Mother-son nonprofit Young Men’s Service League renovates outdoor space for low-income older adults

One of several 2-hour shifts of moms and sons at Plano Community Home. Photo courtesy of YMSL Wildcat Chapter.
Young Men's Service League brings mothers and high-school aged sons together for life skills classes and community service projects.

The Wildcat Chapter of the Young Men’s Service League, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing moms and high-school aged sons together for community service, recently completed a renovation project for Plano West Community Home, a housing complex for low-income or veteran older adults.

The group of moms and teens, joined by relatives in the construction industry, spent a collective 240 hours rebuilding a pergola with new wood and stain, sanding and staining a picnic table, removing a metal awning that was no longer in use, replacing cushions on benches and chairs, planting flowers in flower beds, trimming overgrown trees, spreading mulch around tree rings and gardens and building a new dog park for the residents.

“Watching 118 mothers and sons working together to create an amazing outdoor space for community members to share with their friends and family was inspiring,” Danielle Waldrop, the chair of the project, said.

The project, called an Ultimate Gift Project by the organization, was named after The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall. The novel features a privileged young man who is tasked with completing 12 assignments in order to receive the ‘Ultimate Gift” in his grandfather’s will that teach the man about hard work, friendship and other messages of life. The Young Men’s Service League aims to follow in this theme by providing aid to organizations and people that may not have the resources to execute the projects themselves. The chapter also returned to last year’s project to tidy up the area at Pioneer Place Senior Housing.

The Wildcat Chapter of the Youth Men’s Service League is a four-year program that begins when the son of a mother-son pair is finishing his eighth grade year. For the next four years, both mother and son participate in classes that teach car repair, interview skills, cooking, hazing prevention and other life skills to the son, while bringing the two together for service projects.

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