Daniel Dashner was an extraordinary human being. Daniel fell on tough times and came to live at the southwest corner of Clark and Adams Streets in Chicago, which for many became known as “Daniel’s Corner.” Daniel was homeless and lacked many of the everyday luxuries we take for granted. Despite that, he had kind words for every one of the many people who passed by his corner, and he became friends with many who worked in the Loop.
Daniel was a gentle, kind soul. His happiness came solely from having genuine interactions with kind people. Period. Nothing more. You would tell him to have a good day, and he would respond “you have a better one.” And he meant it. He loved and cherished the friendships with each of the people who looked out for him.
What Daniel didn’t recognize was that it wasn’t a one-way street. It wasn’t just people looking out and caring for him. Daniel touched so many people and he left an indelible imprint on the lives of so many he came in contact with. There are very few people, if any, who could create the connections that Daniel made with so many strangers. And his legacy continues with people who knew Daniel connecting with one another while grieving his loss, and can also be seen in the outpouring of emotion and support in the wake of his death.
Many of you knew Daniel after he rescued a little white kitten in the Loop. Daniel and his cat Casper became fixtures on Daniel’s Corner and everyone who interacted with them could see how well Daniel cared for Casper. The loving bond between the two was evident, and there wasn't anything that Daniel wouldn't do for Casper. Daniel gave and knew unconditional love. We were touched by him because every day on our way to and from work, he reminded us that it is only the simple things in life that matter. Daniel innately knew what was important in life and spent each day focusing only on those things.
Daniel’s life was too short and his death has been heart-wrenching, but the imprint he left on so many continues to endure. Daniel would want people to remember that, like him, there are other homeless people with faces and names, and hopes and dreams of a better life. Daniel’s family has asked that donations be made in his memory to The Night Ministry to provide aid to other homeless people. Donations will benefit the Outreach and Health Ministry Program, which meets individuals where they are, and provides access to basic medical care, case management services, and other immediate needs.
When you make a donation using the form below, The Night Ministry will inform Daniel's loved ones that you have made a donation in his honor. They will not reveal the amount of your gift.
About the organization: The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization that works to provide housing, health care and human connection to members of our community struggling with poverty or homelessness. To learn more, visit www.thenightministry.org.
If you have questions about your gift, please contact Bethany Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-506-6006.