would not be receiving the help needed. A world without community service hinders the possibilities of helping others who desperately need the chances of a happier and safer environment, along with refinements in a community. The lack of volunteer service also impedes character growth, increases the chance of depression, as well as an undeveloped character.

Character growth is hindered when there is a lack of community service because there is lack of exposure of friendship and of people. Without the
exposure of volunteerism one is not able to decipher what is truly in their fields of interest and is not as cognizant of what others have to offer, or in other words diversity. Volunteerism also aids with the establishments of friendships. Friendships, as stated above, helps decrease depression as well affect one’s character and its development. Volunteer service varies in many ways which expands the opportunities of aid for others. Community service is needed in communities to keep loved ones safe and secured.

The Safety Volunteer Services Provide.
According to a 2010 study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA),
“71% of all fire departments in the U.S. are staffed by volunteers! They go on to report that in 2010 there were more than a million fires responded to – that’s more than one every 24 seconds 
(Sandridge). The EMS ( Emergency Medical System) understands the importance and value of the benefits of volunteering. Many members of the EMS system are required to serve their communities as a job, but that is not enough. As stated above millions of people are always in need and that is why volunteering is so important. Since volunteerism
is about helping others and helping yourself it allows many
opportunities of aid and safety in different fields.

As
light is shone on the significance of the volunteers in the EMS
system it is also as equally important to acknowledge the hard work the American Red Cross does 
According
to the American Red Cross,volunteers account for more than 97% of their workforce. Last year alone, they helped 4.4 million people through disaster preparedness, response and recovery activities. They protected 63 million people against measles, HIV/AIDS and malaria. They reconnected 4,240 families separated by international war and disaster…Every person that volunteers is creating benefits for countless others
(Sandridge).

Many lives are saved and bettered with volunteer work. All the aspects of community service are much needed for people personally and for their communities. Communities should come together and get involved by giving a helping hand that goes a long way or helping by advocating the benefits that volunteers both give and receive.


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