Rachel’s Kids

Because Some Things Are Too Precious To Gamble On

Who We Are – Rachel’s Kids

The founder of Rachel’s Kids Development Fund is Dr. Rachel Navaneelan, a local dentist in Cornwall. Dr. Rachel initiated a charity auction and garden party held in her own backyard to raise funds to assist victims of the tsunami. The aim of the fundraiser was to bring awareness and to raise money to benefit underprivileged children in Sri Lanka, her native country. Some of these children were orphaned and/or displaced due to past ethnic disturbances and many others were orphaned and displaced due to the tsunami tragedy on December 26th, 2004.

Dr. Rachel had been financially contributing in the past to the best of her capability to support these children. It had been 4 months since the tsunami and the initial tsunami assistance had already faded and the children had been forgotten. Very little or no support had reached the children post tsunami. There were no social benefits or unemployment benefit programs in existence in Sri Lanka, children of parents who lost their livelihood to the tsunami were experiencing the same fate.

Dr. Rachel promised if the fundraiser proved successful, her intention was to make this an annual event where half the contribution would be made to local charities, mainly to benefit children in the community, and the remainder would continue to go towards projects initiated overseas.

Thanks to the compassion and generosity of the communities of Cornwall, SD&G and surrounding area, the event proved to be an enormous success. Dr. Rachel kept her promise. With volunteering efforts and the unrelenting support of our local community we continue to hold our signature “Annual Garden Party & Auction”, as well as our “Foster Program”. We’ve proudly witnessed a significant upsurge in financial contributions allowing us to create, develop and grow multiple programs targeting our local surroundings with emphasis on children with special needs, children with terminal illnesses as well as family support.

We are proud of what we’ve accomplished since 2004 and we will continue to strive to be the Community Resource for SD&G and surrounding areas.

MEET OUR FOUNDER

There is an old saying and we all know it well. It takes a village to raise a child.

That is the philosophy of Rachel’s Kids. It is about this community coming together, those who are concerned and care about, and are committed to the children of our community. It is about making life a little better to that child who is battling a life threatening or terminal disease.

As you may be aware Rachel’s Kids recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the opening of the House of Hope, and what a year it has been! We offer cutting edge therapy and programming for children with any developmental challenges particularly those on the autism spectrum. At the same time, we are a resource centre to their parents, helping them to deal with the challenges, to access community support and to connect with other parents.

I personally consider the House of Hope a HAVEN for all children, a place where children can be themselves in a safe and happy environment.Finally, Rachel’s Kids continues our overseas work with children in need in Sri Lanka. Through our programs there, we help to build and renovate schools, pay for school supplies and food supplies to some of the poorest communities in that country. We have made a difference in the lives of more than 600 children.

All this has been achieved due to the generosity of every one of you, through your financial contributions, your time that you give and for every other form of involvement that you make.

I was not born here, but in 1993 I moved to Cornwall to start the second chapter in my life. I established a dental practice and 25 years later I’m still here. I can truly say that Cornwall is my home, and when I see the generosity and solidarity that brings this community together as a village to raise that child, I am proud of my home and to be a part of that village.

Sincerely,
Dr. Rachel Navaneelan

MEET OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

We are changing lives. We are creating a community of support not only in Cornwall, but Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. We are here for the families that are in need, when they need it most.

Rachel’s Kids creates opportunities for a better, stronger and healthier future for our entire community.

Each and every contribution of time and funding is not only appreciated, but it truly counts. It matters to community members who couldn’t put enough food on the table, to the mom who was struggling to maintain her independence, to the child who didn’t have any presents under the tree, and to so many others who were affected by the significant challenges that life can put in front of any one of us.

These accomplishments could not have been possible without the support of my staff and the Board of Directors.

Dr. Rachel’s leadership and her Boards’ commitment to making a difference in our community was unwavering and inspiring to all.

To help bring together the efforts, we appreciate assistance from a number of volunteers throughout the community. Your dedication in building a stronger community for all of us is outstanding and it is very much appreciated.

As I look back, two words come to mind that are important and powerful words in the English language – “Thank you.” No words have greater meaning when it comes to the humbling experience of watching a community join together to make a real impact.

We are proud of our successes, and the best part is that it’s a shared success – achieved through support and dedication of community members who take the additional step to play key roles in the process. THANK YOU!

Sincerely,
Kim Lauzon