Ticktockers make cards to accompany Flower Empower bouquets for the Dream Foundation.

Ticktockers make cards to accompany Flower Empower bouquets for the Dream Foundation. (Courtesy photo)

Some 120 girls in grades 7-12 came together on Nov. 2 to give back to their community. The event was part of the Santa Barbara Chapter of National Charity League’s Inc. (NCL) annual Ticktocker Day, held at the Page Youth Center.

NCL is a national mother-daughter philanthropic organization for girls in junior high and high school and their mothers. NCL works to develop socially responsible community leaders and strengthens the mother-daughter bond. The core program includes leadership development, community service, and cultural experiences.

Ticktocker Day is the only time during the year when the girls from all six grade levels volunteer together to complete philanthropic projects and get to know each other better.

The day is organized by a council of Ticktockers (daughters) selected for their strong leadership skills. The council members donate their time planning the large philanthropic event and build leadership skills in the process.

The day includes an educational speaker on a subject of charitable interest. This year’s speaker was Valerie Banks, Flower Empower Program coordinator from the Dream Foundation.

Flower Empower is a volunteer-driven program that delivers floral bouquets to individuals in hospices, retirement centers, cancer centers, and their homes to let them know they are not alone and are cared for by their community.

The Flower Empower program started in 1994 with the assembly of just 15 bouquets, Banks told the Ticktockers.

In 2011, NCL approached the organization about a partnership and thanks, in large part, to the mother-daughter teams that come every Saturday to make bouquets, the Dream Foundation now delivers an average of 150 bouquets a week.

“It’s fun going with my mom on a Saturday morning to make bouquets,” said 11th-grader Hayden Randolph. “You get to be creative and have fun with how you make your arrangements.

“They even deliver to the home where my step-grandfather lives. He is in hospice, so it makes me feel good that he’s getting something to brighten his day.”

The Ticktocker Leadership Council is lead by NCL moms Jenn Gillon Duffy and Caroline Harrah. This year, the Leadership Council wanted to provide more opportunity for the different aged girls to connect, so they included an element of laughter to the day with games like crab walk races, musical chairs and charades.

“We wanted to provide a non-intimidating way for the younger and older girls to come together. I’m really glad that as part of the Ticktocker Council, we added this to the day,” said 12th-grader Ainsley McGovern.

“I really like getting to be with the older girls,” said Ticktocker Taylor Dirksen, a seventh-grader. “The games made me less nervous about being around them especially since this is the first time we are all together.”

Ticktockers chatted as they completed philanthropic activities for the Dream Foundation and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara. Each year, hundreds of donors drop off bags of food for the holidays. Their contributions help the Foodbank fulfill its mission of ending hunger and transforming the health of Santa Barbara County.  

To thank these community members, and add a personal touch, they receive a handmade thank-you card made by the Ticktockers at Ticktocker Day, along with information about the Foodbank’s program. This keeps them returning year after year.

This year’s Ticktocker Day also included a food drive for the Foodbank, with almost 400 pounds of food donated.

Th 2019 Ticktocker Leadership Council includes (for 12th grade) Morgan Fell, Ainsley McGovern, Sofia Tasca; (11th grade) Chloe Harrah, Madison Martinich, Hayden Randolph; (10th grade) Jillian Avila, Kira Duffy, Heidi Hatton; (9th grade) Charlotte Kelly, Shalini Lewis, Mia Termond; (8th grade) Stella Borgioli, Sofia Prober, Joanne Tudor; (7th grade) Alexis Fell, Paige Galkin, Elena Thomas.

Santa Barbara Chapter NCL mother-daughter teams volunteered just under 11,500 philanthropy hours in the 2018-19 year through their 20 partner nonprofit organizations.

“NCL helped me to grow as a person and changed my view on how I can help the community. Even little things matter,” said Sofia Tasca. “It is also a great way to be with friends and my mom while helping the community.”

NCL is accepting applications through Jan. 15 from women with daughters currently in 6th through 8th grades. For more information, prospective members can visit the Santa Barbara Chapter’s website www.nclsb.org or email to membership@nclsb.org.

The Santa Barbara Chapter is comprised of nearly 270 members who live in Carpinteria, Summerland, Montecito, Santa Barbara, and Goleta.

“There is strength in the power of numbers. What we can accomplish together is so much greater,” said Morgan Fell, a 12th-grade student. “It’s fun to see how harnessing our strength impacts our community.”

— Carrie Randolph, for National Charity League.