Monday, January 6, 2014

National Charity League and Us

Senior Presentation Class of 2014

Photo by Cecilia Sheeren
This fairy tale started six years ago......back when Shelby had braces, was finishing up the 6th grade and lived a life full of sleep overs, girl scout camp outs and the love and security of a two parent home. A pretty good and "normal" life by any standards.  A real suburban dream, however, there is not much growth in a bubble and as we all know our circumstances are not shared by all.

This is were National Charity League, Inc. comes into play.  I wanted to make sure that my children knew how fortunate they were and to appreciate what they have.  I always think of the Spiderman movie where the uncle tells Peter Parker, "With great power, comes great responsibility".  Our power is to be able to love without worry, to be compassionate to others.
7th grade, the start of NCL

Shelby and I have ...

  • babysat special needs children at Keep Pace
  • delivered meals on wheels
  • collected school supplies for children in protective services
  • donated yards of felt for the Linus Project (baby blankets for new borns)
  • donated food for Tomball and Houston Food banks
  • baked cookies for Habit for Humanity
  • collected used prom dresses
  • gift wrapped for donations to aid Hospice
  • worked at resale shops
  • organized hundreds of clothing donations
  • helped the Pearl Fincher museum with school field trips
  • volunteered at the local library
  • helped with back to school supplies for B.E.A.R.
  • purchased and delivered Christmas presents with Adopt a Family
  • Called out numbers for Bingo at Senior retirement communities
  • Ushered at community theaters
  • and many, many other projects.

The reason I  am listing some of the volunteer activities, is because Saturday night was the reward for the hundreds of hours accumulated over the past six years of Shelby's volunteer "career".  Of the total six years in NCL, Inc., three years she spent commuting to and from Dallas to make the required meetings, hours and teas.  Summer's spent during this time not only volunteering with NCL but with the Houston Zoo (over 300 volunteer hours), aside from the volunteer hours spent completing her Silver and Gold Awards in scouting.

The affair did seem like a fairy tale and a lot of guest who never heard of the organization, I am sure felt overwhelmed by the extravagance of it all.  I hope that this blog will shed light on what we truly represent.  Not just a night of white dresses and tuxedos.

Shelby has seen how life can be difficult for some, nearly heartbreaking for others, and in stead of turning to look away has stepped up to help.  Here are some pictures of our past with NCL.
Junior Year Fashion Show at Shirley Acres

Car Care Meeting held by Shelby's Dad

Adopt A Family Christmas Shopping at Walmart

Annual Holiday Tea (we have 3 Teas a year)

Shelby along with 22 other girls were recognized for their volunteer accomplishment at the Westin Galleria on Saturday night.  The evening began with the presentation of each girl and family.

The Program for the evening

Being presented (My friend Paige was kind enough to take some iphone pics)

In this picture we are listening to a voice recording of Shelby telling me what I mean to her. (a real tear jerker!)
The Voice Recording:

Dear Mama, 
 I know that there are not enough words in any language to fully express how much I love you. When I think about the past years in NCL, I think of all of the great times we’ve had helping others, choosing my fashion show outfits and my dress for the senior presentation. By placing me in NCL, you have taught me compassion. I am thankful for that and everything you have done for me. You have raised me beyond right, and are continually guiding me. All the love you’ve given me throughout my 18 years has made me the person I am today. My words will never be enough to express how much I appreciate you and what you do. I am proud to have the most amazing mother in the universe.   
                     I love you mom,                                                Shelby

Emilio escorted his sister and me off the stage

 John gets to present Shelby Elise

Rick & Ferne
We reserved two tables for our group. We were all excited to have Shelby's friends from Dallas join us, as well as ours!

Breanna, Dan & Richard

Breanna, Danielle, Shelby, Richard, Dan & Kathryn

Our family

John's Employers, who flew in from Bonaire that morning.  Such troopers!

Our Jimmy and Paige, great friends and a second family to my kids.

Marylinda, John, Shelby, Emilio, Andrea and Carlos

I love these girls!

Emilio and Jonathan (so handsome!)

Father and Son

Let the wild rhumbas begin........

My most favorite picture of the night

Isn't she beautiful!?

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