By Amy Wolff
Photo Courtesy of the National Charity League, Arrowhead Chapter
Raising kids who are philanthropically minded isn’t easy. However, instilling beliefs in teens about giving back to others in the community will help us build a more thoughtful, kinder, more considerate group of humans. That’s the goal of the National Charity League (NCL), Arrowhead Chapter.
Charity work is an integral part of life for mother and daughter Stefanie Ewbank and Selena Rodosta of Peoria. They have been involved with NCL for two years. When they joined, their focus was to spend more intentional time together while being able to serve others.
“A few years ago, we were volunteering at the Back-to-School Clothing Drive at Grand Canyon University and we saw all these NCL shirts with the tagline ‘Mothers and Daughters Serving Together,’” says Ewbank. “That was intriguing to us so we did a little research about the organization and decided to join. I liked the idea of leadership development because Selena has always been very shy, and I thought NCL would be a great way to help break her out of her shell.”
NCL has many chapters across Arizona providing mothers and daughters opportunities to volunteer with dozens of organizations. The group also helps young ladies become strong, independent leaders who appreciate the value of giving back to those in need. The Arrowhead Chapter of NCL has more than 100 mothers and daughters who are focused on the organization’s three pillars – philanthropy, leadership and culture.
Each year, NCL requires mothers and daughters to volunteer a minimum number of hours in the community. Last year, Stefanie and Selena dedicated a cumulative 97 hours to community service in the Valley, earning them an award in the Arrowhead Chapter for most hours served.
“Last year we set a goal to complete 50 hours of service each,” says Ewbank. “While we didn’t quite make that, we are very proud of the work we did, especially with everything going on in the world. During the pandemic, we had very little control over our circumstances, so Selena and I chose to control what we could and making time to complete service projects was within our control. As we started serving these organizations, we learned many of them were hurting to get volunteers because of COVID. We saw that as a greater opportunity for us to be able to make even more of an impact.”
Volunteering not only gives Ewbank and Rodosta one-on-one time together, research shows volunteering boosts self-confidence and happiness in teens and teaches social and networking skills.
“Life is busy with school, work and extracurricular activities. All of these things draw on our time, yet we figure out how to make it all happen,” Ewbank says. “Our daughters are the most important things in our lives and we only have a short season to set the direction of their moral compass.”
NCL applications are currently being accepted from local women with daughters in 6th through 9th grade. The Arrowhead Chapter members come from across the West and North parts of the Valley.