Board Members

Board Members

Ray O’Brien – President and Founder of Children Are Angels From Heaven
Truck mechanic and father of three adopted children from Calcutta, India. In 1996 I had the opportunity to visit Calcutta and also to meet Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa touched my hand and it changed my life forever. After seeing the poverty of the people and children, I decided that I needed to help them as best I could. Soon the word spread and I had more help and donations than I could handle. With a lot of help and energy from both sides of the world “Children Are Angels From Heaven” was formed. My long-term goal is to help as many poor children as I can in the world, while asking nothing in return except friendship, kindness and love.

Patty O’Brien – Treasurer
Busy mother of three. Owner of Pat’s Family Day Care. With many things going on in my life, sometimes it is very hard to give time to Angels From Heaven for either sorting out donations or making bank deposits. In the end, I always get everything done, as I know that even the smallest amount of effort will help a poor child in need. My hopes towards the future are that “Children Are Angels From Heaven” will grow and that we will be able to help many more children all over the world.

Jeanne Donaghey – Function Director
Jeanne is a mother and grandmother, currently retired and the Function Director for the organization. Her duties include assisting the President in any way possible in the maintenance of the organization, office and records. She also helps in collecting donations and making the purchases of specially requested items for donation. She hopes to help poor children any way possible.

Rita Cornelio – Director
Owner of Mystic Valley Travel, 15 Salem St., Medford, MA I enjoy helping Ray help the poor children. I take care of all of Ray’s travel arrangements to be sure he gets to Calcutta, India and back home to Boston. On many of his trips to visit the children I was able to arrange extra luggage allowance for Ray so that he was able to bring more donations to the children. I look forward to continuing working with Children Are Angels From Heaven and trying to help poor children in the world.

Alyssa Wertz – Special Projects Assistant
Longtime family friend of the O’Brien’s and recent addition to the “Children Are Angels From Heaven” board. Alyssa has a Master’s Degree in Management and currently works in finance for a health care organization. She assists Ray by organizing, consolidating, and printing a spreadsheet of donations and expenses for each tax year and works on other special projects, as needed. She also donates clothes, shoes, bags, and other items to underprivileged children. She admires Ray’s diligence and selflessness to support those in need.

Cathi Duffy – Director
As a mother of two busy young men and forever business partner with my husband (We sold the company!), I am honored to be a small part of Ray’s support network. The selfless work that Ray does all year long to prepare for the annual visit is truly inspiring. The stories he writes about his adventures are honest and illustrate the difference one person can make in the lives of many.

Jeanne Gaunt – Secretary
Jeanne is a working mother of two and the Secretary of the organization. Her duties include recording the minutes of board meetings as well as assisting the President with the maintenance of the organization. Her hope is that the effort she makes in being part of “Children Are Angels From Heaven” helps to make the life of poor children more bearable and make people who have so much, more aware of the children who have so little.

Karen Donaghey – Director
Very busy single mother to Michael, a senior in high school. Karen works as a family day care assistant at a large family day care in Medford. She also works as a representative for Provider Food Program in Watertown, making sure that day care children eat nutritious meals. She is in the office and travels to family day care centers around her area.

Steve Powers – Director
Truck driver, married 29 years, and the father of five grown children. I sit on the board of directors of East Boston Youth Hockey, and represent the drivers at Xpedx Wilmington, MA as shop steward in Teamsters Local 25. Ray likes to remind us that ‘Angels’ is fueled by the efforts of many people contributing in a small way. My first experience with Angels From Heaven was to help Ray load a truck with school desks, which he drove to the United Way of Berea, Kentucky in July of 2002. I am impressed with the detailed financial records Ray maintains for Angels From Heaven and feel honored to play a part in this organization.

Cathy Dekow – Web Master
Legal Assistant and mother of one. Together with my husband Gary, an electrical engineer, we maintain the Children Are Angels website, originally created and hosted by Cara Siggins. Through our work on this website, we hope to make people more aware of the countless number of disadvantaged children who need our help. We hope that you read the wonderful stories we have posted on this website and that they will inspire you to join in our effort to help those who are less fortunate.

Children are Angels from Heaven