National Charity League Volunteers Make a Difference
The Madison Area Chapter of National Charity League (NCL), Inc. was founded in 2010. This year they are celebrating their 10-year anniversary. The NCL chapter currently has 139 members, comprised of mothers and daughters in grades 6 through12. Its mission is to foster mother-daughter relationships while doing volunteer service together at Madison area non-profits. They also seek to develop girls as leaders within NCL and in the community. During their time in NCL, the girls grow as leaders within the NCL organization as they learn the importance of volunteering in their community.
NCL members have been active volunteers at MOM since the very beginning, volunteering in almost all MOM programs, and accumulating almost 3,600 volunteer hours at MOM since 2010. NCL members have weekly volunteer shifts in our clothing center and food pantry several times a month, year-round, in two-person shifts with a mother volunteering alongside her daughter. NCL members have helped in countless other ways, including at client seasonal programs such as our Back to School program where our client children receive a backpack filled with school supplies. NCL volunteers have covered food promotional events at community partners of MOM where they staffed tables to educate the public about MOM and encourage donations to us. NCL volunteers also are crucial at many MOM special events. For example, their members came out in full force last December and volunteered at our Holiday Art Fair, an annual event in our food pantry where area artists sell high-quality art and donate a portion of their proceeds to MOM. The NCL volunteers were an integral part of that event and a major reason for its success again this year. In addition, NCL has conducted numerous food drives and clothing drives, tapping into their vast community networks to keep our pantry shelves and clothing racks full. We are grateful for all the ways that NCL members work to improve our community.
Through volunteering in the MOM food pantry, some older girls in NCL one year noticed insufficient supplies of feminine hygiene products available on our pantry shelves. So the grade 12 girls, who were in their last year of NCL, decided to do one more important donation drive for MOM before graduating from high school. They solicited donations of these necessary hygiene products from their classmates at their respective high schools. In the process, they also raised awareness about the community need for these items. The NCL girls handled all aspects of the donation drive, researching what specific feminine items the pantry needed, soliciting donations from both their male and female classmates, creating a school video explaining why their classmates should donate, and handling other tasks that are part of conducting a successful donation drive. The girls and their moms had huge smiles on their faces (as did MOM staff) when they brought the donations in to our food pantry. They understood that such items are a critical and expensive recurring need for our pantry shoppers. This type of donation drive has been repeated a few times since then and we’ve even had other community partners occasionally follow suit with this donation drive idea. This effort shows the NCL group’s awareness of their neighbors who need extra help as well as their ability to be creative to find ways to make a difference.
Each year, NCL conducts a significant number of drives for MOM, filling important needs. In addition to collecting food, NCL members also have conducted numerous sock donation drives, underwear drives, and back to school clothing drives so that kids in our community can start the year off with new or gently used school outfits.
NCL has periodically made reusable shopping bags for our client shoppers out of old T-shirts. Not only are the girls helping our environment by repurposing old T-shirts into useful products, but they are supporting a constant need in our pantry for shopping bags.
MOM staff appreciates that NCL volunteers volunteer regularly in multiple programs, year after year. MOM staff often asks internally: “Could we ask NCL if they could help with this”? NCL responds, almost always, with an enthusiastic "Yes!" They are always willing to help MOM, sometimes even on very short notice. We look forward to a continued partnership for many years to come.
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