Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Importance and Impact of Civic Engagement

Have you ever done something for someone not because you had to but because you were in the position to do so? Has someone ever done something for you with you asking because they knew that their help would help you to be in a better place than you were before? This is community service in a nutshell and it changes lives and has been since community service has been around.
Community service is becoming increasingly important in society. It provides service and help to people and communities in need, while strengthening communities, too. It serves as a platform for personal growth and a self-esteem booster in volunteers. It helps volunteers feel good about themselves for their giving back to the community. Another positive experience of community service is that it brings people in the community together while strengthening community bonds. Community service can also act as learning experience for volunteers and even act as experience for certain careers (ie. Peace Corp., Red Cross). Giving back to the community also emphasizes the importance and civic responsibility of being in a community. However, the most important reason for community service is that volunteers make a difference through action.
            Community service and its importance is clearly and widely known to have the impact that is mentioned above and much more. However, this was only the case after community service was seen to be effective and necessary to develop standards for community engagement. Through social learning, the community at large has been constantly reminded that service can only benefit those in need and if you are in the position to provide a service then why not? Community service has grown and spread to other aspects of society. Nowadays, you have entire companies, corporations and countries engaging in community service. The NBA, for instance, under the name NBA Cares, provides local communities with services ranging from education to infrastructure. Many large corporations are now engaging in corporate social responsibility which is a way for these large corporations to show the communities in which they conduct business that they care and are not purely focused on just making profits.
            Society, overall, has placed a positive connotation on the words community service. When you hear it, an image of solidarity and empathy comes to mind. You can only hope that community engagement continues on this upward trend.

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