As a third-generation Chicagoan, Danielle Haddad is proud of the place she calls home and understands why it is important to be a champion for Chicago’s most vulnerable kids. She believes it is her, and others, responsibility to help level the playing field, “I feel a sense of pride and responsibility to protect and lift-up the children that live here.”

Invited to be a volunteer at an annual holiday party for Children’s Place Association’s children and families, Danielle quickly learned how its programming provided direct care and opportunities for betterment. As Danielle met people throughout the day, she marveled as they told her about the positive effect Children’s Place made in their life. After that experience, she felt compelled to get involved.

Since 2012 Danielle has been a champion for Chicago’s most vulnerable children as a Junior Board Member, Gala Committee Member, a donor and ambassador.  As a hands-on volunteer, Danielle ensures she takes advantage of opportunities to meet the children served by Children’s Place, “When I see those smiles…it makes me feel a sense of joy and admiration for the work Children’s Place does.” Danielle also loves the moments that come with volunteering like: “the dance-offs (I always lose), the face painting (my arms typically end up as the canvas), playing tag at the Early Learning Center (again, I always lose), and playing the role as Santa’s ‘Elf’ at the annual holiday party.” These moments paired with the countless hugs and laughs are what make volunteering at Children’s Place so memorable.

Currently, Danielle is placing her focus on the 2020 Once Upon A Time Gala, accepting the role of Co-Chair where she still hopes to attract new partnerships and donors to see the work of Children’s Place despite the cancellation of the in-person event. “With the COVID-19 crisis hitting this already vulnerable population—the need is even greater.”

For more than 29 years Children’s Place has cared for Chicago’s most vulnerable children by creating programs focused on education, health, family and financial stability. “These programs not only help ensure these children have a future but that their future is bright,” Danielle says.

Danielle stays motived to get as many people involved in any capacity, stating one regret— “not getting involved sooner”— because she now knows, “sometimes the smallest contribution can make the greatest impact.” Join Co-Chairs Danielle Haddad and George Aliaga this April as they continue to fight for Chicago’s most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.