By Patty Talahongva
The inaugural year of the North Central Women’s League has been a busy one, and CEO Marianne Friedman says the nonprofit group is planning to be even busier in year two.
The group started with 37 members who volunteered more than 650 hours of community service and donated money and supplies to community partners, including Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels, Desert Mission Food Bank, The Cinderella Affair and Native American Connections. For Sunnyslope Elementary School, the group purchased a music cart for $400 to make it easier and safer to transport musical instruments into the cafeteria for practice sessions.
The women also contributed money to the Arizona Humane Society, Camp With a Ramp and Power of the Purse. Plus, they gave $1,500 in scholarships to two Sunnyslope High School students.
Friedman explains that the group formed to have a structured way to give back to the community. Currently there are 42 members and a membership drive will take place in the spring. The group has a cap of 55 members.
Board members include Friedman, Wendy Charles, Kelly Jackson, Mary Hanss and Tammy Sommerville. Each of the nonprofit’s members pledges to volunteer a minimum of 10 hours a year, September through May, attend meetings and pay yearly dues of $135. “They do get a T-shirt,” Friedman says with a laugh.
While some of the women still work, others are retired. “I think we’ve just taken that energy of raising our kids and funneled it,” she says. “It works really well.”
This year the group hopes to fund two or three “Make a Difference” projects for the North Central Phoenix community. There are plans to purchase an ash tree to plant along the Murphy Bridle Path, and members will volunteer at the Madison Senior Center.
Friedman schedules each volunteer opportunity on an online calendar and members can sign up for ones that fit their schedule. Typically each volunteer event lasts two to three hours. “We are so lucky we have the time and the money to do this,” says Friedman.
The North Central Women’s League is looking for businesses in the community to partner with to increase their involvement. “Realize by giving us the money, we are doing the work,” she points out.
“When I first got involved in (volunteering), it was with my daughter during National Charity Week,” Friedman recalls. And when she started this group Freidman says she was surprised to find there’s so much need in the area. For example, Sunnyslope Elementary School does not have a Parent- Teacher Association, so her volunteers help out in the classrooms. “It feels good to go help the kids. Teachers get a break and are so grateful.”
To learn more about how your business can get involved, contact the group via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone. Friedman can be reached at 602-432-6682. Wendy Charles, president, is available at 602-430-8686. To learn more about the group, visit www.northcentralwomensleague.org or follow them on Facebook.