Young Men’s Service League Vienna-Oakton Participates in National Ultimate Gift Campaign and Transforms NVFS Early Head Start Center


(Vienna, VA, November 18, 2015) – Young Men’s Service League Vienna-Oakton (YMSLVO) partnered with Harris Corporation and local companies to successfully complete an Ultimate Gift Project to paint four Early Head Start classrooms at Northern Virginia Family Service’s Manassas facility.

While new to the Vienna-Oakton Chapter, this is the sixth year Young Men’s Service League National (YMSL) has sponsored this event to encourage their 55 chapters to identify projects that benefit women and children that are homeless or in transition. Inspiration for the Ultimate Gift Project came from a novel of the same name by Jim Stovall and is intended to “kick start” the giving season. YMSL estimates that the 39 chapters across nine states participating in this year’s Ultimate Gift will perform an estimated 13,662 hours of service in their local communities.

In the months leading up to YMSLVO’s November 7-8 project, the Ultimate Gift Committee worked closely with Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), to identify resource requirements and develop a plan to transform the classrooms which have not been painted since 2005. YMSLVO’s 31 mothers and their high school freshman sons embraced the Ultimate Gift project by fulfilling the project’s wish list for supplies and working over 250 hours onsite in Manassas to prepare and paint the classrooms.

NVFS is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping more than 34,000 individuals and families find new paths to self-reliance and brighter futures every year. NVFS provides two school readiness programs – Early Head Start, for children ages six months to three years, and Head Start for children ages three to five – that promote children’s social and cognitive development.

“What an amazing impact YMSLVO had on our center!” remarked Navara Cannon, Volunteer Coordinator for NVFS. “NVFS’ Georgetown South location is one of two Early Head Start centers with a coveted 5 star rating and the only one in the Northern Virginia area. This project will help in insuring that we are able to renew that rating with ease. Starting their early education years in a bright, clean and safe space is very important to our children’s development and helps to create an early love of learning.”

The Ultimate Gift Project was supported by an NVFS grant from the Harris Corporation.  As a result of this community grant, NVFS and YMSLVO were able to increase the scope of the Ultimate Gift Project and paint all four Early Head Start classrooms.  Additional support was provided through Vienna Paint’s donation of Benjamin Moore paint and a paint and spackle training session and discounted supplies provided by The Home Depot.   

According to Faith Boettger, Ultimate Gift Chair, “The Ultimate Gift Project exemplifies the multiplier effect of collaborative philanthropy.  Harris Corporation’s community grant, The Home Depot’s training and discount, and Vienna Paints’ Benjamin Moore paint, combined with YMSLVO’s manpower, resources and planning, resulted in a service project that was able to accomplish much more than each organization could do for NVFS alone.” 

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Young Men’s Service League Vienna-Oakton is a nonprofit organization that provides members and their sons the opportunity to volunteer in our community, improve leadership skills, and develop new life skills. In addition to philanthropy work with YMSLVO’s slate of 12 area charities, boys attend six meetings a year designed to expand their knowledge and experience in a variety of topics focused on social skills, making choices, health/nutrition and life/practical skills. Meetings are organized and led by the 9th grade boys; each plays an active role representing their position of responsibility. YMSLVO will be accepting applications for the Class of 2020 beginning in January 2016.

Northern Virginia Family Service is the largest private, nonprofit human service organization in Northern Virginia. NVFS helps more than 34,000 individuals and their families each year find housing and emergency services; health and mental health services; early childhood education and child placement services; intervention and prevention programs; job training; and legal services. Throughout its history, NVFS has been recognized as an innovator of efficient and comprehensive service methods, while effectively creating sustained financial and social independence for its clients.