Is Young Men's Service League (YMSL) for you?
Are you and your son looking for something to do that will help make them stand out on college resumes? Are you wanting to get more involved with your community and meet new friends that have the same interest? Is your son high school age? You and your son should consider Young Men's Service League!
Young Men’s Service League (YMSL) is a nationwide non-profit organization that encourages young men along with their mothers to get involved in their community via philanthropic involvement and provides an opportunity to enhance mother/son relationships.
Each member of YMSL is required to serve at least 20 hours of community service each year in support of approved philanthropies in their area. YMSL supports a variety of philanthropies, so you would have to check with the chapter in your area to see which ones they are involved with. For me and my son here in our part of Texas, we help with such philanthropies as: CCA, City of The Colony, Holiday Helpers, Lost Paws Rescue of TX, LovePacs (provides food for low income families), Meals for Wheels, Metro Relief, North TX Food Bank, Pedi Place, Senior & Health Centers, Shoes for Orphan Souls, Toys for Tots, Soup N Bowl, and many others! Mothers and sons are both required to commit to the minimum of 20 community service hours. Mother and sons can serve these hours independently of each other, but my son and I always serve together! It provides a great bonding time for he and I while doing something together to help others in need.
Our chapter participates in a philanthropy called "Ultimate Gift" weekend. Last fall for Ultimate Gift, we coordinated with the city to help out with multiple tasks needing attention. Several groups of moms & sons went around to different homes where the residents were Seniors and were facing fines from the city due to different things such as overgrown weeds, fences falling down, debris in yard, etc. My son and I were with a group that help get a fence fixed back up so it was no longer in violation of city code. We didn't replace the entire fence, but supplies were donated for us to be able to reset some of the fence posts, replace some of the rotten pickets, and then we even cleaned up the rest of the yard for them while we were there. There was another large group of moms & sons that picked up trash around town and another that painted a long wall in town that gets graffiti on it here & there.
In addition to their service hours, the young men are required to attend monthly meetings where they develop leadership skills and learn about a variety of life skills. A four year educational plan has been designed for the meetings which include a variety of things such as: YMSL CPR training, social skills, college planning and resumes, fraternity life, public speaking, leadership training, job interviewing, goal setting, handling money & budgeting, impact that smoking, drinking and drugs would have on their life, steroid abuse education, survival skills, and even such every day skills as cooking, laundry, and car maintenance. We even have guest speakers that come in to talk about a variety of things. My son's favorites so far has been when the local DARE officer came to speak with the boys and then another time when they got to go tour the police station. He was fascinated by the whole legal process. Moms and sons on the Boys Meeting Committees plan what will be discussed at the meetings. Moms also have monthly meetings and while you don't HAVE to attend all of them, most of us do. It's a great time to visit with other moms and pass philanthropy ideas back and forth. They usually only last about an hour to an hour and a half...and sometimes it's good to just get away from the house for a little "me" time with other moms!
At the end of each service year, YMSL hosts a mother-son awards banquet where they recognize and celebrate the achievements and growth of our young men and the impact of our organization on the community. It's exciting to look back on the year to see just how many service hours we volunteered by our chapter, and to see pictures of the sons & moms helping out at the different events!
If you are interested in getting involved with this great organization, you can check out their national website to find a local chapter near you at http://ymslnational.org. My son is actually excited to start on his volunteer hours for this coming year! Hopefully you and your son(s) will get the same fulfillment out of it that we do!