November 2020 I recently came across a press release that introduced me to the National Charity League-Carmel Chapter, and having been involved with several nonprofits from the area, I was surprised that I had never heard of NCL. So, I reached out to the founders of the Carmel chapter, Jennifer Goehl and Jennifer Hare, to learn more about it and how others can get involved. Goehl and Hare are Carmel residents with daughters in the same grade. They shared with me the organization’s history and purpose in hopes to spread awareness and to offer a way for moms and daughters to get involved in the community while spending quality time together. What Is the National Charity League (NCL)? The National Charity League established its Carmel chapter in April of 2019. Since then, the chapter, comprised of Carmel mothers and daughters grades seven through 12, has been growing in size as well as purpose, as this group of philanthropic ladies has partnered with several local area nonprofits, providing hands-on volunteer services. NCL was established in LA in 1925 and incorporated in 1958. It is the premier mother-daughter organization of women and their daughters grades seven through 12. Currently, the membership is about 70,000 strong in 260 chapters in 27 states. The six-year core program focuses on developing socially responsible community leaders while strengthening the mother-daughter relationship and building strong friendships with other local women and their daughters. Building Leaders and Lifelong Friendships Goehl and Hare established the Carmel chapter nearly two years ago, and they recruited friends to help establish a board of directors. From there, they focused on recruiting members: Carmel moms with daughters grades seven through 12. “I became aware of NCL in Atlanta, Georgia, because my niece and my sister-in-law were a part of their local chapter,” Goehl shared. “At that time, my daughter was 3 , and I watched my niece and sister-in-law regularly volunteer for years, and I wanted that for me and my daughter.” By the time Goehl’s daughter was in sixth grade, Goehl had already researched to see if there was an existing local NCL chapter. “The chapter in Hamilton County had limited spots at that time, and so I was like, ‘We’ve got to figure this out,’” Goehl said. “I talked with Jen , whose daughter was also in sixth grade at the time, and we realized that there was so much opportunity for membership in Carmel that we could realistically pull a chapter together.” Goehl added, “We have so many different schools , and because we are so large , when the girls get into high school, they sometimes feel lost because it’s so big. It was icing on the cake, the thought that these girls are going to get involved in community service, learning about leadership and cultural experiences all before high school. And they’re all going to fall into the high school together, so they’ll have familiar faces there, bringing them all together and hopefully building friendships that will last for years to come.” Pivoting Around COVID-19 to Continue Helping Others The time commitment for both mothers and daughters varies by the daughter’s age, but the minimum volunteer hours are 10–15 per year. The Carmel chapter has a proprietary app where members can go and see a vast number of service opportunities. Obviously, the current pandemic has cut short many of the traditional volunteer opportunities, but both Hare and Goehl reassured me that they have become creative and have pivoted their platform to meet the needs of the philanthropic organizations their chapter serves as well as offering ways their members can fulfill their annual time commitments. “Yes, COVID-19 did rock our world a little bit back in April,” Hare said. “We decided to align ourselves and follow along with the recommendations of the Carmel Clay School system. When they decided to go all virtual , we decided to change our entire platform to all virtual. That meant a number of our volunteer opportunities quickly got shut down. We typically volunteer with assisted living facilities such as The Stratford, and for the safety of our members as well as the community, we had to shut those down.” Hare shared that they began creating volunteer opportunities for their members to do at home and have signed up for virtual walks with organizations like the American Heart Association. “Volunteering brings a kind of joy that you can't get anywhere else—even during this pandemic,” Hare emphasized. “We can still be doing things for others, and we can still share a lot with one another." When asked why moms and daughters should consider joining NCL during this current membership drive, Goehl replied, “I’m doing this to show my daughter how to give back, what leadership looks like and to further develop our relationship. It’s a way to bring moms and their daughters together, and in doing so, they develop relationships that will last a lifetime.” Hare concluded, “Intentionally setting aside time with your daughter to further develop your relationship, whether its through the volunteering or meetings, that time is priceless. It’s a relationship builder that I will be forever thankful for.” Be sure to follow NCL Carmel Chapter on Instagram at ncl_carmel or on Facebook at National Charity League, Inc. Carmel Chapter. And for more information about the club’s structure and history, visit nationalcharityleague.org. To inquire about membership, contact Elizabeth Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.