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Chicago is home to many nonprofits that bring needed services to many across the city.  Native Chicagoan, George Aliaga, knew he wanted to do his part, but he needed to find the right organization. When a colleague introduced George to Children’s Place Association, he instinctively knew it was the place for him – a place where he could make a real impact for children and families in need, living right here in Chicago.

“Chicago is my hometown. If we don’t step up to help this group – the most vulnerable children in our city – no one will” says George.  “And now with the current health crisis, I know we need to do all that we can.”

Over the years George has stepped into his role as a volunteer for Children’s Place in many capacities. George served as a volunteer at our Early Learning Center, located in the Logan Square/Humboldt Park area, where he helped clean, organize and paint the Center, and assisted Children’s Place staff by spending time with the children during planned activities such as carving and painting pumpkins, joining the class for circle time or leading learning through play. “During my first visit to the Early Learning Center, I was really excited to see the energy in the classrooms. It’s not that I didn’t expect it, it was just a great surprise!” Since that first visit, the shared energy increases each time, when he visits the center. “I always have a wonderful time and the children always have fun…it puts a smile on my face every single time.”

George volunteers at several Children’s Place events. For nearly a decade he has raised funds for our annual black-tie Gala, Children’s Place’s largest single source of private revenue, supporting critical services for children facing illness, homelessness and extreme poverty. And this year, George accepted the role of Co-Chair for the 2020 Once Upon A Time Gala. When asked why he decided to take on this volunteer role, “It was such an honor to be asked. I couldn’t say no.”  And despite the cancellation of the in-person event, George knows, now is not the time to quit.

George believes “it is important to get involved and give your time to organizations that support the local community. At Children’s Place there is a feeling of family and togetherness, and that feeling isn’t just anywhere, but in this special place.”

Join Co-Chairs George Aliaga and Danielle Haddad and be a Champion for Chicago’s Most Vulnerable through the online Once Upon A Time Gala. In the midst of this unprecedented health crisis, these families need you more than ever.

Learn more here.