The Wildcat chapter of the Young Men's Service League officially welcomed My Possibilities to Collin County through their annual Ultimate Gift Project. Over the course of two weekends, November 9-10 and 16-17, 2019, the chapter's members, comprised of 170 total members, including the young men and their moms, came together to donate more than 340 hours of service to My Possibilities new state-of-the-art Plano, TX, campus for higher learning. The new facility is dedicated to empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, known as HIPsters (Hugely Important People), with a chance to continue their education.
While every mother and son who belong to the chapter donates individual service hours to multiple community charities throughout the year, the Ultimate Gift project is a major service initiative taken on typically over a single weekend to make a big impact with a single cause. This year, My Possibilities was chosen as the recipient of that gift.
"Being still new to the Collin County community, My Possibilities needed volunteers to help with a head-to-toe deep cleaning inside and out, and also much-needed safety walk paths installed from the parking areas to the campus sidewalks."said Purnima Gandikota, Ultimate Gift coordinator for the Wildcat chapter. "Our chapter was a perfect fit."
"The timing of YMSL Wildcat Chapter's Ultimate Gift coordinated perfectly with the current needs of the My Possibilities campus and has been incredibly helpful."says Jeanine Alpert the Director of Community Engagement for My Possibilities. "The install of the pavers at six different locations on campus has been on our wish list for some time. They will help our HIPsters and guests get into our school safely."
In addition, the chapter did a major clean-up to the entire campus. "All the cleaning of the 15 classrooms, common areas and staff areas is so valuable," said Alpert. "With more than 500 people that are on the campus weekly, this cleaning helps us keep everyone healthy and happy. Thank you YMSL Wildcat chapter!!"
In addition to service hours, chapter members donated all the cleaning supplies and rental of the equipment, including tillers and stone saw cutters, and other tools that were needed for installation of the new stone walkway pavers. The paver installation was a brand-new endeavor for the YMSL Wildcat young men. "Our young men learned how to do something totally new today," said Gandikota. "It was amazing to watch the boys on each volunteer shift learn the process of laying ground pavers and then stay around and teach the next shift of volunteer boys. We all can learn more about our community and recognize that if we have the opportunity to help members of our community, we should do our best and make a difference."
Just because the Ultimate Gift weekend is complete doesn't mean that the YMSL Wildcat Chapter is through helping My Possibilities. "Our partnership continues beyond Ultimate Gift," said Gandikota, "we'll have additional weekly volunteer opportunities next summer where our young men and their mothers can continue helping My Possibilities with summer lunch supervision and other ongoing campus initiatives."
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 more than 70 chapters nationwide. 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.
About the Wildcat Chapter:
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 homeschooled. Membership is determined by the mother and they 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 throughout Collin County, the young men attend their own meetings to learn about leadership and civic responsibility, budgeting, college and career planning, and other life skills.
Last year, the Wildcat chapter volunteered more than 3,800 hours and donated 500 wish list items to those in need in Plano and surrounding communities.