If you are a high school sophomore or freshman, you are currently eligible to join the new Young Men’s Service League. The Young Men’s Service League, or YMSL, is a nationally recognized non-profit organization founded in the hopes of teaching young boys important life lessons and values, help the local community through philanthropy and leadership, and strengthening the bond between club members and their mothers. Recently, a branch of this organization was opened in Dripping Springs by local parent Shawn Wolff who wanted to be able to spend time with her son while making a difference in their community.

“I had heard about the nationally recognized organization from other friends who are participants in Austin,” President Wolff said. “We all feel blessed to have found this amazing organization where we can spend more time with our sons and also teach them the importance of helping others and serving our community and build leadership among them.”

Since their kick-off meeting on Aug. 13, the organization has gained 48 members and their mothers, and they hope to recruit more young men in the future to help the community grow and learn.

“We do wish for the kids that join to have a good heart, someone who is compassionate and respectful as well as has the desire to serve,” Wolff said. “It’s a privilege to do what we do, not a chore- and that’s the type of attitude we hope our members will encompass.”

The organization is currently holding their meetings at the Foundry at the Methodist Church in Dripping Springs where they discuss future activities like the 2018 Membership Drive they plan on hosting in the spring to recruit incoming freshmen.

“Each meeting, there is a speaker who targets a specific subject and the boys’ different committees have individual responsibilities as well,” Wolff said. “It’s a great development and leadership building experience for the boys.”

Each branch of the YMSL organization focuses its projects and activities around a set of nine philanthropies given by the head of the organization.

“Our approved philanthropies for 2017-2018 are the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas, DS Community Mission Partnership, Hill Country Thrift Store, Pedernales Falls State Parks, Schools Out Foods In, Service Dogs Inc., Southside Community Center, Texas Ramp Project, and the Burke Center for Youth.,” Wolff said.

While the organization in Dripping Springs was just started earlier this year, they have already begun their mission to help the community by volunteering with a group of 20 at the Burke Center for Youth in October. The Center was very appreciative of the help and interest and the YMSL members have said they look forward to returning for future opportunities and to make a difference.

“I truly feel this experience of being a member of YMSL will start a lifelong pattern of giving back,” Wolff said. “Teenage boys – regardless of what they would have us think – are still very impressionable. When they see the positive impacts of their efforts and learn what it feels like to help others – and by that I mean a personal connection with an organization, group or individual who is grateful for what you have done for them- that’s a great life lesson. This world needs more of that.”

Written By Jade Berry, News and Entertainment Editor