Community Service-Students

Among college students, the ethic of service is stronger than ever. UMKC students exemplify this trend toward giving time and sharing talent for the benefit of others. It is important to give back to the community -- important for the community and important for students.

Community Service - An Important Contribution You Can Make

"And in my own life, in my own small way, I've tried to give back to this country that has given me so much. That's why I left a job at a law firm for a career in public service, working to empower young people to volunteer in their communities. Because I believe that each of us--no matter what our age or background or walk of life--each of us has something to contribute to the life of this nation." - Michelle Obama

More than 170 years ago, while visiting the United States, Alexis de Tocqueville noted a spirit of community service in the people he met.  This spirit of service is part of what differentiates Americans and keeps our democracy strong. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, in 2007, over 60 million people volunteered their time. The Kansas City metropolitan area ranks ninth out of 50 major cities in volunteering and has an average volunteer rate of 33.8%, with 484,000 volunteers giving 64.7 million hours a year. This enormous donation of time is estimated to make an annual economic contribution of $1.3 billion to the Kansas City region.

Volunteering is also important to communities and people all over the world. As a UMKC student you have opportunities to volunteer in Kansas City and also to go on service trips.  Community service is about caring and showing you care by giving your time and sharing your talent with others. You can do this by volunteering at a nonprofit or being a mentor to a youth at a school. You can approach it creatively and orchestrate your own custom opportunity. How and where you serve is your choice.

Simple Steps to Get Involved

Follow these steps and you'll be doing community service in no time!

  1. Visit Serve 2 Learn and sign up.

  2. Browse opportunities for service at area nonprofits by issue or by when you are available.

  3. Find a project that interests you. The listing will give you plenty of details about the opportunity.

  4. When you are ready to commit to a specific service opportunity, sign up for the project.

  5. Make note of the community partner and feel free to contact the organization directly so you can get started as quickly as possible. 

Find the Right Opportunity

Now that you understand how Serve 2 Learn works, make sure you find the opportunity that suits you best!

  • Choose a nonprofit or school that does work you are passionate about. If you love nature consider Bridging the Gap; if you are concerned about homelessness consider a shelter such as reStart.

  • Find an opportunity that matches your skills, interests, and schedule.

  • Introduce yourself to the nonprofit and share information such as your major or where you have done service or service-learning work in the past.

  • Follow up promptly with the nonprofit.

Be a Great Resource

Part of having a great community service experience relies on your ability to be a great resource to the organization. These basic principles are good to keep in mind:

  • Be professional.

  • Honor your commitments – show up at the time you say you will show up and if you need to cancel let the organization know.

  • Extend gratitude to an organization for any training or professional development you receive

  • If you are volunteering directly with people, consistency is especially important.  You may not realize how much that person is looking forward to seeing you.