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Information about the Types of Community Service

Definitions of Types of Service

CCHS teacher Chris Gauthier wrote a graduate level thesis paper on different ways to think about community service, and it can be found at:

http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/rgk/fellowship/index.php.

Below is an abstract of this paper:

Charitable Work: This domain of service is marked by both distance from the service recipient and an individual outcome orientation to social change. Fundraising for a charity, can drives, farm work, auctions etc. would probably fall into this category.

Hands-on Volunteer: This type of service, which combines both a hands-on or engaged approach with an individual outcome orientation, is fairly common. Here the idea is to an individual without addressing the social structures that cased the individual to be in a circumstance to be served in the first place. This type of service involves working directly with those who are the end recipients of the service. Tutoring, serving food at a shelter, assisting the elderly, etc. This type of service can also involve cleaning up an environment or area (painting, weeding, beautifying) as long as the work is performed in the community that will benefit.

Advocacy: This service domain finds individuals working from afar to address what they see as the root causes of social problems. Lobbying, raising awareness of a social problem, coalition building with organizations devoted to similar goals. Service in this domain could be as simple as stuffing envelopes for an environmental group seeking to address global warming or as potentially complicated as working for an organization like move-on.org.

 Grassroots Activist: This service domain involves addressing structures through direct action.  Generating community support and holding community meetings to initiate a recycling program or increased funding for education or to advocate for a political candidate might qualify. What differentiates this category from advocacy is the approach. Advocacy involves working on changing policy from afar and grassroots activism involves working in the environment with the stakeholders necessary to create change.

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