Mothers & Daughters Team Up to Serve

With 250+ active members, the Conejo Valley Chapter of National Charity League, Inc. offers mothers the opportunity to work with their daughters and teach them the importance of giving back.

“This is a crucial time in our daughters’ lives, where they may not want to spend a lot of time with their moms—we all are encouraged to step beyond that and work together for our community,” says President Anita Wilson, of Agoura Hills.

“The philanthropies that we volunteer at depend upon our help every week,” she says. “At times we are the only volunteers they get, and we are fortunate to be able to be there for them.”

Through the volunteering, “We are teaching leadership and confidence, and promoting well-rounded and socially aware contributors in our community,” says Wilson.

In addition to the group’s members, it also has more than 200 “sustainers,” who are women with daughters that have gone through the program and graduated.

There are many examples of how these mothers and daughters give back. Throughout the year, for instance, they help with different activities at the Conejo Recreation and Park District.

“They need help teaching special needs children basketball, swimming and cooking, as well as socializing, leisure planning and independence,” Wilson explains. “It is important to have all ages helping out to help socialize the special needs children and our members fill this need…we, as volunteers, get back so much more than we give through the smiles, hugs and happy faces.”

In other efforts, the Conejo Valley Chapter opened Fibber McGee’s Thrift Shop in 1985.

“This thrift shop benefits our community in three ways,” Wilson says. “We sell gently used household items and clothing to our community, where the proceeds are used to award grants to our philanthropy partners as well as scholarships to local high school senior girls that are not members of our organization. Members of our chapter volunteer at the thrift shop, so that we may give back as much as possible to our community.”

Because the Conejo Valley is considered a very affluent area, “we are teaching the importance of giving back to our own community,” Wilson says. “You can give to different organizations throughout the world, but it should really start in our own backyards…we have that opportunity to give back to people who really do need it and they do live so close.”

Currently, the Conejo Valley Chapter helps 17 philanthropies.

“Our philanthropies serve seniors, military, special needs, animals, environmental, children, families in need, the arts, medical, community and those in lower-income brackets,” says Erika Owens, the chapter’s V.P. of Philanthropy.

Volunteer opportunities can be one-time events, such as Art Trek Community Night, holding dogs at pet adoptions, stuffing backpacks at My Stuff Bags, or serving dinner at Therapeutic Rec Family Bingo.

“There are also more long-term commitments, such as Many Mansions homework tutoring, Therapeutic Rec Summer camps, or a weekly shift at Los Robles Hospital in their volunteer program,” Owens says.

Volunteering 10,000+ hours each year, the ladies agree, “it is equally important to say that we get back so much more than we give,” Wilson adds. “If you ask any of our daughters, they will tell you a story of the impact that the various organizations have had on their lives: all very positive.”

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“We are teaching leadership and confidence, and promoting well-rounded and socially aware contributors in our community,” says Wilson.