Local National Charity Leagues Join Forces

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ANN MURPHY
The Acalanes Area and Lamorinda Chapters of the National Charity League joined together on Oct. 14 for the first combined event.

    Sunday, Oct. 14, was a historic day for the two local chapters of National Charity League. On that day, the very first joint meeting bringing together 200 young women of the Acalanes Area and Lamorinda Chapters of National Charity League (NCL) took place.  NCL is an organization of mothers and their daughters in 7th to 12th grade that focuses on community service, leadership development and cultural experiences. The daughters are referred to as Ticktockers.
    For this special event, the Senior Ticktockers chose to focus on teens in foster care and teen mental health. They hosted two young female speakers. The first speaker was Sydney Somerville, the founder of FreeStyle, a branch of the local philanthropy Grateful Gatherings. FreeStyle gathers new and gently used clothes for teen girls in foster care and then creates pop-up boutiques where teen girls in foster care can shop for as many items as they would like. The NCL Ticktockers organized a successful clothing drive for FreeStyle. At the Ticktocker Day event, they sorted the clothes to help prepare for the next FreeStyle boutique opening. The experience of choosing new clothes at the boutique can be life changing. Somerville shared a story of a young woman who was excited to go to school again because of the confidence and joy these new outfits gave her. The second speaker was Lauren Cook, author of The Sunny Side Up and Name Your Story. Cook is a marriage and family therapist who is passionate about destigmatizing mental health concerns and adopting healthy approaches to lifelong psychological wellness. Cook asked many questions of the Ticktockers, and brave 7th-grader Emmie Cimperman kicked off what became a lively and meaningful discussion among the entire group.
    The Ticktockers learned that more than 25 percent of women experience mental health conditions and that seeking and offering help is a sign of strength which needs to be encouraged. The Acalanes Area and Lamorinda NCL Chapters look forward to more joint events in the
future.
    For information on the organization, go to www.nationalcharityleague.org.

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