Mother daughter tea inspires philanthropy

Pinky up, or pinky down? What is a proper “tea dress?” Does one eat a bite-sized sandwich in one bite, or two? At the Temecula Valley National Charity League’s annual Mother Daughter Tea, members enjoyed a taste of “high-society” tradition, fancy hats and flowy dresses included.

On Sunday, Nov. 8, the league held a traditional tea for its mother-daughter members, featuring keynote speaker Gillian Larson, previous contestant on the reality TV show “Survivor, Gabon” and organizer of the annual Temecula Reality Rally. As attendees munched on French macarons and sipped tea, Larson spoke about the importance of believing in yourself to achieve your dreams.

“Dream it. Believe it. Prepare for it. Do it,” she said, sharing her life motto which served as inspiration for her appearance on “Survivor.”

Before the event itself, the girls and their mothers hand-crafted tea hats to sport at the luncheon, featuring sparkles, feathers, and decals in colorful arrangements.

But the National Charity League does more than serve a delicious tea to its well-dressed members. Since the early 1900s, the organization has been working to provide philanthropic opportunities for mothers and their daughters. The league began in Los Angeles, when local women serving the community realized a need to teach their daughters the same skills.

Now, the National Charity League spans across the United States with roughly 56,000 members and over 200 chapters. In addition to organizing outreaches for its members, the league teaches 7th through 12th grade daughters how to develop leadership traits, converse comfortably with grown-ups, and to be empowered. It also has special monikers for its members, dubbing mothers “patronesses” and daughters “tick-tockers”.

Britta Kandola, press release liaison and newsletter editor for the Temecula Valley chapter, said it is her and her daughter’s first year in the group. Still, she is already seeing the timeless benefits unique to the league.

“If you try to find philanthropies for a mother and daughter, some don’t allow children under age of 15,” she said.

The National Charity League seeks to overcome these obstacles for younger girls by providing similar opportunities with core lessons of generosity and compassion.

Inspired by Gillian Larson’s motivating speech, the girls and their mothers left the tea with full hearts and full stomachs, looking forward to next year’s tea. Until then, they continue to expand on efforts to give back to their community, something the National Charity League plans to foster for years to come.

To learn more about the National Charity League, visit

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