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History of Rainbows

Over 100,000 Canadian children are affected each year by divorce, separation or death in their families. Often confused and angry, these young people reveal their pain by acting out in inappropriate behaviour or withdrawing in unhealthy ways. Rainbows offers a pro-active solution to this dilemma!

-    More than 3,268 Rainbows sites have been designated in at least 509     Canadian communities;
 -   Since 1995, more than 125,684 Rainbows journals have been distributed for children and adolescent participants at these sites. 
-    This reflects the commitment and dedication of more than 20,235 volunteer Registered Directors, coordinators and facilitators who help ‘restore hope to grieving  youth’ and families in Canada; 
-    In July, 2012, Rainbows Canada celebrates 25 years of programming in Canada. 

The Canadian National office continues to subsidize every site through fundraising efforts.

Our History: Founded in 1983 by Suzy Yehl Marta, Rainbows began in three sites in the Chicago area. Today Rainbows has grown into an international not-for-profit organization and we are proud of the fact that over 2.7 million children and youth have been helped in 18 countries around the world. This growth is due, in large part, to the hard work of thousands of volunteers supporting grieving children and to the positive evaluation and validation of the participants

The first Canadian sites were trained and designated in 1987. At that time each site ordered their materials from the U.S. and paid for them in U.S.$. In 1994 Rainbows was incorporated and granted charitable status in Canada. Our National Office was established in Barrie, Ontario and the Governing Board made the expansion of our program to more grieving children and families, and the reduction of the cost of materials for our sites by eliminating customs and importing fees and the fluctuating U.S. - Can. $ conversion factor, its major priorities. The first action taken to achieve our goals was arranging to import all of the materials needed by our sites and shipping them to our sites across Canada from our National Office in Barrie.
In July 1999 the first Registered Director Certification Training was presented by a Canadian team of Registered Directors for Anglophone Canadians. By partnering with Centre Franco-Ontarien De Ressources Pédagogiques the elementary level of our program materials was translated and printed in French and was available for francophone children in September, 1999. As well, the Coordinator and Facilitator manuals are available in French. 

Rainbows is not responsible for errors in translation