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How girls are helping their community through the National Charity League

By MAKAYLA NAIME & ALLISON STOCKHAM

The National Charity League is a multi-general philanthropic organization made up of mothers and daughters who volunteer to over 6,000 charities in the United States. Ranging from seventh through 12th grade, this organization is an amazing way for mothers to bond with their daughters while helping out their community. Teens learn many life skills such as leadership, social awareness, empowering women and giving back to their community.

Liza Wilson is the current co-president of NCL and helps overlook the organization and do all the behind-the-scenes work. NCL can give girls opportunities to be part of various activities including “community service [which] is by far the best,” says Wilson. “It opens your eyes to those that are less fortunate either in health or wealth. This allows for great discussions between the mother and daughter on empathy and acceptance.” NCL does volunteerism in the community through various organizations such as Santa Claus Inc. and Assistance League, whom NCL has been partners with ever since the beginning of the chapter.

NCL allows young girls to grow, learn important lessons and ultimately form a stronger bond with their mother. NCL’s curriculum is built to focus on certain areas of the NCL’s mission. The next year, a new area is taught while building on the previous year. Through this curriculum, NCL “[creates] leaders in young women who will hold jobs and live in the community with various organizations.”

Malia Mead, a 9th grader at Yupica High School, and her father Joe Mead posing for a picture together in front of the NCL backdrop at the end of the event. Malia and her dad were happy to have a day to spend time together out of the house. (Photo curtsey of Malia Mead)

Jayden Baker is a freshman at Citrus Valley High School and has been in NCL since seventh grade. NCL has helped her learn a lot of life skills and overall helped her in life. Baker says she loves the people she has met and those that are involved in NCL. 

One of her favorite ways to give back to her community is to “make little gifts for people with cancer and give needed things to people that can’t afford them.” Something NCL does every year around Easter time is to make confetti filled eggs and decorate them, dropping them off at local convalescent hospitals. They also make birthday cards for children with cancer all year long. Baker likes being able to spend time with her dad during the Father-Daughter events, which is why it is one of her favorite things she has done in NCL. 

Not only does NCL encourage the growth of the bond between mother and daughter, but also between father and daughter. Every year the 9th grade class hosts a Father-Daughter event. The event this year was planned by the class of 2024 and the event entailed a photo safari theme with the theme of “Tacky Tourist.” Fathers and daughters received a checklist and map as they got to walk around downtown Redlands and try to unscramble clues to find photo locations. At each location, pairs would take creative selfies featuring the location described by the clues. Rules were made ensuring all parties remained safe during the pandemic, as masks were worn and a six foot gap was enforced. 

After some adventuring, lunch packs were handed out featuring foods from local restaurants that were enjoyed at the Redlands bowl. A photo area was also available for families to take photos in their Hawaiian shirts, cacky shorts, socks and sandals to help them remember the day. Fathers and daughters took as many selfies as they wanted and submitted certain photos to win prizes for the best photos. A Zoom meeting was hosted later in the day to allow photos to be shared and winners to be announced. 

The head of the Father-Daughter Event, Shauna Naime, shares her experience with the event. She says that this year’s event, although delayed and very different due to COVID-19, was a photo-scavenger hunt and Dads and Daughters seemed to have a lot of fun together. Naime says that while planning an event such as this, daughters “learn many basic event-planning skills such as setting a budget, choosing a theme and working in committees.” She says that most of the planning was done over Zoom and there were meetings held with both the entire class or 2024 as well as separate one with each committee. Each girl also had to come up with clues for the scavenger hunt, so most of them took a trip to downtown Redlands a few weeks before the event to find some ideas. “As the event got closer, many of the committees needed to meet in person to work on projects, so we all followed the COVID-19 guidelines we are used to by now, masks and social-distancing.”

The San Bernardino chapter has been running ever since April 1, 1957 and is eager for new members to apply. Wilson says, “NCL [provides] experiences of volunteerism in the surrounding community, to strengthen their mother daughter bond and give their daughter an experience that encourages growth.” Interested members can apply to become a member of NCL by filling out the membership inquiry form on the NCL San Bernardino website. “Membership runs from October 1 through Jan. 15 for the following year. It is open to incoming seventh, eighth and ninth graders. You can also apply as a sixth, seventh or eighth grader to join the following year,” says Wilson. 

Samantha Fujiwara, a 9th grader and Citrus Valley, and her father Dustin Fujiwara taking a picture in their tacky outfits with a crossing guard. They were posing for the clue “____ it’s hammer time! Stop in front of this thing and take a selfie dancing.” (Photo cutrsey of Samantha Fujiwara)

To learn more information and access the inquiry form, visit https://www.nationalcharityleague.org/vpage/index-sanbernardino/

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