“When you are part of Rainbows and you uplift the world, you can’t help be uplifted by that experience. Every time I give of my strength, it forever changes the shape of who I am.” – Linda Weir Enegren, Founder, Rainbows United, Inc.
In Fiscal Year 2017, Rainbows celebrated its 45th birthday. In 1972, with a budget of $1,800 and a few volunteers, Rainbows began by serving 5 children between the ages of 5 and 11 with significant disabilities who had never received services. Fifteen children were served in that first year. By the 6th year, Rainbows was serving 60 children and had 2 vans for transportation.
It was a humble beginning supported by Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church who lent their basement and gave their blessing to Linda. They saw how Linda was inspired by the families of those first children served and their families’ desire to keep their children with special needs at home and not in a state institution hundreds of miles away.
Throughout the years, Rainbows evolved along with federal and state laws when school aged children with disabilities were allowed to attend public schools. Knowing needs for families still continued, Rainbows adapted to serve families in their homes through Infant/Toddler Early Intervention Services as well as In-Home Care that assists families with children and youth needing extra supports. Next came Targeted Case Management, Camp Woodchuck, expanded Educational and Child Care services, and services extended into Butler County. When Rainbows turned 35 years old, 7,253 children, birth – 21 had been served in that span of time.
Within the last 8 years, Rainbows has become stronger and more focused and is passionately dedicated to serving children with special needs and their families more than ever. Rainbows efforts and strides were recognized this past year by the Better Business Bureau by bestowing their Integrity Award to us. What a sense of pride and accomplishment that gave to all our staff and Board of Directors.
Today, Rainbows serves more than 3,550 local children and youth annually. We have a vision for a future that includes leadership in our industry as well as making continued use of new technology. We look for opportunities to grow where there are service gaps when those services are a strength for Rainbows. Our Board of Directors provides support, guidance and is engaging the Agency in a strategic planning process to continuously improve in every aspect of our business. In addition, Rainbows United Charitable Foundation has set a goal of $3 million for its Endowment in order to support the Agency into the future.
Your generosity makes the next 45 years possible for children served by Rainbows every day. Through the support of our donors and partners, our vision to reveal the masterpiece that each child is meant to be becomes a reality. You are a part of the legacy of caring, helping, growing and making a difference through your generous giving over the years. We are humbled and thankful to have the support of so many in our community.
– Deb Voth, President of Rainbows