How You Can Help Your Volunteers With Their Essays on Community Service and Engagement | Track It Forward

How You Can Help Your Volunteers With Their Essays on Community Service and Engagement

Written by Kasey Murphy

Community service is a form of volunteering where you are specifically helping your community or a community with your actions. A lot of institutions see community service as a free platform to gain useful skills that a course or job may teach you. This is why oftentimes, those who may indicate that they have volunteered are required to write a community service essay, basically explaining the skills they have learned that may be useful to a community, university, or job. 

Writing an essay on community service experience is no easy task for most of us. Usually, people volunteer to help their community, not to have something to use as a bragging chip about the work that they have done. A community service essay can feel a bit like bragging, but it really can be useful to whomever you are submitting to because it allows them to get to know you on a personal level and analyze how you reflect on things that you have done. 

As a volunteer coordinator, it is important to help support your volunteers in all aspects of their time with your organization. A great way to do this is to help them with their essays on community service and to help them learn not only how to write a community service essay, but how to learn more about themselves from their involvement. 

By providing an outlet for your volunteers to improve their writing skills and internal reflection skills when it comes to volunteering is a long-lasting benefit that will help them out with a lot of their future endeavors. But first, in order to help your volunteers write the best community involvement essay, you must understand why they are important to begin with. 

Why Community Service Essays Are Important

A lot of schools and potential working environments are concerned with an applicant’s personality, character traits, and let’s be honest- credibility. If an applicant says they volunteered 200 hours in a year for an organization, they need to be able to back that up and an essay on community involvement benefits is a great way to allow them to do so. Community service and volunteerism are great insights into how a person operates and their reflections on their volunteering is an even greater insight into how they are self-motivated. These are all things that colleges or universities or future employers would like to see. 

Scholarships Require Essays on Community Service 

If your volunteers are writing a community service essay in an attempt to gain a scholarship or grant, it is important that they focus on specific facts, hours, and a direct correlation to how their work has helped the community. Scholarships like to see numbers. They like to see facts on how the individual has directly changed the community. Lastly, a great way to close a scholarship essay on community service is to show self-reflection and an intent to continue using what you have learned. 

Universities Prompt Essays on Community Service 

When your volunteers are writing a college essay on community service, there is a little bit more of self-reflection required. Colleges and universities like to see how a student had a goal and achieved that goal through community service. While this essay should have factoids and statistics in it as well, it should also tell a story and tell more about the individual than the service. 

Why Community Service Essays Are Important to You as a Volunteer Coordinator

Essays on community service help enhance an internal understanding of the importance of volunteering. As a volunteer coordinator, you are not only trying to convey the importance of your program to the community and your volunteers but if you are a coordinator for youth volunteers, you are their first signature model for community service. As a volunteer coordinator, it is your job to help make sure your program is teaching the importance of helping the community and helping others. If a volunteer cannot accurately display this in a community service essay from volunteering in your program, that is something that needs to be evaluated and improved upon.

How Helping You Volunteers on Their Community Service Essays Will Benefit Your Program 

So you want to help your volunteers when it comes to their essay - great! Although you may be busy with all of your other coordinator responsibilities, it really is worth it to take the time to help your younger volunteers when it comes to their essays for scholarships, college or jobs. 

Engage more youth volunteer members. If you market your program as one that helps volunteers write the best community service essays, you will be marketing yourself as a youth-friendly volunteer program. This is a great way to gain more volunteers within your program. And, in addition, your program will be a part of a young person’s first learning experience in helping their community. 

A community service essay writing program can bring like-minded volunteers together. If you have a volunteer program that caters to different parts of the community, some volunteers may never meet each other. If you host a class or program helping the younger generations with their essays, you can bring the younger generations of the community together. 

Volunteers will be given a time and space to reflect on your program. For both the younger generation and people of all ages, self-reflection is hard. If you provide a time and space for this reflection, you are not only helping a volunteer’s essay. You are helping them see the importance of self-reflection, the importance of volunteering, and encouraging them to think more about their action’s impact. These are all characteristics that are hard to learn unless given a space to learn them. 

How To Help Your Volunteers Write Essays on Community Service 

Host a Writing Seminar. This gives your volunteers the time to work on their essay with you in arms reach for questions! 

Provide Reflection Time After Each Volunteer Session. Come together as a group after volunteering and ask self-reflection questions so everyone can understand what they have done and how they feel about it. 

Clearly Showcase how Your Work is Helping the Community. If your volunteer program is not a direct impact on the community, help explain how it does help. Give a lot of different examples for helping beyond your program but in the same category. 

Involve Your Volunteers into your Program’s Success. Allow your volunteers to feel connected to the goals and success that your program is a part of. Show them the statistics and include them in the meaningful growth that happens within your community! 

Track It Forward's Tips for Writing A community Service Essay: The Stretch Method. S- State specific activities completed, T- tell a story about how you started volunteering, R - reflect on time spent as a volunteer, E- explain your direct or indirect effect on the community, T- Throw in statistics about projects you worked on, C- Casually insert life skills you have gained, H- highlight your eagerness to continue volunteering

Tools You May Need to Help Volunteers Write Essays on Community Service

Example Essays on Community Service Experiences 

There are many great resources available to look to when trying to showcase a model for community service or community involvement essays. Be sure when looking up examples of essays on community service, you also go over plagiarism. 

Worksheets to Help Reflect on Community Service

Writing prompts are a great way to influence self-reflection and work on writing skills at the same time - two vital pieces of writing essays on community service! There are many great worksheets and self-reflection downloads available online. 

Webinars on Community Engagement Essay Writing

Webinars or videos are a great way for volunteers to hear from a different perspective the best ways to write an essay on community engagement. And it gets you slightly off the hook! Remember that the volunteers are most likely enrolled in school, so webinars specifically geared towards community service writing may benefit more than just general essay writing tips. 

Track It Forward helps volunteer coordinators track their volunteer’s hours. This could be a great tool great tool to use to help your volunteers see how many specific hours they have done to help write their essays on community involvement and volunteering! 

FAQs on Community Service Essays

1. What is the best way to start a community service essay? 

Story-telling and showcasing your personality is a great way to start a community service essay. Stories and anecodtes make for a great opener and a great introduction. 

2. What type of community service experiences look best on a college application essay? 

Any sort of community service examples that back-up what you are saying you accomplished and gained are great! Examples of community service could be tutoring, fundraising, mission trips, working at events for free, or being a member of a nonprofit and volunteering regularly. 

3. How can I end my community service essay? 

End your essay explaining how impactful volunteering was on your life and how you will continue to use the skills you gained to be more motivated to volunteer in the future!