When Tea for Two was the song of the day and a cloche hat with white gloves was high fashion, a special group of women led by Mrs. Paul William Lawrence (Gladys Bernice Wilkinson) gathered. As Patronesses of the Los Angeles community, they made layettes for the American Red Cross and assembled food baskets for the hungry. They called themselves “The Charity League.”
Mrs. Paul William Lawrence organized a group of young women at the University of California at Los Angeles to assist and support activities at Children’s Hospital in their spare time. This group was named the “Ticktockers.”
Mrs. Paul William Lawrence registered the name The Charity League with the state of California in Sacramento on April 10th. Shortly after, everything was put on hold due to World War II.
Mrs. Marcus Arthur McClure reactivated The Charity League after the war ended. They organized in groups according to grade levels 7 through 12.
The Charity League reorganized and all groups united to become the nation’s first mother-daughter charity, renamed National Charity League (NCL). Mothers chose to name themselves “Patronesses”.
In a major undertaking, the Ticktockers and Patronesses collected and sent 500 pounds of clothing to the needy overseas in England, Holland, and Belgium.
On September 10th, NCL incorporated as a non-profit organization and expanded its program beyond philanthropic work to include educational and cultural activities. It holds the distinction as the original mother-daughter charity.
A Board of Managers was formed to extend expansion efforts of National Charity League to create new chapters and to oversee the awarding of scholarships to deserving women in colleges and universities. In 1954, another change was made to enlarge the Board of Managers, so a National Board of Directors was created.
In April, the Los Angeles Founder Chapter amended its bylaws, changing their name to National Charity League, Los Angeles Founder Chapter. This paved the way for a new corporation, National Charity League, Inc., to form.
On May 2, chapter representatives met to sign new Articles of Incorporation that distinguished 2 different types of chapters: the Los Angeles Founder Chapter and the Charter Chapters of NCL, Inc. (Glendale, San Fernando Valley, Foothill).
NCL., Inc. was created for the purpose of encouraging the establishment of chapters to be licensed and chartered to use the name National Charity League. They met under the leadership of the first National President, Mrs. Hugh H. Yancey.
The Los Angeles Founder Chapter hosted the first Convention with the theme of “Horizons Unlimited” in Pasadena, CA. New chapters continued to form, including the Newport Chapter, which is currently the largest chapter in the organization.
The Salt Lake City Chapter in Utah became the first chapter to be chartered outside the state of California. At this time, the organization expanded to 20 Chapters and 700 Members.
The NCL, Inc. Bylaws were revised to comply with new nonprofit corporation laws for the state of California. These revised bylaws clarified the corporate structure of NCL, Inc. as a corporation with representative membership body known as National Council.
NCL, Inc. had grown to span 90 Chapters with a membership of over 21,000. By the end of the century, the number of chapters grew to 95, with new chapters in Oregon (1995), Georgia (1996), Missouri (1999) and Louisiana (1999).
Chapters continued to be chartered, celebrating Sonoran-Centennial in Phoenix, AZ as the 100th chapter! During this year, the first convention outside California was held in Houston, TX, themed “Deep in the Heart of NCL.”
Mrs. Linda Martens served as NCL, Inc. President, the first former Ticktocker to serve as National President!
In 2002, the first mission statement was approved: To foster mother-daughter relationships in a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.
To keep up with its rapid growth, the organization began necessary preparations. A leadership development program was created, which utilized NCL volunteers as trainers to provide guidance for chapter leaders. A capital campaign was also launched with the goal of securing funding for a national headquarters.
The next year, the National Charity League trademark was registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The grand opening of the first National Headquarters in Costa Mesa, CA took place. The first executive director was hired, along with an additional employee.
The goal of a headquarters was to support all chapters and the establishment of new ones.
The first National Philanthropy Initiative, Operation Valentine, is developed to support military members and their families. In the initiative’s second year, 104 chapters participated.
The organization’s leadership decides to unify the NCL brand, updating the brand manual and launching a new public website, chapter website template, social media platform, marketing tools and program materials.
NCL, Inc. forms an alliance with the American Heart Association as part NCL’s National Philanthropy Initiative to help further its Go Red for Women national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.
Thank you to the Dion Family in honor of Jan Dion, past National President and Sustainer Honorary Life Member with 50 years of service, for the first Diamond contribution of $100,000.
This year celebrates the 95th Anniversary since 1925. It is symbolized by a ruby. The theme for this celebration is “We are One, Leading with Hearts and Hands.”