President and CEO
Adelaide Schaeffer is the founder and executive director of Champions for Kids, an organization focused on the social impact of working to help millions of children have the health, education, and nutrition resources they need to succeed in school and in life.
Schaeffer founded Champions for Kids in 2004 in response to an alarming awareness that millions of children in America suffer silently—and in many cases, die—due to hunger, abuse, violence, neglect, and abandonment. This awareness came to her and her husband when responding to a school’s request to help a homeless teen named Daniel, whom they welcomed to their home and supported through high school graduation and well into his young adult transition years. Daniel became the catalyst for starting Champions for Kids, which they began with a missional commitment that all children should have: “Someone who cares, a place to belong, hope for tomorrow, and provisions for their journey.” These core values continue to guide the work of Champions for Kids.
Since 2004, Champions for Kids has helped over 5.6 million children in 50 states by supporting over 32,000 schools and community organizations and mobilizing hundreds of thousands of participating volunteers across the U.S. To accomplish this, Schaeffer and her Champions for Kids team have primarily focused on key strategic partnerships with leading national brands such as Unilever, Tyson Foods, Colgate, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Diamond Foods, Kraft, Kellogg’s, and others to leverage the national scale of Walmart stores to provide schools in communities across America with financial and product resources to help children living in poverty have the basic health, education, and nutrition resources they need to be prepared for academic and everyday life success.
Schaffer is deeply committed to the power of developing effective, measurable and scalable cross-sector partnerships. Since its founding, Champions for Kids continues to explore different strategies to achieve its mission. Today, Champions for Kids is zeroing in on even greater impact—to identify and fund effective and scalable shared value initiatives that address and reduce the impact of child poverty, with a priority focus on child and family homelessness. The result is Simple Giving Inc.
Simple Giving Inc. is a technology-driven solution that drives both business results and social impact through shared valued initiatives that directly provide needed resources for homeless and at-risk children in local communities. Simple Giving Inc. delivers collective collaboration through leading national brands and retailers and engages and motivates consumers to use a benefit card that delivers personal savings while triggering a portion of giving to a designated community beneficiary. The result provides substantial savings for shoppers while channeling significant amounts of dollars to local communities through schools and/or youth organizations. Simple Giving Inc. is led by a team of industry leaders who are fiercely committed to these values and mission work.
Prior to founding Champions for Kids, Schaeffer received her undergraduate degree in journalism with an emphasis in marketing at the University of Arkansas. Schaeffer did post-graduate studies in theology at Indiana University, Notre Dame, and Harvard Divinity School. She completed a Masters of Theological Studies degree at Emory University in Atlanta with an interest in the intersection of faith and public life. After Emory, Adelaide completed a second Masters of Education from Boston College with an emphasis in education and practical theology. Schaeffer received a third Masters of Public Administration degree from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 2009 where she focused on building cross-sector partnerships between the private, social, public, and citizen sectors. Her commitments and work in theology and the intersection of faith and public life serve as a wellspring to all her organizational work. She continues bridging practical work with learning through executive education courses at Harvard Business School.