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