Wayne Devonish is creating a new paradigm of Black men and community service with his 500 Men Making a Difference organization. The men’s group focuses on performing and promoting community service and development throughout the five boroughs and Long Island.

Started back in 2010, the organization provides mentoring to male youth and renovations of community centers, churches, schools and any other areas they can help.

“We just engage in various community service projects and go against the notion that men don’t do community service,” said Devonish. “We’re trying to break that paradigm and particularly do it with a bunch of men.”

April 30 the organization will be holding a “Community Baby Shower,” as a Mother’s Day celebration. Mothers with children under the age of three will be able to receive free clothing, baby items and a gift for themselves as well. The event is a thank-you to all hard working mothers and takes place at the Magnolia Tree Earth Center at 677 Lafayette Ave. from 2-4 p.m.

Devonish turned his passion for community service into something much greater with the start of 500 Men. He’d been performing community work for more than 30 years and always knew he wanted to start something of his own. He wanted to highlight that there are positive men out there who are willing to do the work—they just need the opportunity. “There is no deficit with positive males, there’s just a deficit with organizing it,” Devonish explained.

Over the past six years 500 Men have participated and organized various community events across the city, from park clean-ups to breast cancer walks and turkey giveaways. They’ve even gone as far as Ghana to help build houses.

“We want to be able to bring 500 Men at any given moment to anything that needs man power,” said Devonish. He believes that his organization has been able to accomplish and be a part of so many events because of the differences in tactics between men and women. “The way we operate is just the way men think.”

Devonish called the organization’s impact on the community “mindboggling.” He has seen young men make a complete turnaround since they’ve started with the organization. Some of the men have branched out and created their own programs just from the support and interactions with the program.

“Just interacting with others really transforms people, and that’s what we do,” said Devonish. “We’re getting recognition which lets you know we’re heading in the right path.” 500 Men has been able to partner with several other organizations including Medgar Evers College, Children of Promise, Boy Scouts of America, Big Brother Big Sister and Magnolia Tree Earth Center.

Some of the upcoming events for 500 Men include their Von King Park clean-up April 30, their six-year anniversary party June 16 and their Men’s Day event August 6. “We just want to be seen as men doing positive things and going against the normal thought processing that men aren’t about anything,” he added.

Devonish is excited for what’s in store for 500 Men. In the next few years he wants the organization to “be more established and eventually being a national entity.”

To find out more about 500 Men and how to be a part of their organization visit 500menmakingadifference.com.