National Charity League Stanford Hills Chapter kicks off new year

The Stanford Hills Chapter of the National Charity League celebrated more than 30 years of giving back to the local community at its recent All-League Retreat.

NCL, a six-year program for mothers and their daughters in grades 7-12, focuses on community philanthropy, cultural commitment and leadership.

With the theme of “Unleashing Kindness,” the retreat drew more than 200 mothers and daughters to Palo Alto to kick off the school year, work on philanthropy projects and listen to speaker Nadya Okamoto, co-founder and executive director of PERIOD.

Okamoto, 21, shared the story of how she turned her homelessness as a teen into founding, at age 16, and leading the largest youth-run nonprofit organization in women’s health.

She defined the current generation with motivating words. Who is Generation Z? Okamoto said they are socially progressive and, with their knowledge of the digital world, driven changemakers.

Okamoto started PERIOD by searching online “how to start a nonprofit.”

She offered advice to NCL members at the retreat.

“Just go for it,” she said. “Ask questions. Respect experience. Use the tools in front of you.”

Galvanized by Okamoto’s message, the girls jumped into action by hand-selecting new back-to-school clothing for the Ecumenical Hunger Program, a local nonprofit organization that serves families and individuals experiencing hardship. They filled 30 backpacks with new back-to-school wardrobes personalized for each child.

While the girls worked on the backpacks, their mothers worked on a variety of philanthropy projects, including creating seed bags for Hidden Villa, assembling purses for the American Cancer Society, painting ornaments for the Magical Bridge program and assembling more than 200 menstrual kits for PERIOD. The two-hour event resulted in more than 450 service hours from members.

The Stanford Hills Chapter serves more than 40 local charities and is the first chapter established in Northern California. 

For more information on the organization, visit

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