12-year-old brings hope to Haiti

DEERFIELD BEACH, FL (WFLX) New hope is spreading in the town of Leogane, Haiti, west of Port-au-Prince.

Just last week a vibrant school featuring 10 classrooms was unveiled. It wouldn't have happened without a South Florida girl determined to change lives.

"I was happy, I felt like I accomplished something," says Rachel Wheeler.

When an earthquake destroyed much of the town, Rachel was just 9-years-old, and she started fundraising.

"In their old school there were sheets separating the walls, it just made me sad they had to live in those conditions," says Rachel.

Fundraising that started out from bake sales and dances at Rachel's Deerfield Beach school, multiplied into more than $300,000. That was enough to build 27 homes and the school.

"Education is what will get the kids out of the streets, and what will turn that country around," says Julie Wheeler, Rachel's mother.

"She is a well-grounded little girl and she has the spirit to bring everyone else's energy up to assist her," says Jayne Cunningham, Principal at Zion Lutheran Christian School in Deerfield Beach.

The smiles on the students faces in Haiti are as priceless as the project.

"I'm trying to make Haiti a better place," says Rachel.

Rachel is now fundraising to build another 20 homes in Leogane. If you would like to donate or learn more about the project click here: http://bit.ly/HPv1Mt