National Charity League Westfield Crossroads Chapter Instills Philanthropic Spirit For Local Moms & Daughters

Writer/ Madeleine Mills-Craig
Photography Provided

When Christi Luedke first moved to Indiana from Texas seven years ago, she didn’t realize that she would bring more than just her family to the Hoosier State. On the request of her daughter, in 2016 Luedke kickstarted Indiana’s very first National Charity League (NCL) chapter in Westfield and its surrounding area.

“When she became of age in 7th grade, I looked around and I said, ‘Where is the National Charity League?’ and there wasn’t one. We kind of put it on the back burner for a while and then probably a year later, it kind of came up in conversation again,” Luedke says. “I was explaining to friends what this organization was and how I was kind of sad how it wasn’t around here. It was actually my daughter. She looks at me and asked, ‘Well mom, why don’t you do it?’ and a little nugget just didn’t leave my mind.”

NCL is a non-profit organization that was established in 1925 in Los Angeles with the sole purpose of philanthropic work. Now, NCL is focused on building the bond between a mother and her daughter through monthly classes that cover their three pillars through a six-year program. Their three primary pillars are Community Service, Leadership Development and Cultural Experiences.

For Luedke, getting the word out about their NCL chapter, Crossroads, was understandably one of the most difficult parts of the process. The organization itself is primarily located in the Southern, Eastern and Western regions of the U.S. Many people in Indiana had never heard of the organization, much less knew what it was and how it was run.

“Social media helped us tremendously,” Luedke says. “But our most effective means of education and recruiting actually came from circles of friends and word of mouth. It was definitely word of mouth, from both mothers and the girls themselves. It just kind of grew from there.”

Since the beginning, the club has quadrupled its size, going from roughly 50 members to 200. Having stepped down as Crossroads president in 2018, Luedke is now the Expansion Specialist for the corporate side of NCL, where she’s assisting with Carmel’s brand new chapter. Although the Crossroads chapter is open to anyone residing in Hamilton County and nearby districts, Carmel’s chapter is strictly restricted to those who live in Carmel’s School District.

In place of Luedke, Sarah Watkins stepped in as the 2018-2019 president. Now, Kim Harvey is stepping out of her comfort zone to take the position. For Harvey, one of the most important aspects of NCL is trying out new things, especially if they scare you.

“Each year, one of the great things about NCL is that every member, both mothers and daughters, has a job for the year,” Harvey says. “We try to base it on what skills you have or what you’re interested in or your experience. But one of the things that we learned is that sometimes in life you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone. In order to grow, you have to stretch yourself. I am a perfect example of that because being president is not in my comfort zone but it’s good to show our daughters and model to them that sometimes you do step out of your comfort zone and you never know, it might be a wonderful experience that you never ever thought to try.”

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