How to create community

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You can create default community health files, such as CONTRIBUTING and CODE_OF_CONDUCT. Default files will be used for any repository owned by the account that does not contain its own file of that type.

About default community health files

You can add default community health files to a public repository called .github , in the root of the repository or in the docs or .github folders.

GitHub will use and display default files for any repository owned by the account that does not have its own file of that type in any of the following places:

  • the root of the repository
  • the .github folder
  • the docs folder

For example, anyone who creates an issue or pull request in a repository that does not have its own CONTRIBUTING file will see a link to the default CONTRIBUTING file. If a repository has any files in its own .github/ISSUE_TEMPLATE folder, including issue templates or a config.yml file, none of the contents of the default .github/ISSUE_TEMPLATE folder will be used.

Default files are not included in clones, packages, or downloads of individual repositories because they are stored only in the .github repository.

Supported file types

You can create defaults in your organization or user account for the following community health files:

Community health file Description A CODE_OF_CONDUCT file defines standards for how to engage in a community. For more information, see “Adding a code of conduct to your project.” A CONTRIBUTING file communicates how people should contribute to your project. For more information, see “Setting guidelines for repository contributors.”
FUNDING.yml A FUNDING file displays a sponsor button in your repository to increase the visibility of funding options for your open source project. For more information, see “Displaying a sponsor button in your repository.”
Issue and pull request templates and config.yml Issue and pull request templates customize and standardize the information you’d like contributors to include when they open issues and pull requests in your repository. For more information, see “About issue and pull request templates.” A SECURITY file gives instructions for how to report a security vulnerability in your project. For more information, see “Adding a security policy to your repository.” A SUPPORT file lets people know about ways to get help with your project. For more information, see “Adding support resources to your project.”

You cannot create a default license file. License files must be added to individual repositories so the file will be included when a project is cloned, packaged, or downloaded.

Creating a repository for default files

  1. In the upper-right corner of any page, use the

drop-down menu, and select New repository. How to create community

  • Use the Owner drop-down menu, and select the organization or user account you want to create default files for. How to create community
  • Type .github as the name for your repository, and an optional description. How to create community
  • Make sure the repository status is set to Public (a repository for default files cannot be private). How to create community
  • Select Initialize this repository with a README. How to create community
  • Click Create repository.
  • In the repository, create one of the supported community health files. Issue templates and their configuration file must be in a folder called .github/ISSUE_TEMPLATE . All other supported files may be in the root of the repository, the .github folder, or the docs folder. For more information, see “Creating new files.”
  • Help us make these docs great!

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    Posted by Angel Rutledge

    Ideas for Community Service Projects: How Can I Help?

    How to create communityWhether it’s reconstructing a playground, visiting an elderly home, or clearing trash from a nearby creek, a community service project is an excellent way to bring about change on a small, intimate level. But before grabbing the work gloves, make sure that your project has a specific focus. Here are some ideas to help get the project started.

    Neighborhood Enhancement

    1. Help people paint and repair their homes.
    2. Volunteer to clean up trash around a neighborhood.
    3. Create a mural that depicts values of your community.
    4. Set up an art exhibit at a local business, sell the creations, and use the money to fund a cause in your community.
    5. Collect supplies for persons who have been victims of a fire or other disaster.
    6. Plant a community garden.
    7. Organize a campaign to raise money for new playground equipment, or reconstruct the playground yourself.
    8. Share your skills! Volunteer to teach a class at a community center.
    9. When fall comes around, distribute leaf bags and offer to assist neighbors with raking their yards.
    10. Campaign for additional lighting along poorly lit streets.

