NCL: Not (Your Average) Charity League


Annie Nelson ’11
Features Editor

Members from Westport's NCL chapter smile with new friends while painting a public school in the Bronx with the program Publicolor. | Contributed by Sally Rowland '11.

As much of the typical Staples student’s time is devoted to sports and extracurricular activities, it seems peculiar that few students—if only members themselves—know about the National Charity League (NCL).

According to its website, NCL is a philanthropic organization that was founded in Los Angeles, Calif. in 1947.  The league encompasses 154 chapters in 16 states, each composed of mothers and their middle-to-high-school aged daughters who are committed to community service.

In Mar. 2006, a Westport chapter was created for girls from both Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools to join—alongside their mothers, that is.  In the subsequent years, new members have signed up, and the oldest of the first year’s middle school girls are seniors today.

“A lot of my friends had joined the year before [I did],” said Aisling Mahoney ’11, who got involved with NCL her freshman year.  “[They] told me it was a lot of fun and a great way to get involved.”

The group meets to do various charitable projects, both in the neighborhood and in New York City.  Kelley Hussey ’11 says one of her favorites is for a nonprofit organization called Publicolor.  The girls paint inner city schools in order to brighten the learning environments of fellow students.

“We also do a lot of holiday parties at nursing homes,” said Hussey, adding that the St. Patrick’s Day party is always a fun event.

In addition to promoting bonds between mothers and daughters, while acting as a gateway for future generations of female philanthropists, NCL also acts as a social aid.

Hussey, who moved to Westport at the start of her freshman year of high school, said NCL provided her with an opportunity to branch out and make friends she would not have met otherwise.

Mahoney agrees: “There are so many girls I never would have gotten to know, had my mom and I not joined NCL.”

But even in its fourth year of continuation, many Westport girls have yet to hear about NCL.  Mahoney attributes this to the club’s lack of advertising.  “The only way it’s spread is through word of mouth,” she said.  “Since there aren’t a ton of people [in the league], it doesn’t get talked about that much.”

For more information about NCL, visit the organization’s website or the Westport chapter’s website.