Differences Between Community Service and Volunteer Work. Do you understand the basic differences between volunteer and community service? Surprisingly, most people think that they are the same. Most even think that these both terms have no differences of whatsoever. However, some people believe that there is a slight difference between the two although they share more similarities.
Volunteer work basically involves unpaid service or help that is given to someone to others (or the community) without any expectation in return. So, if you are a volunteer in your local animal shelter, for instance, it means that you are willing to provide time and efforts to help out without expecting anything – not even an increased social kiu kiu online network or a popularity.
However, some people really limit the term of volunteer to one with unconditional intention. Basically, if you are someone with a good heart and a pure intention of helping others (in order to make a better world), then you are a volunteer. However, these people also believe that if you have a certain intention of doing the work (to be popular, to expand your social network, or to gain new knowledge from the practice), then it is no longer a pure volunteer work. Thus, it can’t be called as volunteering. For them, it is community service.
On the other hand, others have different opinions. They believe that volunteer work is strictly limited to the unpaid work or service that is provided by someone without being mandated or asked. And no matter what person’s intention is, the work still counts as a voluntary one. So, if you are willing to do a volunteer work in a local animal shelter, but your intention is to gain professional skill or you may want to impress someone (who is into animal so much), then it is still a voluntary work. As long as it involves unpaid assistance, it is still voluntary.
Whereas people have different opinions about volunteer work, especially related to the intention, more people agree that community service is somewhat mandatory. There is a sense of ‘must to’ in the work. Others see it as a form of ‘punishment’. Not to mention that it is usually assigned by the courts or schools. In community service, there are certain requirements (and also documentation) for those who want to join so it won’t violate the law.
When we are talking about intention or purpose, there is always a certain purpose about doing the job. Whether you want to have a working experience or to complete your sentence, participants of community service have their own reasons. Doing the work simply because of ‘pure soul’ or ‘kind heart’ doesn’t cut it. So, if you join a community service because you want to have an impressive resume for college or because it is required by the school, it’s more like community service work instead of volunteering.
All in all, both of them involve doing social (and unpaid) work for others. The idea is good because you are able to participate in helping others. And hopefully, you can make a better world from (seemingly) simple actions. It depends on your personal intention and purpose, really, to clearly distinguish community service from volunteer work. But if you seriously want to help, those differences don’t really matter, do they?