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The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. This article possibly contains original research. This article’s lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Community service is a non-paying job performed by one person or a group of people for the benefit of the community or its institutions.
Community service is distinct from volunteering, since it is not always performed on a voluntary basis. It may be performed for a variety of reasons. It may be required by a government as a part of citizenship requirements, generally in lieu of military service. It may be mandated by schools to meet the requirements of a class, such as in the case of service-learning or to meet the requirements of graduating as class valedictorian.
In the UK, it has been made a condition of the receipt of certain benefits, including disability-related ones. Some educational jurisdictions in the United States require students to perform community service hours to graduate from high school. Many other high schools do not require community service hours for graduation, but still see an impressive number of students get involved in their community. For example, in Palo Alto, California, students at Palo Alto High School log about 45,000 hours of community service every year.
Though not technically considered a requirement, many colleges include community service as an unofficial requirement for acceptance. However, some colleges prefer work experience over community service, and some require that their students also continue community service for some specific number of hours to graduate. Many student organizations exist for the purpose of community service, the largest of which is Alpha Phi Omega. Community service projects are also done by sororities and fraternities.