New Naperville group brings moms, daughters closer through philanthropy
As moms, we have a lot we want to pass along to our daughters — lessons our own mothers gave us, values we hope our girls will instill in their own children one day.
We give advice ("If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all") and hear our mothers' voices saying the words in our heads. We recognize traits in ourselves (our strength in the face of adversity, our sense of self-worth) that we somehow just absorbed from watching the way our mothers carried themselves.
If you go
What: National Charity League-Greater Naperville Chapter informational meeting
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 23
Where: 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive, Naperville
And we lead by example.
A new group forming in Naperville affords moms the opportunity to share their values and world views with their daughters as they work side-by-side as volunteers.
The Greater Naperville Chapter of the National Charity League is open to mothers and their daughters in seventh through 12th grades, drawing them together at a time when the girls are gaining independence and it's all too easy to grow apart.
The Naperville chapter, the first in Illinois, will follow the national example of providing volunteer opportunities as well as leadership opportunities as both mothers and daughters have jobs, offices and responsibilities within the organization, said Shauna James, president of the local group.
James launched the chapter in April and already has 148 mothers and daughters in membership. The next informational meeting for potential members is Wednesday, May 23.
"It is an organization where mothers and daughters serve their communities together," said James, who has fond memories of serving with her mother while growing up in Texas.
Today, James tells us more about her hopes for the new group.
Q. What is your organization's mission?
A. The mission statement of National Charity League Inc. is to foster mother-daughter relationships in a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.
Q. How do you work toward accomplishing that goal?
A. Mothers and their daughters in seventh through 12th grades take ownership of our mission statement. Each mother holds a leadership position in the league and the daughters hold leadership positions in their grade level groups. Mothers and daughters serve side-by-side with the chapter-chosen philanthropies and share the cultural experiences together.
Q. Whom do you serve?
A. We establish relationships with local philanthropies where mothers and daughters serve the community. The number of partnerships with local philanthropies will grow as our membership grows.
We have a new national philanthropy where all 172 chapters of NCL will have a chance to participate in service. It is called Operation Homefront.
Q. When and why did the organization start? How has it grown?
A. National Charity League was first formed in Los Angeles in 1925. A group of young ladies formed this group to engage in philanthropic work. As the group of women began to grow and evolve, they started to include their daughters. Together they would serve in their communities.
NCL incorporated in 1958 and is in 20 states with 172 chapters. Each NCL-affiliated chapter is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and is governed by a volunteer board of directors.
The Greater Naperville chapter is the 172nd chapter and the first chapter in Illinois.
NCL places high value in time-honored traditions. The mothers are called Patronesses and the daughters are called Ticktockers. Each chapter still holds an annual tea.
Q. What kind of successes have you had?
A. We just formed as of April 3. We have grown rapidly, simply by word-of-mouth and through informational meetings at the local library and in member's homes. We currently have 148 members. We are still accepting members until each grade level reaches capacity of 25 to 30 daughters. We are looking forward to our kickoff meeting with our members in early June.
Q. What challenges do you currently face?
A. Since Greater Naperville is the first chapter in Illinois, our first challenge is marketing and spreading the word about NCL. The more communities learn about NCL, the greater the potential of expanding more chapters around the Chicago area. Challenges bring opportunities!
Q. What would surprise people if they spent time with NCL?
A. I think the community at large would be surprised to learn how often mothers and daughters really do work side by side in the various aspects of an NCL chapter. It provides the togetherness that strengthens and cultivates the mother-daughter bond, especially during the teen years. I can say this because I was a Ticktocker while growing up in Texas. The experience I had really did foster a wonderful lasting bond between my mom and me.
Q. How can readers get involved?
A. If mothers of daughters going into seventh through 12th grades would like to join or find out more information, please visit NationalCharityLeague.org for information and send an email to NapervilleNCL@yahoo.com.
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