Looking for a way to connect with your daughter while also giving back together to the community? Then you’ve got to learn more about National Charity League and their Northern Westchester Chapter, a non-profit organization that encourages leadership, cultural awareness, and community service for mothers (known as Patronesses) and their daughters (known as Ticktockers) in grades 7-12. This includes service in the area such as with the Alzheimer’s Association, American Heart Association, the Community Center of Northern Westchester, Draw For Paws, Giving Tuesday, Hope’s Door, Lewisboro Playground Project, My Brother Vinny, and Neighbor’s Link, to name a few.
The Northern Westchester Chapter was started during COVID by local mom Amanda Hufnagel where moms and their daughters share membership and volunteering opportunities to serve the community. An incredible community of service, philanthropy, and leadership, daughters work to empower themselves, build up their college resume, and forge deep bonds with mothers — and vice versa. As Amanda noted, “the time I spent with my daughters before they went off to college is irreplaceable.” Spending time together and giving back is quite special and an exciting opportunity for both women.
Below, you’ll learn more about the NCL Northern Westchester Chapter and how to sign up and participate with your daughter.
Meet a Mom: Amanda Greene Hufnagel of National Charity League Northern Westchester Chapter
Northern Westchester Moms: Tell us more about yourself. Where are you from and how many kids do you have?
Amanda Greene Hufnagel: My name is Amanda Greene Hufnagel. I live in Cross River, NY but grew up in Mount Kisco, NY and graduated from Fox Lane High School. I went to SUNY Oswego where I graduated with a BS in Biology. I married my college sweetheart; we have two girls Samantha, 15 and Lily, 13 and 2 dogs named Daisy and Chloe.
Northern Westchester Moms: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you.
Amanda Greene Hufnagel: I was diagnosed with dyslexia, an auto processing challenge, and ADHD as a 22-year-old adult. I persevered through high school and college despite these challenges. This has motivated me to give back to young women in my community and hopefully also be a model to inspire other young women facing challenges to persevere and to help others.
Northern Westchester Moms: Tell us more about the National Charity League and the Northern Westchester Chapter
Amanda Greene Hufnagel: The National Charity League is a non-profit organization which encourages leadership, cultural awareness, and community service for mothers (known as Patronesses) and their daughters (known as Ticktockers) in grades 7-12. Our chapter is focused on volunteering in the Northern Westchester Community. We are the second chapter located in New York State. NCL members are proving to make a difference in their local communities and around the world. There are 200,000 members and alumni from 287 Chapters across 31 states.
Northern Westchester Moms: Why was this important for you to start the Northern Westchester Chapter?
Amanda Greene Hufnagel: My family and I lived in Georgia for 4 1/2 years and my daughter, Samantha and I joined the National Charity League Chapter there. We realized how much the NCL chapter in Georgia added to the community as well as in our own lives. When we moved back to Westchester, I realized there was nothing similar here, so I reached out to National Charity League Inc. headquarters and asked to start a chapter in Northern Westchester. There is a wonderful community of women in this area who share in our interests in service and they joined with us to create a local chapter. Most of all, I realized the time I would spend with my daughters before they went off to college would be irreplaceable. NCL is a unique program that fosters the mother-daughter relationship through membership and shared volunteering opportunities.
Northern Westchester Moms: We love the mission behind the National Charity League. How has this impacted your relationship with you and your daughter?
Amanda Greene Hufnagel: Like every mother and teen daughter there’s always ups and downs. But my oldest daughter is really embracing the volunteer opportunities. Samantha and I have been enjoying volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and participating at the Community Center of Northern Westchester. Samantha is starting to understand there is more to life than school, athletics, and friends. I not only love that we are spending extra time together volunteering in the community, but also have special bonding time in the car going to and from NCL opportunities. When we are alone together, we may talk about the volunteering project, but often that leads the conversation into other important topics that we might not otherwise touch upon, such as domestic violence and mental health challenges. As a parent it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of school and work with our kids, but NCL and these conversations have added a deeper dimension to our relationship.
