Involving your student body in service can be a difficult task at times. Giving bonuses to their grades is an old and exhausted method. It’s also not recommended and some schools even ban this. It is a good thing then there are other incentives to motivate them.
Let Them Meet the Ones They’re Helping
Most students don’t get involved in service because they don’t know who they’re helping. Change this by letting them interact with the person they’re helping. If possible let the students speak with the person they are sponsoring. Let them be out there to hand out the donated food, clothes or money.
Students will feel a stronger connection if you put a face to the project. They will no longer feel like they’re giving money or items to strangers. By letting them meet those in need you’re also building empathy. You’re putting those students in the shoes of others.
Grant Some Level of Autonomy
Most students want to step up and take a leadership role. Even those who don’t still want to feel like they’re responsible adults. Don’t treat them like irresponsible, rash young kids. Give them a sense of autonomy instead of constantly breathing down their necks.
Pick a project you’re sure they can handle. This will prevent you from monitoring their actions every now and then.
With some level of autonomy, the students will feel like they’re trusted. They’ll know they’re tasked with something important.
Show How the Service Affects Them
Don’t focus only on how the community service project benefits the world. Don’t only show how the service helps the person in need. Let the students see how the project helps them too. People get more motivated to get involved when they realize they’re affected too.
Many of the best organizations train future leaders through service. Let the students see how some the most successful people take part in community service. Some examples include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and former US President Bill Clinton.
One Good Example: Yuda Bands
The Yuda Bands project encapsulates every mentioned aspect above. This service involves selling bracelets, the titular Yuda Bands, to raise funds. The money goes to a sponsored child from Guatemala or Zimbabwe, allowing them to get an education.
Yuda Bands is a lot different than most service projects. For one thing, students get to Skype and interact with the person they’re aiding.
It’s also free of charge. Yuda Bands sends the students all the bracelets and marketing materials. This means students can organize and raise funds without spending a dime. Unsold bracelets are then sent back for free. This means students aren’t obligated to sell all the bracelets sent to them.
Get your students moving and help the community. Not only will they help change the world but it will change their lives too. According to a study back in 2012, 93 percent of students already want to volunteer. Some don’t push forward because they lack social interaction or motivation. Use these steps to change this and start involving your student body in service projects.