http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/04/18/learning-to-give


Danville Express

Living - April 18, 2008

Learning to give

National Charity League joins mothers and daughters in a common cause

by Myla Wagner

Megan Patterson will always remember the smiles of the hungry at Loaves and Fishes. She volunteered at the food pantry in Concord as part of the philanthropy of the mother-daughter National Charity League.

"National Charity League has been an unforgettable pleasure," said Patterson, who is a graduating senior. "Loaves and Fishes has drawn me to their mission. The occasional smile from someone hungry will forever stay with me and motivate me to continue service work."

NCL is a nonprofit national organization of mothers and daughters who join together in community involvement within local chapters. The mothers and daughters join in social, cultural and leadership events as well as philanthropic.

Fourteen young women from the Rolling Hills Chapter of National Charity League Inc. were honored at Crow Canyon Country Club at the annual Senior Presents ceremony April 6 for their four years of participation and service to the community. They made their debut wearing black gowns and celebrated with fellow NCL members, family and friends at the formal dinner to the theme "Stars of Our Future."

Together over the past four years since their chapter's inception, these girls volunteered nearly 1,300 philanthropic hours to their community. Nearly 1,000 of those hours were worked side-by-side with their mothers.

"My mother and I have developed a mutually rewarding understanding of each other through working with many philanthropies and attending NCL events," said Patterson.

This was the fourth graduating class for the Rolling Hills chapter.

"NCL is an outstanding program that I am proud to be a part of," said Irene Hodge, president of the Rolling Hills class of 2008. "I know that the friendships and bonds that I have made during this amazing program will last me a lifetime."

The National Charity League traces its roots to Los Angeles in 1925. A group of women was working with the Red Cross in making layettes and assembling food baskets during the holidays and sometimes included their daughters. By 1938, the daughters decided to form their own group, which united with the mothers' group in 1947 and took the present name, the National Charity League. Today the league has 144 chapters in 15 states.

The Rolling Hills Chapter was organized in 2004 for mothers of Alamo, Danville and San Ramon with daughters in seventh through 12th grades. The chapter has grown to a current membership of approximately 140 mothers and 160 daughters. The Diablo Valley Chapter, formed in 1989, has member from Alamo, Diablo and Danville. Mothers and daughters who want to join are sponsored by active members.

Local NCL chapters support philanthropic organizations that include Bay Area Crisis Nursery, Blackhawk Museum, Blue Star Moms, Contra Costa County Food Bank, Discovery Counseling Center, Loaves and Fishes, Meals on Wheels, San Ramon Valley Education Foundation, Save Mount Diablo, Special Olympics of Northern California, STAND! Against Domestic Violence, Taylor Family Foundation, The Volunteer Center, Tri-Valley SPCA and Valley Children's Museum.

In addition to serving these and other philanthropies, the Rolling Hills graduating girls earned more than 775 league hours by holding their own meetings and enjoying a variety of social, cultural and educational activities.

"NCL has shown me that I can make a difference in people's lives," said Sarah Goldman. "It makes me feel so much better to know that I personally have helped someone stay warm, or made sure their kids had Christmas presents during the holiday season."

Graduating members of the Rolling Hills senior class of 2008 are Taylor Denhart, Alyssa DeMarinis, Stephanie Fennell, Sarah Goldman, Ann Hodge, Irene Hodge, Jordan Kragen, Whitney MacLeod, Megan Patterson, Shawnee Pohlson, Jamie Sy, Samantha Weltz, Briana Williams and Rachael Winkler.

"People wake up every day thinking about the future," said Goldman. "What sets us apart is that we wake up and think about the future of others."

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