An amazing group – It’s Christel House Week on the RCI Blog

Christel DLet me introduce you to an amazing group of young people. In February, while I was in India for my annual visit, a group of Christel House (CH) graduates who are now studying at university, working or doing both, came to say hello. They had a gift for me. It was not a painting of some flowers they had purchased on the street corner – but an oversized model of a check in the amount of 24,700 rupees—approximately $450 USD. Let me put this in perspective. That amount of money would cover the living expenses for a typical CH India family of 4 for about 3 months. Their own families depend greatly on their earnings, but these young people chose to show their appreciation and gratitude by making donations to Christel House. It was their way of saying “thank you” and becoming contributing members of society.

To say that I was over the moon would be an understatement. This giving back by our children speaks to much more than educating the child. It speaks to fostering in them social responsibility and the art of giving. Character development, social responsibility, and making the world a better place are all integral components of the CH program. To witness their manifestation in these young people was truly an impactful moment in my life.

This week on the RCI Blog, you will have the opportunity to read blogs from Christel House students, teachers and RCI associates who have visited Christel House learning centers. These stories are truly touching. To learn more about Christel House now, check out the Christel House website here.

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It’s Christel House Week on the RCI Blog

Christel DeHaan - Christel House News and Updates

I am thrilled to welcome you to the very first Christel House week on the RCI Blog.  As the founder of Christel House and co-founder of RCI, it gives me immense pleasure to witness the outpouring of generosity that RCI and its employees have shown to the children of Christel House.


I could never have imagined what was to come when my family’s living room served as the first RCI “office” in 1973.  As the timeshare industry evolved and business grew, so too, did RCI’s reach.  We rapidly became a multinational company with offices spanning the globe.  And, our corporate culture, including a strong belief in giving back to the communities where we did business, quickly transcended international borders.  That rich culture of social responsibility continues to be a hallmark of RCI’s business today.


After the sale of RCI in 1997, I was in the unique position of being able to focus my time and resources on making a difference in the world.  Christel House is my way of doing just that. We opened our first learning center for impoverished children in Mexico City in 1998.  Four more centers in India, South Africa, Venezuela and the United States soon followed.  And, fourteen years later, we continue to grow.  Most of our learning centers are strategically located in third world countries where RCI had much success during my tenure.


It also is important to recognize that you, the RCI subscribing members, have played an important role in this story since day one.  Without your patronage of RCI throughout the years, none of this would be possible.  For that, I thank you. 


This week, you will have an opportunity to read blogs from some of our students, teachers and even a few RCI employees who have visited our learning centers.  You will also have an opportunity to join RCI in supporting our work.  True to its culture of giving back, RCI will match all donations made to Christel House in 2012 by its members up to a cumulative $25,000.  I invite you to join us as we transform young lives.


A photo of me and Christel House students in South Africa

A photo of me and Christel House students in South Africa

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