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Community Service vs. Take Action Project

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Community Service vs. Take Action Project

Defining Community Service Projects

Community service projects often address an immediate need in the community: girls organize a book or clothing drive, paint walls to cover up graffiti, or hold a one-time march or fair to highlight a community problem. Although these projects address a need in the community, they do so for only a short period of time.

Defining Take Action Projects

A Take Action project picks up from where a short-term project leaves off. For example, the girls organizing the book or clothing drive could make their project a Take Action project by holding the drive annually and getting a sponsor to advertise and organize it every year. The girls who painted the walls to cover up graffiti can create a club that travels around the city painting beautiful murals on buildings that were defaced. And the girls who held the march or fair could expand the event to include community artisans and make it an annual gathering. For each project, girls can publicize and get people in the community to come out and support. They can even get community leaders involved. When girls pursue Take Action projects, they take time to identify and understand the root cause of the issue they are addressing. Girls must also ensure that each project is sustainable and that the impact is measurable.

    • Measurable: The success of the project can be determine based on the number of people the project helped, the number of people who were involved, any reduction in the community’s need, and other concrete numbers.
    • Sustainable: Girls must make arrangements (such as collaborating with community leaders and/or organizations; building alliances with mentors) to ensure that the project creates lasting change and is not a one-time event.
Short-Term Project (a one-time effort; has short term impact Take Action Project (identifies the root cause; has long-term benefits and sustainable support)
Issue: An uninsured family’s home is destroyed by fire.                          Solution: Collect clothes, household goods, and food for the family. A solution could be to establish a Habitat for Humanity group in the community or work with an existing Habitat group and organize a work group to rebuild the family’s home.
Issue: Racial tensions exist in the community.                                       Solution: Organize a one-time diversity celebration. One solution could be to create an organization that holds regular seminars/meetings/workshops about racial tolerance and understanding other cultures.
Issue: Families are going hungry.Solution: Hold a food drive for families in need. One solution could be to come up with easy-to-make recipes (in a free booklet) that include as ingredients the items families regularly receive from food pantries.

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