The National Charity League has been around since 1925, permitting mothers and daughters across the nation to serve their communities together. In 2001, a similar national organization, the Young Men’s Service League (YMSL), was founded to allow mothers and sons to volunteer side by side. Today there are more than 60 chapters of YMSL, with more than 30 in Texas alone. This past June, a local chapter of YMSL was formed by Cynthia Cantrell along with a 10-member board.
“This chapter was started to create philanthropy and outreach opportunities for organized groups of young men.With the outpouring of volunteer support from high school boys last year following Harvey, we were certain a YMSL chapter would be an ideal fit here in Kingwood. We are so excited about the enthusiastic response our organization has had already here in Kingwood,” said Cantrell.
YMSL was founded in Plano, Texas in 2001 by Pam and Julie Rosener, who envisioned an organization that would allow mothers and their high school-aged sons to work together in support of those in need within the community. They recruited other interested mothers who shared their vision and turned that dream into the reality that is now YMSL.
Hundreds of volunteer hours have already been logged by the Kingwood YMSL mothers and sons in support of local charities, including Addi’s Faith Foundation, HAAM, The Houston Food Bank, Society of St. Stephen, The Village Learning Center, and many others.
Each member of YMSL (sons and mothers) are required to complete 20 service hours, 10 of which must be served together, allowing mothers and sons bonding time while also serving and enriching the lives of others within the community.
The boys in the Kingwood chapter of YMSL meet once each month, separated by grade level. The boys organize their meetings and guest speakers, who have included a self-defense expert, a tutorial on changing a car tire, and even a visit to Humble City Hall to sit in on a town hall meeting. In addition to the monthly service opportunities, the entire Kingwood YMSL chapter comes together once a year for a far-reaching, transformational service project called The Ultimate Gift.
The group runs its program on a May to April cycle and admits interested members using a lottery system. For more information, visit ymslkingwood.org.