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Christel DeHaan 1942-2020

Statement from Christel House International 

It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Christel DeHaan – philanthropist, community leader, and Christel House International Founder and Board Chair. Christel died at home, surrounded by family. She leaves behind three children and her older sister, along with numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. She was 77.

After a remarkable career in business as the co-founder of Resort Condominiums International (RCI), Christel created her beloved nonprofit Christel House International in 1998 with the goal of transforming the lives of impoverished children around the globe. 

Now serving nearly 6,000 students and graduates worldwide through schools in India, Jamaica, Mexico, South Africa and the United States, Christel House was created to address the root causes of poverty through a holistic human development model. 

Thanks to Christel’s careful planning, the work of Christel House will continue to be supported through funding from the Endless Success Foundation, an organization created by her estate. It was her wish that all Christel House general and administrative expenses be covered in perpetuity. This allows all donor investments to continue to directly serve the programs and services needed by Christel House students.

“Christel’s vision and compassion were unparalleled,” says Dennert O. Ware, Chair of the Christel House International Governance Committee. “Christel sought to provide impoverished children with a seat at the table of life – and accomplished her mission with a unique blend of business acumen, generosity and empathy for those less fortunate.  Her legacy will live on in the thousands of lives she uplifted.” 

If you would like to leave a message or gift honoring Christel, please click here.

To read Christel's obituary, please click here.


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