Rachel’s Kids—Giving Back to Cornwall, Ontario’s Children
Neglect. Abuse. Poverty. These are harsh realities, and no corner of this world remains unscathed. However, thanks to the efforts of Rachel Navaneelan, a dentist from Cornwall, Ontario, we are making strides.
Originally, Rachel’s Kids was developed to help the children and people of Sri Lanka, who were devastated by a 9.1-9.3 undersea earthquake and tsunami. It was one of the largest amounts of casualties for an earthquake, ranking in the top 10 in history. Dr. Navaneelan arranged a charity auction and garden party in her own backyard to raise both money and awareness of this tragedy and others. Being a native Sri Lankan herself, this was a cause very dear to Dr. Navaneelan’s heart.
Rachel’s Kids is now a thriving organization, dedicated to giving back to children who may be orphaned by tragedy, who have no medical benefits or legacy from their parents to take over. Thanks to the efforts of the Cornwall community, the garden party has now become an annual event, with half the contributions being made to local charities, mainly to benefit children in the community, and the remainder going towards projects initiated overseas.
In addition to the garden party, Rachel’s Kids also hosts an Annual Have a Heart Gala, the Sponsor A Child Program, and most recently a New York City Bus Tour. Over the years, Rachel’s Kids and the efforts of Dr. Navaneelan have had no shortage of success; also helping to renovate the Cornwall Community Hospital’s pediatric ward (with phase 2 in preparation for this project). The 8th annual garden party, held in 2012, raised over $100,000 in funds to help the children. Since 2009, Rachel’s Kids has also partnered with Mt. Carmel and other churches in Sri Lanka to create the Foster Parents Plan, with children of Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian descent. Through this program, children get bicycles, school kits, and of course, the gift of a shelter.
Through the efforts, contributions, and love of many, Rachel’s Kids has planted a seed of hope in the heart of Sri Lanka’s children, and helps sustain the lives of this beautiful island nation.
To find out more about Rachel’s Kids, please visit www.rachelskids.com.