“As a mom of three young children, the mission of CHS to promote the right of every child to permanent, safe, and loving family could not ring truer. Each child and family is unique and has a unique set of circumstances and needs, and CHS has a multitude of programs to meet children and families where they are – I have found much joy in sharing information about CHS with others in our community. There are so many ways to connect and find common ground and interest – whether it be through policy initiatives to improve outcomes for children, or education programs focused on male youth, or through the multitude of services offered to support the preservation of families.” – Rachel Hannon
Looking for a place to plug-in? Follow Rachel Hannon’s lead. After the boxes were unpacked and things finally felt settled, Rachel decided she wanted to get involved in her new hometown of Charlotte, NC. Despite the demands of being the Principal of Business Development and Investor Relations at Summit Park and raising three young children with husband Dr. Justin Hannon of Hannon Orthodontics, Rachel found time to make an impact in her community.
Rachel first connected with Children’s Home Society through an invitation to CHS’s signature event, A Place to Call Home. Although Rachel could not make the luncheon, something inside her led her to do some research and after discovering a strong linkage to the mission of CHS, she was pleased to join the local Community Leadership Council.
During her four years on the Community Leadership Council, Rachel has been able to serve through various projects such as collecting duffel bags for SaySo, serving as a host for the Women’s Philanthropy Tea, participating in Holiday Soiree and A Place to Call Home, coordinating a health fair and holiday activities with Families Helping Families, donating to The Little Red Stocking Fund, as well as connecting her friends, family, and colleagues with CHS. Despite her many accomplishments, Rachel feels, “There is a lot more work to be done!”
From day one, Rachel felt Children’s Home Society was the right cause for her to champion because, like thousands of children associated with CHS, she was adopted as a child. After spending the first four months of her life in foster care, Rachel was adopted by a loving couple in Baltimore, MD. Although CHS’s mission resonates with Rachel’s personal story, she says “I quickly learned CHS is about so much more than foster care and adoption – it is about helping, supporting, and growing families, which can resonate with most everyone.”
For the Hannons, supporting CHS has also become a family affair, creating opportunities for Rachel, Justin, their parents, and children to volunteer and donate together. “My husband, parents, and in-laws have been involved, and I look forward to continuing to introduce my story and the mission of CHS to my three kids,” shared Rachel. Additionally, supporting CHS led Rachel and Justin to start a Donor Advised Fund to be more strategic and pro-active with planning donations to CHS and other charities.
Rachel’s relationship with CHS is not one-sided. She has not only made a positive impact for CHS, but CHS has also made a positive impact in her life. Getting involved with CHS has, for the first time in her life, introduced Rachel to other people who have been adopted and share her passion in supporting children in care. Rachel says, “CHS has deepened my knowledge about the issues surrounding foster care and adoption so I can better advocate for children’s rights.” All of this has helped Rachel become more open in sharing her adoption story with others in hopes to spread awareness about the many children who are looking for their forever homes.
Rachel’s love for CHS has grown with each passing year. “My connection to the organization evolves over time and I become more energized about the mission and the work of CHS.” When asked about her future with CHS, Rachel replied, “I plan to be involved in CHS as long as they will have me!”