How to find a service project

Nov 18, 2011
Arlington Kiwanis Annual Oyster Feast & Pig Roast

Arlington Kiwanis Annual Oyster Feast & Pig Roast.
[Photo by cliff1066™ under CC BY 2.0.]

by Julie Stutzman

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. Each year, Kiwanis clubs sponsor nearly 150,000 service projects and devote more than 6 million hours to service. But how can you find a good service project?

If you are completely stumped I suggest taking a step back and evaluating the skills of your club members. Are there are a lot of people who consider themselves Mr./Mrs. Fix-it? If so, then perhaps you should search for a building or painting project in your community. Do you have members who love storytelling? Visit residents at a retirement home. Recognizing talents and skills of club members will help you find a good service project that fits your club.

The better suited your club is for the service project, the more successful the project will be.

Kiwanisone.org is a great place to start looking for service project ideas. In fact there’s a new online Kiwanis Service Source at www.KiwanisOne.org/findaproject, which is collecting proven projects from your fellow Kiwanians around the world. Check it out.

But to help you get started, here are few others things you might want to consider trying:

  • Want to help in the schools? Ask teachers and administrators if any of the schools have special needs.
  • Have you noticed an overgrown, rundown playground or park in your area? Contact the parks department to see if you can help in some way.
  • Is there a food bank close by? Volunteer to collect food items or to help distribute packages.

Another important thing to consider when choosing a service project is time. Some projects require more hours than others. Perhaps your fellow members would like to do one large service project spread over a course of a few months or several smaller ones. It’s up to you!

Don’t let the search for a project get you down. Remember your purpose is to make a difference for one child and one community at a time. You can always ask your club members for ideas or even members from other Kiwanis clubs and nonprofits around you. Post a question on Kiwanis Facebook or Twitter  where fellow Kiwanians can suggest ideas.

If your Kiwanis club already has some favorite service projects, share them with your Kiwanis family by visiting the Kiwanis Service Source.

For more ideas check out Volunteer Match.

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