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Think before you serve: 4 elements of thoughtful planning

High impact service occurs when volunteers are fully invested in the project, when the experience positively affects both the volunteers and beneficiaries, and when the results last longer than the present. Every service project can achieve high impact service. Before the club starts on their next service project, have members incorporate 4 elements of thoughtful planning:

       1. Self-discovery
           A great way members can learn about themselves and what
           project they can help with is to self-identify what abilities
           they each offer the club. During a club meeting, focus on
           personal reflection and discuss these questions as a club:
           What skills have they mastered that they enjoy doing? What
           skills do they still need to master to be successful later in life?
           How might their strengths help the club achieve their goals?
           How might the club strengthen skills not yet developed?
           Check out this month’s K-Kids journal pages for worksheets
           on self-discovery.

       2. Personal observations
           Members better understand why service needs exist when
           they learn more about the world around them. Encourage
           members to be more aware of their local area by talking
           with their family members and fellow peers about what’s
           happening in the world. What issues stand out to other
           people? Why might they exist? What may help solve
           them? Discussing current events as a club is also a great
           way members can relate to what’s trending in the news
           with their own community. 

       3. Community assessment
           Community voice is essential to bring about change and
           solve problems. Members should make sure the voice
           and needs of the community are included in the
           development of the service project. Interviewing
           community or school leaders is a great way for members
           to do this.
They will not only get a clear idea of what
           projects within their area need the most help, but get a
           sense of how best to help.

       4. Selection
           Choosing a service project as a club with many members
           is not always easy. That’s why it’s so important for
           members to learn how to talk with one another respectfully
           and decide which project is best for their club. Implementing
           parliamentary procedure, having a series of presentations,
           or hosting a debate are all great methods for members to
           use to choose the service need that members want to do,
           can do, and community will benefit most from. 

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