Helping has always been in style
It is common knowledge that most millennials don’t actually know what MealsOnWheels is. This is the same for most non-profit organizations for that matter. Why is that? One of the many possible answers to this question could be that the importance of community service simply hasn’t been stressed to newer generations. The common perception among young adults is that community service just isn’t interesting. Who wants to do something “uncool”, right?
If you ask someone under the age of 30 today why we take part in community service the responses are all similar.
- People do community service because they got in trouble with the law.
- People do community service to help old and disabled people.
- People do community service to gain hours for school projects.
- People do community service because their parents told them to.
While these scenarios may be true they are not the sole motivating factors for participating in community service. The most common phrase people say after they’ve completed service hours is “that felt great”. The feelings you get when you help others isn’t just a momentary rush, scientific proof shows there are many positive benefits to helping others.
There is strength in numbers
If there are so many benefits to helping people why is it so hard to get people to commit? Let’s be honest and say what everyone is thinking. It’s just not sexy. There, we said it. Doing community service isn’t perceived as hip, sexy, or interesting, but that’s ok. Most items of tangible value can only be perceived as a want or a need if it has value to you. How do you make something that isn’t valuable, valuable? There needs to be a demand. As of today, we have an abundance of supply, which, in this case, represents lack of help available.
How does one create demand around something very few people want or know about? First, enjoy this video by Derek Sivers delivering a Ted Talk on leadership and demand.
In your own friendship circle or community sometimes you need a perfect combination between the “lone nut” as referenced in said video and an original group of followers. When there are more people involved it looks less risky from the outside looking in. First start with one (perhaps yourself), then celebrate the friend who tags along, eventually someone else may follow them. The number will grow until it perhaps reaches its “tipping point”, which, in this moment, creates the “demand”. In summary, people aren’t getting involved with things that they should because it doesn’t seem cool anymore.
Treat Yo Self
The reality of being someone who gives back is that it is a selfless, sometimes lonely role. Rewards aren’t often given out and perhaps no one will ever know what it is that you’ve done. It is always these acts of kindness and gratitude that often go unnoticed. This is what its really like being a super hero. When you’ve done something really nice that you are proud of, go ahead and take yourself out. Give yourself a pat on the back, go buy yourself a drink and relax. Do it with friends, family or anyone who is available. Let them know what you did, how you did it, and detail the exact reasons why you’ll do it again.
When things start to seem fun, engaging and less routine it becomes more interesting not just for yourself, but for those who’ve considered doing what you’ve done. Most people won’t say it, but a lot of people would be willing to spend time giving back to the community. Perhaps they just need a push or someone (like yourself) to set an example.
The Next Step
Since April and May 2017 we’ve dedicated a minimum of 3 hours per week participating with various non-profit organizations in Los Angeles. To be honest, the work is hard and it isn’t for everyone, but, it is extremely rewarding! We are currently looking for participants to help us volunteers. It is our current mission to make volunteering cool again. We feel the best way to go about this is by creating a community of people who not only are willing to dedicated an hour or more doing service work during the week, but people who want to be rewarded and have a little bit of fun doing it.
Perhaps a fun way is to get everyone together who participated at the end of the week and go out for drinks, or plan special events for those who are willing to contribute. If you have any ideas please let us know! We could use your help today!
We hope that you found this article thought-provoking enough to go and do something about it. If you are still on the fence about doing community service alone sign up for our newsletter and we’ll do it together!
Thank you for reading!
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