Many of us lead very, very busy lives these days. We want to make a difference, but it is hard to choose where to focus our efforts. For those of us who are interested in charities that help local children and women, it seems that there are almost too many choices to consider (which is a good thing!)

I have a possible solution for those of you who want to focus your efforts but still have a wide-ranging impact on the lives of children and women in our area.

The solution is the Chapel Hill Service League. The League has been around for 72 years and partners with other local nonprofits to provide womenpower (volunteers) and other types of assistance. Last year, the League worked with numerous groups, including: NC Children’s Promise, Ronald McDonald House, SECU Family House, Communities in Schools, Beacon Child and Family Program, IFC Homestart, Dress for Success NC, UNC Horizons, and Kidzu Children’s Museum.

By joining the Chapel Hill Service League, you can help children and women with lots of different kinds of needs.

The League manages its own flagship project — Christmas House — in addition to assisting local nonprofits. Christmas House has provided a brighter holiday for 800+ local children for more than 50 years. Not familiar with Christmas House? Well, when the holiday season arrives and you see the Christmas trees at University and Carr Mill Malls and other locales with the cute teddy bear wish cards on them, that’s the League’s Christmas House project. Wouldn’t it be fun to be one of Santa’s special elves at the Chapel Hill Service League this year? The Christmas House project requires the efforts of more than 200 volunteers from the League as well as the community.

But if you prefer running to eating Christmas cookies, you might be interested in helping plan the League’s annual Southern Village 5K Race and Family Fun Run this November. The funds raised are used to support Christmas House and other community projects.

Women of all ages and backgrounds are invited to join the Chapel Hill Service League. The League’s New Member Informational Fair is being held on Wednesday, August 31, 7:30 p.m. at the Horace Williams House. More information about the League can be found at their web site:

For those men who were disappointed to read that last paragraph (about the League being just for women), don’t worry because my upcoming columns will highlight lots of ways you can help children and women in the local community. And don’t forget that when you walk by one of those Christmas trees at the mall, there will be little teddy bear wish cards hanging from the limbs . . .