A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit.
The motto of SouthCoast Serves is “When people serve, communities prosper.” Service is already a major component of many communities. But with collaboration between all facets of a community: schools, businesses, non-profit agencies, etc., a community can fully realize their region's capacity for service and receive enormous benefits.
One of the most obvious benefits is the benefit that direct service can provide to a community. Beautification projects such as trash removal or gardening improves the image of a city or town. Projects like this also have the added benefit of being relatively easy and fun for volunteers, which is important for volunteer recruitment and retention.1
Community agencies can also benefit from information sharing in regards to resources. By collaborating on projects, non-profit agencies can find new and talented volunteers who may have specific skills that they need. This increase in the pool of skilled volunteers allows agencies to pursue more complex projects that will eventually provide help for the communities they serve. Agencies can also increase their social capital by making connections with other groups whose missions may dovetail with their own.2
Communities can also benefit in the abstract by creating opportunities for the citizenry to come together and increase their personal social capital. Large volunteer events create the opportunity for people to meet while working towards the same, positive goals. Citizens who make these connections with one another and with community agencies will become more engaged with their community. And engaged community members will improve the fiscal, social, and political climate of a community. 3
While most people recognize the importance of communities working together to support service projects, it is often difficult for all the various entities to make connections and work together. The goal of SouthCoast Serves is to provide a place for all of these organizations to meet and find ways to collaborate on important projects in our community. If you are a community agency who is interested in joining SouthCoast Serves, please contact us for more information.
1. Mavis G. Sanders; “The Role of 'Community' in Comprehensive School, Family, and Community Partnership Programs;” The Elementary School Journal; Vol. 102, No. 1 (Sep., 2001), pp. 19-34
2. Thomas A. Reiner and Julian Wolpert; “The Non-Profit Sector in the Metropolitan Economy;” Economic Geography; Vol. 57, No. 1, New Directions in Public Services (Jan., 1981), pp. 23-33
3. Michael Schudson; :Citizens, Consumers, and the Good Society;” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; Vol. 611, The Politics of Consumption/The Consumption of Politics (May, 2007), pp. 236-249