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The goal of Rachelís Kids Inc. is to provide opportunities and improved quality of life for those children who live in the inner city neighborhoods of Memphis. The sole focus of our effort is directed towards the children of the Binghampton section near Midtown Memphis.

A secondary goal is to develop professional, effective, and innovative grass-roots philanthropic leadership around the city. We have gone beyond saying love your neighbor; we have found a way to show them. Rachel's Kids has embraced the vision of former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who expresses our vision of Rachelís Kids, "that every kid needs a relationship with a caring adult, safe places to meet, a healthy start, a place to develop marketable skills, and an opportunity to serve others".  

 


Christmas Activities 2012

 

Reindeer Factory at Rachel's Flowers

The past several months have been especially busy in the land of Rachelís Kids. Rachelís Flowers hosted reindeer making days on three different Sundayís to get a jump start on the Christmas season.  Volunteers, children and parents gathered together to build reindeer and hopefully make lasting connections. On each of the Sundayís there were many reindeer made as well as crafts for younger children to make. The first Sunday was held prior to Halloween and the craft of the day was carving jack-o-lanterns for the children to light at 6pm.  The second Sunday was right before Thanksgiving so the children crafted turkeys out of apples.  However, an additional trip to the store was required due to the apples being eaten before craft time began.  The final Sunday occurred in early December with Christmas cookie decorating being the craft of the day.  There were smiles and laughs shared by all whom took time out of their weekend to volunteer to make lasting memories.

Most recently Rachelís Flowers was turned into a reindeer factory where on any given day you would find children and their parents making reindeer of various sizes and personalities. The flower shop was abuzz with children talking and playing as their creations came to life.  Upon entering the shop, customers were greeted by the sight of many reindeer awaiting their purchase.  As you came further into the shop, you could hear the sound of drills, saws and most importantly, laughter.  It was hard to keep up with the reindeer demand as word spread of the creations being made by the children and parents of the Binghampton neighborhood.  Reindeer ranged in price from $10 for small or 3 small for $25, $17.50 for medium, $25 for large and $37.50 for extra-large.  The proceeds from each reindeer sale went directly back to the child or parent who created it.  For many people in the Binghampton neighborhood, extra spending money is a rarity, so for each person the money they made was used for things they normally could not afford.  Some would put the money towards household items or utilities, others bought Christmas presents for their siblings or parents. Shelley Orman from ABC24 came to the shop to do a piece featuring Rachelís Kids and the reindeer, click the link below to watch the video. The reindeer factory is now closed for the season and only a few are left lingering in the shop, with each bringing back a fond memory of Christmas joy. 

http://www.abc24.com/news/local/story/Memphis-Kids-Making-Reindeer-For-Holiday-Spending/fPoJQZ08kkO7QywPTmfrTg.cspx

 

A Trip to Zoo Lights

A group of Rachelís Kids and volunteers took an unforgettable trip to the Memphis Zoo for Zoo Lights on a cold and brisk Monday evening.  The group met at Rachelís Flowers so the children could meet the volunteers and a caravan could be formed to begin the trip.  There were some new faces of volunteers making the trip to Zoo Lights and they brought with them gloves, scarves, hats and fleece jackets for the children to wear.  This donation was a true gift as many of the children were not dressed for the cold night.  Excitement was in the air as everyone loaded up in cars and headed to the Zoo.  Some of the children and volunteers had never been to the zoo, so it was brand new experience for all!  Thanks to a very generous donor, Rachelís Kids were given tickets for free entry.  The evening was very special and everyone that attended had a great time!  There were several sites to be seen at the zoo with the most notable was the live reindeer exhibit. Several enjoyed a whirl on the Ferris wheel while others chose to keep their feet firmly planted on solid ground.  The most surprising entertainment came when the group stumbled upon the ice skating rink.  The children and volunteers had a blast either by changing out of the shoes into ice skates or by watching from the side lines.  Itís safe to say that each and every one of us had a huge smile on our faces while bundled up in the rink.  As we were leaving the skating rink, everyone was cold so a trip to the closest vendor was in order.  There were several cups of hot chocolate, bags of popcorn and plates of funnel cakes consumed by the hungry group. As the cold night air began to take its toll and legs of small children (and adults) were beginning to wear the trolley came by and saved the day! We all loaded up and headed towards the exit to begin the final leg of the journeyÖ.dinner at El Toro Loco!  El Toro Loco has been very kind to Rachelís Kids and welcomed the large group with open arms. This dinner was the perfect way to end a fantastic and unforgettable evening.  For the volunteers, it was a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas and an absolute blessing to be a small part in making a child smile.  For the children, it was an evening to experience something they may not have had in the past or future.  To say it was a memorable experience is an understatement, we created memories to last a lifetime.

 

A Memorable Christmas Eve!

For several weeks prior to Christmas Eve, presents were being purchased and donated in anticipation of the big day.  Bags upon bags of presents over-flowed the flower shop and Rachelís house waiting to be given to a child or family.  Volunteers gathered together on Christmas Eve and created a game plan on how to bring joy to several families involved with Rachelís Kids.  Groups were formed, cars deployed and Christmas joy brightened many homes this year.  The process took over 6 hours to complete but no one complained as the smiling faces of the children and parents reminded everyone the reason for the season.  Hugs and smiles were passed out freely as were thank-youís and tears.  Christmas Day was also an eventful day for Rachelís Kids as more presents were handed out to more families that could not have been reached on Christmas Eve. 

The events of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day would not have been possible without the generous donations throughout the year, hours of volunteer time and the overall generosity of those that recognize the need to give back.  Rachelís Kids wants to thank all those who have donated financially or their time to help the residents of the Binghampton neighborhood and all those serviced by Rachelís Kids!

 

Be sure to check out the Events & Photos Page for new pictures from 2012!

 

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Reindeer work holiday magic for Rachel's Kids in Memphis

November 21, 2012 @ 06:40pm CST, by Michael Lollar with the Commercial Appeal

The children sort through a pile of logs, sticks and twigs outside Rachel's Flowers and Gifts until they find just the right combination to transform into one of Santa's helpers. A log becomes the body of a reindeer. Sticks become legs, and twigs are turned into antlers.

The transformation requires another of Santa's helpers ó power tools. With the help of drills, a variety of drill bits, reciprocal saws and a few other tools a little pile of wood rises in the backroom of the florist shop into a magical creature, helping to make a difference in the lives of Rachel's Kids.
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