Young Men’s Service League’s Wildcat Chapter Ultimate Gift 2018

YMSL Wildcat Chapter Class of 2020 members (from left): Dylan Fiock, Landon Schattle, Zach Vetal, Griffin Allen, Grant Jacobs, Fletcher Cummings, Adam Koch and Sam Koch // courtesy YMSL WildcatChapter
YMSL Wildcat Chapter Class of 2020 members (from left): Dylan Fiock, Landon Schattle, Zach Vetal, Griffin Allen, Grant Jacobs, Fletcher Cummings, Adam Koch and Sam Koch // courtesy YMSL WildcatChapter

The Wildcat chapter of the Young Men’s Service League recently welcomed the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) to Collin County through their Ultimate Gift Project. Over the weekend of Sept. 15-16, the chapter’s members, comprised of teenage Plano students and their moms, came together to donate more than 370 hours of service to the NTFB on their grand opening weekend.

While every mother and son who belong to the chapter donates individual service hours to multiple charities throughout the year, the Ultimate Gift project is a major service initiative taken on over a single weekend to make a big impact with a single cause. This year, North Texas Food Bank was chosen as the recipient. “Being new to Collin Country, NTFB needed volunteers knowledgeable of our area and able to put in multiple shifts to help with their grand opening,” said Jeanine Alpert, Ultimate Gift coordinator for the Wildcat chapter. “Our chapter was a perfect fit.”

YMSL member Carson Hart serving at NTFB // photos courtesy YMSL Wildcat Chapter
YMSL member Carson Hart serving at NTFB // photos courtesy YMSL Wildcat Chapter

The timing of Ultimate Gift coordinated perfectly with the opening of the new NTFB Perot Family Campus in Plano. “From setting up for the event, to registering the many guests, to sweeping the floors at the very end, the Wildcat chapter members were the hearts and hands behind this milestone day,” says Erica Yaeger, Chief External Affairs Office for NTFB. In addition, the chapter helped put a major dent in NTFB’s goal to collect 50,000 pounds of peanut butter in the month of September. “The NTFB is excited to be in Plano and thrilled to have organizations like YMSL with us at the table as we fight hunger in our community.”

Just because the Ultimate Gift weekend is complete doesn’t mean that the YMSL Wildcat Chapter is done helping the NTFB. “Our partnership continues beyond Ultimate Gift,” said Jeanine. “We’ll have additional weekly volunteer opportunities at NTFB beginning in October.”

Young Men’s Service League is a non-profit organization that started in Plano, TX in 2001. Founders Pam and Julie Rosener started the group as a chance to spend meaningful time with their high-school-aged sons and to spend time serving their community. The national organization currently has 86 chapters in 14 states. YMSL’s mission is to assist, serve, and support those who are in our community, develop leadership skills, among our membership, and promote mother-son relationships.

Wildcat Chapter moms Jeanine Alpert and Stephanie Milby all smiles at the kick-off event

The Wildcat Chapter was founded in 2009. Young men in the chapter typically attend feeder schools in the Plano Senior High attendance zones, though some members attend private schools or are home schooled. Moms join in their son’s freshman year, and there are typically 100 mom members divided evenly among the classes, freshmen to seniors.

In addition to serving philanthropy hours, the young men attend their own meetings to learn about leadership and civic responsibility, budgeting, college and career planning, and other life skills.

In 2017, the Wildcat chapter volunteered more than 3,800 hours and donated 500 wish list items to those in need in Plano and surrounding communities.

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