4 types of service to ring in the New Year

4 types of service to ring in the New Year

Do your New Year’s resolutions include being a light of love and hope in the world? Volunteering in your community allows you to do just that.

At Greenheart, we highlight four types of service: advocacy, awareness, service and philanthropy.


Advocacy means giving a voice to those who would otherwise have none. It seeks to ensure that people (especially those most vulnerable in society) are able to:

  • Defend and safeguard their rights
  • Have their views and needs genuinely considered when decisions that affect them are being made
  • Have their voice heard on issues that are important to them

Imagine this scenario: You hear about plans for building a new shopping mall that will force many residents of the area to look for new homes. You decide to voice your concerns to city planners and work to get the mall moved somewhere else. You have just become an advocate for members of your community!


Awareness means being able to perceive different events, objects, thoughts, emotions or sensory patterns. In service, this means being conscious of problems facing your community and actively engaging in coming up with creative solutions.

Imagine this scenario: You notice that there seem to be a lot of stray dogs in your neighborhood. You create a social media campaign to highlight the problem and work with a local animal shelter to find the dogs homes. You have just raised awareness about a problem in your community!


Active service means actually getting out and doing the work. At the Greenheart Club, we focus on two types of active service: direct and indirect. Direct service can be more physical – it directly confronts the issue at hand. Indirect service focuses more on work that can be done behind the scenes.

Imagine this scenario: You plan a day for you and some of your fellow volunteers to serve meals at your local community homeless shelter. You have just contributed to your community through direct and indirect service!


Philanthropy means promoting the welfare of others through tangible means. Donating food, clothing, or money can all be considered forms of philanthropy.

Imagine this scenario: You live in a cold region and there is a large immigrant community from a warmer climate in your neighborhood. You decide to run a clothing drive, raise funds, and donate some of your own money to purchase winter apparel for members of your community. You have just become a philanthropist!

There are so many ways to be a global leader pursuing a mission-driven life of service. Visit the Greenheart Club website for a list of volunteer definitions or check out our volunteer database for ideas on how to get started!

Create a volunteering group on Facebook to help coordinate opportunities for serving in your community. Invite a few friends to the group and ask them to spread the word! Watch as your light of love and hope spreads throughout your community and the world.

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