When a large group of teen boys assembles with a shared purpose, it’s not always to play sports – sometimes they just want to make the world a better place.
That’s the case with the Mountain View/Los Altos Service League of Boys (SLOBs), which recently completed its third year of service in the community.
With more than 100 boys representing a dozen middle and high schools, SLOBs is a philanthropic organization that seeks to strengthen parent-son relationships and promote leadership development through community service activities. Over the past year, SLOBs has devoted more than 1,400 hours of service.
SLOBs recently capped off its year painting an after-school facility at the Catholic Charities St. Francis Youth Club in East Palo Alto as part of National Rebuilding Day.
“It was a lot of work, but knowing that it was going to help these kids made it all worthwhile,” said JD Coyne, a rising sophomore at Mountain View High.
SLOBs focuses on serving the diverse needs of communities in Los Altos, Mountain View and surrounding cities, whether it’s to serve those in need, visit with seniors, help the environment, work with youth or assist the city. Members donate their time to their choice of specific opportunities offered by a network of philanthropic organizations. Parents work alongside their sons.
Justin Mack, a rising senior at St. Francis High and president of SLOBs, sees it as his duty to give back.
“We’re so lucky to live in this community where we have so much,” he said. “What I’ve enjoyed about this opportunity is that a relatively small amount of my time can really make an impact on those who need it. It’s hardly a sacrifice for us, but it can make a big difference for someone else.”
SLOBs is led by an executive board of boys and parent volunteers who are voted in annually by members. Membership requirements for boys include attending four meetings per year and donating 10 hours of time, though many choose to give more. Volunteer opportunities are curated by leadership based on constant communication with the network, and are posted regularly for members.
The city of Los Altos has been a major recipient of SLOBs service. The city’s volunteer coordinator, Barbara Smith, estimates that the time donated by SLOBs is equal to $5,000 in labor costs, saving the city both time and money.
“I have found these boys and their parents to be willing, organized, reliable and timely,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see parents teaching their children the importance of helping the community, and working right alongside them. Starting out young helps promote personal growth and self-esteem among our youth.”
This year Los Altos Community Foundation provided 501(c)3 fiscal sponsorship for SLOBs, simplifying the financial and tax aspects of management.
For more information, visit mvlaslobs.org.