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It didn’t take a village to raise a child. It took a child to raise an entire village in Haiti. For two years, Rachel Wheeler, 11, worked diligently to raise money to build homes in


Haiti. Her zeal for helping the poor began at a Chamber of Commerce meeting she attended with her mother at Food For The Poor. Like many caring donors, Rachel saw photos of the poor and was deeply moved.


“Seeing all those heartbreaking photos just made me want to


change how they live,” she said. A student at Zion Lutheran Christian School in Deerfield Beach,Florida, she set an


initial goal to build 12 homes in Haiti. Then her goal grew. Rachel asked people and business owners to donate, telling them about how the money would provide a destitute family in Haiti with a safe, secure home. Word spread about the little girl determined to help Haiti. Soon Rachel was giving media interviews and telling many others about the plight of poor families.


She eventually surpassed her goal and raised more than $170,000, enough to essentially


rebuild an entire fishing village that had been destroyed by the 2010 earthquake. “I never thought I’d reach my goal like I have to this day. It has changed me in so many


ways, like not throwing things away that could be given away,” Rachel said. Last year, Rachel and her family traveled to Haiti to see firsthand the village that is


now named “Rachel’s Village.” The grateful families she helped greeted her with smiles and plenty of singing and dancing. Seeing them so happy in their new homes has strengthened Rachel’s resolve to continue helping the poor.


Rachel plans to keep donating and helping others. “Everyone is equal and it isn’t fair for them to live like they do,” she said. f


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