When Paige McDaniel took the helm of Community Partners of Dallas in 2002, she was a one-man act. Or, make that a one-woman act. There was no staff, but there was a lot of need for Dallas’ abused and neglected children. And almost from the start, she recognized that the need to “ensure and restore dignity and hope to abused and neglected children by providing resources and support” was only going to grow.
It was rather daunting to not only see children who had been rescued without so much as clothing or a toy from abusive conditions, but also Dallas County Protective Services caseworkers scrambling for resources to help these young victims. The demands were far greater than one person could meet. Paige knew that a long-term plan had to be in place to provide funding and facilities to help both the children and the caseworkers.
Thanks to her previous experience as executive director of Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer and in development for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as well as working in both the Ronald Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations, she had the ingredients to take on her mission to build the little agency.
Today under Paige’s leadership, and with a staff of 15 and a vastly larger budget than in the early 2000s, CPD has able to accommodate a 400% increase in the number of children served during her tenure.
In looking back over the last 20 years, Paige admits that her “most gratifying accomplishment was creating the vision and plan for the agency’s 48,000-square-foot headquarters, which included finding and purchasing the property, leading and completing a capital campaign and fully renovating the facility.”
Located close to the Dallas Medical District in “The Caring Corridor,” the CPD headquarters, which opened in 2019, has facilities for supplies, a CPS Night Response designed with children in mind and larger work and wellness spaces for Dallas County caseworkers, as well as available rental space for other collaborative nonprofits.
According to Paige, “I am in awe each day when I enter our building. I see the children who receive clothing, shoes and hygiene products to help them on their journey to healing, as well as the CPS caseworkers, who valiantly knock on doors most of us wouldn’t dare to knock on.”
With CPD in its new headquarters and a staff in place, Paige has announced her retirement. While her final day officially will be Wednesday, May 31, her future plans won’t have her sitting at home knitting socks. Instead, she’s looking forward to spending “more time with her family, friends and traveling, and, of course, looking forward to serving the community through volunteer service.”
In response to her decision to retire, CPD Board of Trustees Chair Travis Dent said, “Paige has led Community Partners of Dallas with organizational efficiency and tremendous joy for almost 21 years, and her gifts are responsible for the dramatic success of the agency. During her tenure the number of children served has increased 400% and the agency’s budget and staff have grown substantially. The board and I are extremely grateful to Paige for her long-time leadership, and we know that hundreds of thousands of abused and neglected children of Dallas County are safer due to her work.”
For many, Paige has been synonymous with CPD, much like Santa has been with Christmas. They have both reflected the old adage that “it is more blessed to give than receive.” For more than two decades and in the years to come, Paige will be blessed to have given the thousands of Dallas-area children their first steps toward a better life.