Kyle Freas, a junior at Plano West High School, founded a volunteer organization called Plano Youth Together in 2003. His organization works with student councils, STOP Programs, Pal Programs and National Honor Societies to help abuse, homeless and critically ill children as well as homeless animals. Plano Youth Together has benefited area organizations such as the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Samaritan Inn, Hope’s Door, Plano Presbyterian Hospital and Operation Kindness through their myriad of programs.
Operation Backpack is one of the Plano Youth Together programs that works with the Children’s Advocacy Center to provide abused and neglected children with school supplies and backpacks. Plano Pals is another signature program. Children make holiday bags that include toys and gift cards for the Samaritan Inn, The Children’s Advocacy Center and Hope’s Door. The program is a pen pal program where the children can write each other. Another program is Operation Paws. Through Operation Kindness, a no kill animal shelter, each child sponsors a homeless animal and receives a bio, a picture and a gift bag. Participants are also invited to a party to see their pets and learn about animal shelters. Started by his brother, Kyle has continued this program under Plano Youth Together since 2002.
Children donate movies and board games to the Plano Presbyterian Hospital for sick children for the Kids Flicks and Games program. Kyle and the Plano Youth Together, then distribute the gifts to youth that are in the hospital for treatment. Kids Wish for Kids benefits the Make a Wish Foundation of North Texas. Children are allowed to pick a critically ill child and help make their wish come true by making a donation. In return, they receive a letter about the wish they helped supply, the pictures of the child they helped and other “star” goodies.
Kyle has raised in excess of $60,000 for these organizations through his programs. He contacted all 50 schools in eight North Texas cities regarding his projects and has worked with 45 schools in the area. He designed boards and flyers for each program and helps design and fill gift bags. He also helps deliver donations to area organizations. Kyle has his own group of volunteers who help him with these programs. Through his programs, he has taught thousands of students about community service. His goal was to utilize many children who were not involved in organizations that required community service for hours were not being used. Although the projects are being run in elementary and middle schools, high school students make the gift bags and deliver donations to area organizations.