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Giving Back, Together

Mothers and daughters from the National Charity League reflect on philanthropy and each other

Dedicated to fostering mother-daughter relationships through community service, the National Charity League (NCL) is a philanthropic organization for mothers and their daughters in grades 7-12. The Ahwatukee Foothills chapter of National Charity League (AFNCL), on Instagram @NCL_Ahwatukee, boasts more than 200 active members who volunteer at more than 20 local philanthropies.

“Not only does AFNCL give back to the community, it provides our daughters with personal growth opportunities,” said AFNCL president Suzanne Rinker. “It’s rewarding to provide an opportunity for your daughter to enhance their leadership skills while at the same time serving the community through volunteerism – and with their mom in tow!”

Three of the AFNCL’s dynamic duos give their thoughts about the organization and the special bonds they share.

Suzanne Rinker and Caroline Cox

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO VOLUNTEER WITH AFNCL?

SR: Community service and volunteerism has always been something that is important to me. I believe wholeheartedly that in order to have a thriving community, you have to have members of the community who give back.

CC: The experience I get from helping people in need helps me gain a new perspective in life. I grew up very fortunate; being able to see firsthand the things other people don’t have really makes me realize the things I take for granted, and that is a gift you can’t get anywhere else outside of serving others.

TELL US ABOUT CAROLINE.

SR: Caroline is so unique – she is not afraid to be herself and is truly passionate, intelligent, kind, funny and so uniquely herself! And, she introduces me to lots of really awesome music!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR MOM.

CC: My mom is everything to me but I think most importantly she is a strong independent woman I have looked up to my entire life and will be able to look up to for the rest of my life. From inspiring my love for music by taking me to countless concerts of mine and her favorite bands, to encouraging me to pursue my love for science.

Angelica Giger and Francesca Giger

HOW HAS AFNCL MADE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE?

AG: Ahwatukee is a community of strong, supportive and trusting mothers. I wanted to surround myself with these women and give back. Together we have a strong group of mothers that inspire each other. I love seeing the friendships of our daughters and how they also become confident young ladies that will be leading our communities one day.

FG: Besides philanthropy, it is a sisterhood. I already had friends that I knew from school and NCL has brought us closer. The great thing is that I have also made new friendships. I can always count on my NCL sisters during high school, college and in the future.

WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE TIME YOU HAVE HAD VOLUNTEERING TOGETHER?

AG: With such busy lives, I would say that every event is memorable with Francesca and very special. We have great discussions on how we can become better and how we might have made a difference in someone’s life. It brings us closer and fills my heart!

FG: Whenever we help at St. Vincent De Paul’s, you realize how blessed we are and we get to help the homeless and prepare food together. I get to spend time with the kids.

WHAT DOES FRANCESCA MEAN TO YOU?

AG: She is like sunshine. She is my angel that inspires me to be better. She is filled with wisdom, kindness, compassion and courage.

WHAT DOES YOUR MOM MEAN TO YOU?

FG: She is my superhero and the person I look up to in life.

Jamie Ernst and Kylie Ernst

TELL US ABOUT THE MOST MEMORABLE TIME YOU HAD VOLUNTEERING TOGETHER.

JE: The first time we volunteered was with Lost Our Home Pet Rescue. Some were adorable puppies, and others were older or needed extra attention. Of course, Kylie loved them all. On the drive home, I asked her which dog she thought was the cutest. She responded: “There’s no such thing as an ugly dog, only ugly personalities.” That thoughtful perspective always stuck with me.

KE: Volunteering with my mom at Feed my Starving Children has probably had the biggest impact on me because they make it easy to see just how much of an impact you’ve made on others. Together, we can provide thousands of meals for kids in underdeveloped countries, and volunteering there reminds me of how important it is to give back.

WHAT DOES KYLIE MEAN TO YOU?

JE: Kylie means the world to me, and I am in awe of her loyalty, her strength, her work ethic, everything. I’m excited for her to go to college in a few months, but I am going to miss her terribly.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR MOM.

KE: My mom means the absolute world to me. That’s all I can say without diminishing it. Being in NCL together has only brought us closer, and I’m really going to miss all the extra time with her that the organization has given us.

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