What Being a Champion for Children Means to Me

April 21, 2016

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Carmi Daniels, a Miami-based American Airlines Flight Attendant, is a Champion for Children volunteer who collects currency donations on international flights from American Airlines customers to support UNICEF Change for Good program and was recently honored as a 2015 UNICEF Change for Good Champion of the Year.

“The Change for Good program on American Airlines and Champions for Children volunteer program has impacted me both on a professional and personal level. For me, it offers the opportunity to give back to the community and play a critical role in giving someone a chance to survive and thrive. I am proud to work for a company that inherently supports the very reasons why we all go to work every day — to live a decent life, to use our skills and talents and to make money so we may be able to pursue our dreams to reality. It is an added bonus that American Airlines not only believes in spreading our wings to the beautiful sky and wonders of the world but to also build awareness. Currently, there are millions of children around the world that are experiencing hardship and lack access to proper nutrition, safe drinking water, affordable vaccines and other basic necessities that we here in the United States often take for granted.

Through the Change for Good Program and Champions for Children volunteer program, we as Flight Attendants play an important role to spread the word and take action by collecting donations on select international flights and showing our passengers and colleagues that they, too, can make a difference.

Carmi and Kids

Carmi and kid passengers collect UNICEF Change for Good donations as part of American Airlines' Champions for Children program. These donations help UNICEF provide essential supplies and services to children and their communities. ©American Airlines and UNICEF USA

I have been a Champion for Children volunteer for three years and have so many memories. A life-changing experience for me was when I got the opportunity to go on a UNICEF field visit to Colombia. There I saw first-hand where our collections were going and the impact they were making. Seeing the poverty and lack of basic necessities was heartbreaking. UNICEF works with the communities to give them hope and restored their dignity. We saw an example of this in Colombia when UNICEF built toilets and provided access to clean source of water to rural communities.

I have also been personally touched by UNICEF’s work. Two years ago, my country of the Philippines was hit by a catastrophic disaster, Typhoon Haiyan. The devastation was great as there were several villages that were wiped out. American Airlines responded to this disaster and dedicated our entire UNICEF collection for a month to help the affected villages. 

I am thankful that American Airlines provides me an opportunity to volunteer as a Flight Attendant while I’m working. I am also thankful that UNICEF gives me so many reasons to not "GIVE UP” and make a huge impact on the lives of children around the world.

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