Service league 1

Back from left, Mason Cohen, Will Pettyjohn and Tyler Freer join other boys with the Young Men’s Service League’s Sandy Springs chapter to work on a recent cleanup project together.

The Young Men’s Service League is a nonprofit that initiates and encourages young men in ninth through 12th grades and their mothers to pursue philanthropic involvement in their community and provides opportunities to enhance mother/son relationships.

The league’s Sandy Springs chapter, which has grown to over 130 members and logged over 3,500 service hours in and around the Sandy Springs community since the group formed in August 2017, is seeking new members. Its current members attend Holy Innocents’, Holy Spirit Prep, Mount Vernon Presbyterian, North Atlanta, Pace, Riverwood, Whitefield and Westminster.

The league was formed in Plano, Texas, in 2001, and has rapidly grown into a national organization with more than 70 chapters. There are six chapters in metro Atlanta. Nationally, league members have logged over a million community service hours since 2001.

The Sandy Springs chapter serves the following philanthropies: the Community Assistance Center, the Chattahoochee Nature Center, the Drake House, Family Promise, Feeding the Homeless, Interfaith Outreach Home, Keep North Futon Beautiful, Meals on Wheels, Mount Vernon Towers, MUST Ministries, the Sandy Springs Mission, Special Pops Tennis and the Zaban Paradies Center.

Over the summer, chapter members made 650 bag lunches for MUST Ministries’ children and helped to facilitate the Sandy Springs Mission’s three-week summer camp, where they served as tutors and camp counselors. This fall, 50 chapter members volunteered at the Special Pops Tennis Tournament for children and adults with disabilities, as athlete escorts, hospitality hosts and ball boys.

In November, through the league’s Ultimate Gift Project, the boys and their mothers made a transformational impact on the Drake House by creating a new usable green space, painted, cleaned and created a safe path to the playground for the current and future residents.

Some of the other projects in which chapter has engaged include serving and providing meals for Feeding the Homeless and the Zaban Paradies Center, a recycling and outdoor equipment cleanup with Keep North Fulton Beautiful and the Chattahoochee Nature Center, engaging in activities with seniors at Mount Vernon Towers and serving dinner and spending time with the residents of Interfaith Outreach Home.

The league also provides leadership development opportunities within the organization for the young men. Its students facilitate their own meetings by grade level, where they make presentations on life skills as well as the philanthropy work done in the chapter, and hear from a variety of speakers. This fall, the ninth-grade boys were given a tour of the new City Hall at City Springs led by Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul. Similarly, moms cover topics of local interest, feature speakers and incorporate philanthropy work within their meetings.

For more information about the Sandy Springs chapter or if you would like to suggest a service opportunity with a local organization, visit www.ymslsandysprings.org.

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