Community Service. We hear the term a lot, whether it’s a celebrity talking it up on social media or a corporation “doing the right thing.” Wikipedia in part describes community service as performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions. Performing community service is not the same as volunteering since it is not always done voluntarily. It may be done for a variety of reasons: courts may demand it; schools may mandate it to meet class requirements or governments may require it to meet citizenship requirements.
But perhaps the biggest benefits people get from community service and volunteering is the satisfaction in their lives and making a difference in their community – wherever they may call home. The intangible benefits alone, such as pride, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment, are worthwhile and cost effective. As an expat, it’s a good way to spend time, something we always seem to be short of when in our home country. Volunteering benefits the recipients of the service, the people who serve, and the larger community.
American culture embraces community service. We look for solutions with the idea that every American has skills and talents to give and with the belief that ordinary people can come together and achieve perhaps extraordinary things but most certainly ordinary things. Consider volunteering. Volunteer with a local charity or with the American Association of Malaysia (AAM) or both and take advantage of all the benefits.