    Special Needs

    1. Volunteer at a Special Olympics event.
    2. Work with kids who have special needs on an art project.
    3. Set up a buddy system with the special needs program at your school.
    4. Raise money to purchase Braille books, large print books or other needed materials for the special needs program at a local school or community center.
    5. Make gifts with friends for kids in the hospital. Distribute Valentines, Halloween candy, or Christmas treats/toys.
    6. Build a ramp for a person in a wheelchair to make their house more accessible.
    7. Volunteer to read books or newspapers to those who are visually impaired.
    8. Visit a local care center to learn more about those with special needs, and ask how you can help.
    9. Recruit some friends or a class to help set up a library at a children’s hospital.
    10. Create a pamphlet that includes helpful tips concerning the respect of and interaction with people who have special needs.

    Senior Citizens

    1. Adopt a “grandfriend”. Write them letters, call them, and visit often.
    2. Gather friends and create a “shop squad” to pick up groceries and medicine for elderly.
    3. Deliver meals to homebound individuals.
    4. Gather family and friends and organize a summer songfest or play to perform at a nursing home.
    5. For the holidays, go caroling, bring (easy-to-eat) treats, or just go and visit senior citizens.
    6. Offer to read to people.
    7. Provide your local nursing home or library with more large-print books.
    8. Teach a senior how to use a computer or the Internet.
    9. Call up elderly people who live alone to check if they need anything.
    10. Volunteer to do general home maintenance for a senior citizen.

    Homeless and/or Hungry

    1. Help cook/serve meals at a homeless shelter.
    2. Throw a birthday party for children who are homeless at a local shelter.
    3. Organize a free, public nutrition awareness campaign.
    4. Gather combs, toothbrushes, shampoo, razors, etc. to make “I Care” kits for people who are homeless.
    5. Take children who are homeless on outings to a movie, zoo, or other fun location.
    6. Hold a book drive and donate the proceeds to the shelter, and then hold a read-a-thon or give a class on basic reading skills.
    7. Donate art supplies to the local shelter.
    8. Offer to repair or alter clothes for people who are homeless.
    9. Campaign to create a nursery in your local shelter, or help maintain an existing one.
    10. Always keep a few granola bars on hand!

    How to create community How to create community How to create community


    1. Volunteer at your local animal shelter.
    2. Gather newspapers and give to a local animal shelter.
    3. Learn about raising and training a pet to give to a disable person, and consider whether it is an option for you and your family.
    4. Visit and volunteer at a local aviary, zoo, or wild animal rehabilitation center.
    5. Organize a community dog wash, and donate the proceeds to organizations that aid animals.
    6. Locate homes and shelters for abandoned pets.
    7. Start a Chow Drive for the community to donate food and toys to a local shelter.
    8. Offer dog-walking services to those who can’t (or won’t) give their pets the proper amount of exercise.
    9. Take pictures or videos of pets that are in the pound and use them when organizing a supplies drive.
    10. Adopt a pet! Or, if this is not an option, volunteer to become a temporary foster parent for a pet in the pound.


    1. Clean up trash from a local outdoor space.
    2. Organize a hike or nature walk with friends, and bring bags to collect trash along the trails. Click here for an example sign up.
    3. Have fun with creating homemade paper out of used paper with friends (It’s easy, fun, and green!)
    4. Grow your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs in an organic garden, and encourage others to do the same.
    5. Instead of using the car, choose the healthy route and bike to your next location. Burn energy, not gasoline!
    6. Choose a family “energy watchdog” to shut off lights, television, and dripping sinks when not in use.
    7. Switch your current Internet home page to an energy-saving one, such as Google’s “Blackle”, and turn down the computer screen brightness level as well. (It’s unhealthy for both the environment and your eyes.)
    8. Create a children’s nature garden. Create a path, label plants and trees, and schedule guided tours.
    9. Purchase recycled products as opposed to generic ones.
    10. When buying food or drinks of any kind, it is better to stick to a large jug or tub as opposed to a collection of individually packaged goods.

    As you put on those work gloves, keep in mind that online sign up forms are an invaluable tool for organizing events and recruting and managing volunteers. We appreciate your efforts to change the world, one step at a time!

    SignUpGenius makes nonprofit organizing easy.

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