Charity Spotlight: National Charity League

Posted By on October 3, 2019

Building mother-daughter bonds while helping today’s girls become tomorrow’s leaders

The Story

            In 1925, a group of women joined together to support the American Red Cross by making layettes and assembling food baskets during the holidays. Years later, their daughters formed their own charity group with the same philosophy of giving back. In 1947, the mother and daughter group joined together to become the first mother-daughter charity in the U.S. — National Charity League.

            Today, National Charity League, Inc. has 268 chapters in 27 states and more than 75,000 members and alumnae. Girls in 7th through 12th grades and their mothers are eligible to apply to join a chapter in their respective neighborhood or school.

            Members build their mother-daughter bond while participating in community service, leadership-development opportunities and cultural experiences.

            “As a parent with a teenage daughter, it’s tough to find opportunities to spend quality time together,” said Amy Wolff of the NCL Arrowhead Chapter. “My daughter Sophie and I found that committing to philanthropic activities gave us dedicated time on the calendar to spend time together, and to make a difference in our community. It is a win-win.”

The Cause

            Arizona is home to 10 National Charity League chapters spanning from the West Valley to Tucson. The first chapter of NCL to come to the state was Phoenix in 1990. Since then, that chapter has grown to nearly 300 members.

            While the chapters may be located in different parts of Arizona, they all have the same goal — to understand the community’s philanthropic needs and take action. NCL chapters across the Valley are involved with multiple charities including St. Mary’s Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, UMOM New Day Center, Arizona Humane Society, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Back to School Clothing Drive, to name a few.

            “My daughter, Sarah, and I were honored to be a part of the Back to School Clothing Drive this year,” said Karen Newcomb of NCL Arrowhead. “As members of NCL, we volunteer with several organizations around the Valley, but this event is especially close to our hearts. Knowing that the hours we dedicated to help the students shop for essential supplies that help ensure educational success for these vulnerable children is very moving and inspiring to us.”

            Members of NCL strive to make a positive impact on their communities while also learning important skills to become strong female leaders.

            “The goals of NCL are not just about making a difference in the community, they focus on developing leadership skills for the girls too,” said Wolff. “The girls are responsible for planning NCL activities and events, which includes conducting monthly meetings, honing organization skills, negotiating with members of the community and working within a budget.”

The Future

            Girls may remain involved in NCL up to 12th grade and after completing membership requirements and if in good standing, girls and their mothers may be eligible to become a lifelong member called a Sustainer. Sustainers commit to giving back for a lifetime and are offered opportunities such as personalized college tours, sorority recommendation letters and priority acceptance for legacies.

            Being a member of National Charity League instills values in daughters and mothers that encourage them to live philanthropic lives beyond their years in ‘active’ membership. As NCL continues to grow across the country and in Arizona, we can count on even more women positively impacting our community and making it an even better place to live and raise our daughters.

            To learn more, go to

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