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Adrienne Rosen and Myra White raise about $120,000 annually to fund charity operations.

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The donors: Adrienne Rosen and Myra White

The gift: At least $12,000 annually used to build, maintain and resource six schools

The cause: Creating Access Education Guatemala Children's Fund

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The reason: Founding educational programs in Guatemala

When Adrienne Rosen visited Guatemala in 2006 to find the birth mother of her adopted daughter, she had no idea she'd end up starting an educational charity that would build six local schools.

Ms. Rosen and her partner Myra White had adopted their daughter, Alana, in 1992 from Guatemala. By 2006, Alana wanted to know more about her mother's background. Ms. Rosen tracked the family down to a village called La Union in the western part of the country. The reunion was joyous, but Ms. Rosen couldn't get over the dire poverty in the area, which included no proper school. "I was completely blown away by their environment," she recalled. "It was just so depressing. So I said that I would help."

She and Ms. White began raising money back home in Toronto, where they run a specialty delivery company called First International Courier Systems Inc. They eventually created a charity called Access Education Guatemala Children's Fund, which has now built six schools around La Union and helped 2,000 students. The organization also provides school supplies and covers fees for students to attend university. Ms. Rosen and Ms. White raise about $120,000 annually to fund the operations, often making personal donations to cover shortfalls. Several students are about to graduate as lawyers, accountants and technicians.

"It just keeps getting bigger and better," Ms. Rosen said.

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