Wang YMCA Teens Prove to be True Leaders by Giving
CHINATOWN, Mass. | As part of a Wang YMCA Teen Club called, “The Leaders” which promotes leadership and civic engagement, the group recently came together to raise funds, shop, and give a full turkey dinner to a formerly homeless family in need.
Through a series of fundraisers at the Wang YMCA of Chinatown throughout the year, club officers, Dajuan Frasier, Steven Tung and Lizzy Wong, were able to purchase a 15-pound turkey with all of the fixings and side dishes for a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner; including stuffing, vegetables, dessert mixes, gravy, and the basic cookware needed.
The basket was presented to the Perez family, who recently spent the last two years at a family homeless shelter in Boston. Leslie Perez, 27, is a member of the Wang YMCA and a single mother of two children, Edwin, 8 and a daughter, Jaylanie, who turns two this January. Perez recently moved into her very-own apartment with her children in the South End. She also found employment, working part time at Home Depot.
“We are proud of our teens in the Leaders Club. They know what it means to go above and beyond for those in need, and they found this experience very rewarding,” says Dave Morrone, Director of Youth Development and Sports at the Wang YMCA of Chinatown. “We were touched when presenting the gift to Leslie, who immediately thought to cook the meal and bring it into the YMCA to share it with other families in need. They are a wonderful family with a very positive outlook.”
The Leaders Club consists of teens in grades 8 through 12 from the metro Boston area. The program has three focus areas: community service & volunteerism, character development, and leadership skill development. To date, Leaders Club members have volunteered more than 500 hours in service to the members and children of the Wang YMCA and the Chinatown community. This gift was the brainchild of the club members to help families during the holidays and has carried the name “Feed a Family” by members of the group.
The YMCA of Greater Boston is the state’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities. Every day the Y works with thousands of men, women and children to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. With 13 branches in and around Boston, the Y partners with 250 organizations to meet unique needs of the communities it serves. The Y is committed to youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. For more information about the Y of Greater Boston, visit www.ymcaboston.org or call (617) 536-7800.