Northern Westchester Moms: How does the National Charity League help empower young women?
Amanda Greene Hufnagel The NCL experience inspires and empowers women to succeed as confident, well-rounded, and socially aware contributors to their communities. It focuses on three pillars: Community service, Leadership Development and Cultural Enrichment. Each grade level has its own Ticktocker Board, where meetings are run by the President, Vice Presidents, Parliamentarian and Secretaries of that age group. The girls learn how to run a meeting, communicate effectively and be leaders among their peers. They are tasked with putting together an agenda that focuses on their grade’s philanthropy and core values.
Northern Westchester Moms: Can you tell us more about the programming and volunteer opportunities through the National Charity League?
Amanda Greene Hufnagel: The National Charity League (NCL) core program offers mothers and daughters (grades 7-12) a mission embracing: PHILANTHROPY – the understanding and serving of communities in partnership with local and national nonprofits, LEADERSHIP – building capable, courageous leaders through opportunities to learn, reflect and develop, and CULTURE- preserving National Charity League traditions and core values while appreciating the growth that comes from connecting with different communities and cultures.
We are committed to philanthropy by partnering with 8 local charities such as Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley, Draw for Paws, and the Community Center of Northern Westchester. As an example of our philanthropic programming, our members take turns each week working with clients at the Community Center of Northern Westchester, filling basic needs such as clothing, cleaning supplies and food. The client’s children also come in and are delighted to see there are dozens of pictures books that we have donated that help them with their English. We also help beautify the inside and outside of Ronald McDonald house, where we planted and maintain a garden and where the Ticktockers created festive winter wreaths for each residents door. Similarly, we updated and decorated a room in Domestic Violence Shelter for Hope’s Door.
We also work with three national charities, Operation Gratitude, American Heart Association and the Alzheimer’s Association. For Operation Gratitude, we have participated in the Good Night Initiative, which supports mental health through understanding, by designing, creating and sending custom, one-of-a kind, colorful pillowcases with uplifting and encouraging words to members of our military. We also provide paracord survival bracelets and thank you letters to first responders and military personnel. Participating in NCL helps girls develop leadership skills, improve cultural awareness, and commit to a cause bigger than themselves; all of which go beyond the inherent benefits and help to build strong resumes for college and future endeavors.
Northern Westchester Moms: Tell us more about how someone can sign up.
Membership to our Northern Westchester chapter will open this May for our next NCL year running from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023. If you’re interested in membership, please reach out to [email protected] We can answer any questions you may have and provide a link to the online membership application.
Northern Westchester Moms: How are you reaching out to parents and moms in the community?
Amanda Greene Hufnagel: Our members are talking to their friends, family, community, and congregations about the NCL. We are also using social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram to spread the word about what the NCL has to offer to our community. We are also asking our philanthropy partners to post and talk about the opportunities we have done with them.
Northern Westchester Moms: What does “balance” mean to you?
Amanda Greene Hufnagel: Every day holds new and different challenges for being a mother and woman in this fast-paced and changing world. I find that the best way to deal with this is to face each challenge head on and to put my mental well-being at the top of my priorities. I follow mindfulness techniques and deep breathing exercises at any time if feel I need to immediately lower my blood pressure, reduce my heart rate, and diffuse stress. Mindfulness is a powerful tool for refocusing your energy on the present. When my wellness is in “balance” I can focus on everything else that is important to me: my children, my spouse, my extended family, my hobbies and, of course, the NCL.
Northern Westchester Moms: What are some of your favorite things to do in your area?
Amanda Greene Hufnagel: I like to peruse local farmer’s markets, hike at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation with my two dogs, and even though my girls are teenagers we still like to stop by Muscoot farm and King Kone.
Northern Westchester Moms: Anything else to add?
Amanda Greene Hufnagel: Although NCL Northern Westchester was started during COVID, it has grown to 100 members who have completed over 1,300 Philanthropy hours and over 1,800 League hours. We hold monthly separate Patroness and Ticktocker meetings from September through May. Year-round philanthropy work is encouraged and recognized.