Community Service Activities

Volunteering can have many positive benefits for your residents. It has been shown to have benefits to physical health, mental health, and improved quality of life. It can also bring purpose and can increase self-esteem and self-worth (1). However volunteering can be difficult for some residents who have mobility issues or can not safely leave the facility unsupervised. There are options though for volunteering within the facility walls. A pilot study on volunteering in place found that those who participated in a volunteering program became more involved in the community and activity programming overall (2).


Community outreach is a great way to connect with those in the local neighborhood. It can help your community build a good reputation and recognition. Below is a list of example activities you could try with your residents. Just be sure that any "work-like" activities are agreed upon and documented that it is unpaid volunteer work.


· Writing letters to soldiers through Support Our Troops

· Putting together gift shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child

· Baking dog treats for an animal shelter

· Making dog and cat toys for an animal shelter

· Host a reading program to teach kids to read

· Knit baby blankets to donate to a children’s hospital

· Crocheting hats to give to a homeless shelter

· Knitting and crocheting creations for Warm Up America

· Make goodie baskets and gift them to your local first responders

· Bake treats and host a bake sale with proceeds going to a charity

· If you have a participating Ronald McDonald House nearby, residents can collect pop tabs and donate them when the batch is big enough

· Host an educational lecture or entertainment performance that both your residents and the outside community could attend




Scientific Research on benefits of service activities:

  1. McDonald, T. W., Chown, E. L., Tabb, J. E., Schaeffer, A. K., & Howard, E. K. (2013). The Impact of Volunteering on Seniors’ Health and Quality of Life: An Assessment of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. Psychology, 04(03), 283–290. https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.2013.43a042

  2. Klinedinst, N. J., & Resnick, B. (2016). The Volunteering-in-Place (VIP) Program: Providing meaningful volunteer activity to residents in assisted living with mild cognitive impairment. Geriatric Nursing, 37(3), 221–227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gerinurse.2016.02.012





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