“Rainbows has a special place in our hearts.” - Hale and Janie Ritchie
It was from the beginning that the Ritchie family played an important part in the Rainbows’ story. Proctor Ritchie, who was a good friend of Founder, Linda Weir Enegren helped fund the early years and donated a parking lot at the first Rainbows’ facility located on Wellesley Street. Several Ritchie family members have served on the Board of Directors including Vivian, Bette, Lou Ann, Matt, and Naaman. Hale and Janie Ritchie served several years and also led a Capital Campaign to build Rainbows’ second facility in the early 90’s.
While both were passionate about Rainbows and the services provided in the early years, their first hand experience with their son, Timmy, gives them a unique perspective that carries their passions today and into the future.
“In 1984, our fifth child, Timmy, was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect,” said Hale. “This experience gave us a new perspective on what families go through. I remember the fear of the unknown and the desperate need for answers, traveling for his surgery, spending weeks away from home while he was in the hospital and the feeling of helplessness at his death.”
“Having a child with special needs opens your eyes to a different world,” said Janie. We realized that we needed help and the good thing is, we knew Rainbows could walk alongside us and provide the guidance our family needed. Rainbows has a special place in our hearts.”
Families today have more resources than were available in the early days of Rainbows, but the needs of children with special needs and their families continue to be met through your generosity. Babies still need heart surgery, speech therapy and physical therapy to help them reach their full potential.
With your donation, Rainbows can continue to help more than 3,500 local children learn to walk, talk and succeed – revealing each child as an original work of art like no other.