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Charleston Southern University > Civic Engagement > Civic Engagement - Charleston Southern University

Community Service

When someone performs an action which benefits his or her community, it is known as community service. Some people associate community service with punishment, since it is often offered to small-time offenders as an alternative to fines or jail time. However, community service can also be altruistic, and it is a vital part of many small communities. Getting involved in your community makes it healthier and livelier, and numerous organizations around the world support community service activities.

Things which could be considered community service include tutoring children, building homes in low income areas with Habitat for Humanity, assisting the elderly, socializing animals at animal shelters, being a museum docent, performing habitat restoration, contributing to the operations of volunteer fire departments and emergency services, or helping with civic beautification. In all cases, community service work is performed by volunteers who are not paid for their time. In some instances, the work would not be accomplished without the work of such volunteers, and many small organizations rely on people with community spirit to survive.

Community service is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions. Performing community service is not the same as volunteering, since it is not always done voluntarily. It may be done for a variety of reasons:

  • governments may require it as a part of citizenship requirements, typically in lieu of military service;
  • courts may demand it in lieu of, or in addition to, other criminal justice sanctions;
  • school may mandate it to meet the requirements of a class, such as in the case of service-learning or to meet the requirements of graduation.

College and University Benefits of Community Service

  • Improved institutional commitment to the curriculum.
  • Improved student retention
  • Enhanced community relations

Community Benefits of Community Service

  • Satisfaction with student participation
  • Valuable human resources needed to achieve community goals
  • New energy, enthusiasm and perspectives applied to community work.
  • Enhanced community-university relations

CSU

For more information about Charleston Southern University community service opportunities, please contact  Kevin Coriolan at  843-863-7839.

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