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Little girl, BIG heart

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This little girl awed us with her big heart last holiday season, and she’s done it again this year! Raelynn Keller—who lives in Kalispell, MT, with her mother Taelon, father Rick and younger brother Hunter—is a five-year-old philanthropist.

Earlier this month, Raelynn proudly presented the Child Development Center’s (CDC) Executive Director Carolyn Prussen with $266 for accessible playground equipment! The child not only outdid her 2015 donation, but was thrilled to have beaten her fundraising goal of $250 this year.

“Everything that motivates Raelynn is the love for her brother,” said Taelon, Raelynn’s mom. “She wants to give back, because she sees how CDC’s help has been completely vital to Hunter’s success.”

Hunter has a seizure disorder that impacts his development, and receives services from CDC.

Raelynn works year round to raise the funds, which she earns by selling her homemade jams and syrups.

Taelon said “Raelynn does 90% of the work. She asks for donated materials from friends, church members and neighbors, and does the jamming, labeling, selling — all of it.”

This is Raelynn’s third year raising funds for children with disabilities, and the second year the money has been donated to CDC. (Did we mention she’s only five..?!)

“With CDC, she is helping kids she knows, kids she’s talked to. She will see the kids using the accessible play equipment, and she’s excited!”

Raelynn donated the money to a national charity the first year, but decided to start giving to CDC so she could see the evidence.

“If you knew her, you would feel she just oozes compassion,” said Taelon. “Her father and I gave our children first and middle names with meaning. Raelynn’s middle name is Hope, which we chose because the old version of that name means ‘compassionate heart.’ She’s been living that out since she was only 2. It’s incredible.”

Raelynn is already starting to collect jars, rings and caps for next year.