Our Legacy - A History of Caring
Charity League is one of Charlotte’s most treasured traditions, an organization that has made a difference in our community for over 100 years.
In 1911, a Sunday school class from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church formed a group of young women, called “Sheltering Arms,” who worked in the charity wards of local hospitals delivering flowers, providing magazines and fruit to patients, giving out Christmas baskets to underserved families and supplying milk for newborn babies. In 1921, the members established the St. Peter’s Hospital Junior Auxiliary Guild to continue meeting patients' needs, and sent children to hospitals, paying operating fees when voluntary service could not be found.
This group eventually changed its name to Charity League of Charlotte, and was incorporated under the name of Charity League, Inc. in 1928. For the next 20 years they operated the Sunshine School for elementary age children who were unable to attend public schools due to poor health, and were recognized by the Mecklenberg County Medical Society for their efforts.
In 1949, the organization reinvented itself again in response to changing needs in our community, and opened the Sunshine Day Nursery School, offering childcare to the growing number of families whose mothers worked outside of the home. The school was so successful that it needed more space, so the Charity League ran a years long building campaign to construct a new, larger facility and continue providing services. This Nursery/ Preschool served area children lovingly for a total of 54 years. It finally closed in 2002, due to the growth and availability of private daycare and public school programs.
When the school property was sold, Charity League broadened its assistance within the community to meet the needs of children in multiple elementary schools. While our mission and focus have evolved over time, fundraising and volunteerism have been core values of the organization since its inception, allowing Charity League to positively impact thousands of young lives every year.