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November 27th, 2022

As we approach the 10-year mark of Charlotte’s death, I have been reflecting.

Headshot: JoAnn Bacon
JoAnn Bacon

I am reflecting on the evolution in my personal life and the evolution of the Charlotte Helen Bacon (CHB) Foundation. The evolution is substantial, and Charlotte’s impact is immeasurable.

The origin of the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation is rooted in tragedy. Joel and I did not aspire to work in the non-profit world and would never imagine our life turning in this direction. We were thrust into this world because our daughter died, and we needed something good to hold onto. With no background or experience, we took all of our love for our daughter and poured it into the things she cared about. We were a bit all over the place in the beginning: kindness, dogs, and a children’s book. It was messy because our life was messy.

It took time and patience to fine-tune our purpose as Charlotte’s parents and as a foundation. As things settled and we found balance, Newtown Kindness evolved into the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation. The transition may have been confusing to some, but it was time for a course correction for those involved. Grief is an evolution and never stagnant, so, logically, a foundation founded in grief and remembrance would evolve too.

What started as honoring the kindness bestowed upon us and the things Charlotte loved and held dear was also becoming about honoring the things held dear by those who were left behind. For Joel and I, that would be supporting bereaved parents. Our foundation in kindness led the way as we transitioned to a foundation rooted in support.

The CHB Foundation is not a big organization with big or grand gestures. We intentionally remained small to retain the personal touch.  The personal touch we desire for ourselves and, in return, give to others. Our board members are also our biggest volunteers. Each dedicates time and resources beyond boardroom meetings. You will see each of them working behind the scenes at our events and initiatives, giving wholeheartedly. Each has a personal relationship with Charlotte that grows with each passing year. Their dedication is an act of love.

Over the last ten years, our supporters have generously given in many ways, from volunteering, sharing Charlotte’s story, gifting book copies of Good Dogs, Great Listeners: The Story of Charlotte, Lily and the Litter, and monetary donations. This, too, is often an act of love.  And these acts of love are why the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation continues to thrive and stay healthy.

Throughout the next several weeks, we will share Charlotte’s impact. Each initiative and program is an act of love made possible by so many.  Her impact has outlived her number of years and how and where it continues to give is unknown. What is known is that her love and our love for her will continue to sprinkle down unnoticeably on future generations — a gentle coating of Charlotte’s stardust.


JoAnn Bacon

To Support the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation, please visit our website:

To Buy Good Dogs, Great Listeners, please visit here:

Headshot: JoAnn Bacon

JoAnn Bacon

JoAnn, along with husband Joel, co-founded the Charlotte Helen Bacon Foundation to honor the way their little girl lived so boldly. She and Joel also published the children’s books Good Dogs, Great Listeners and The Dogs of Newtown, written by their son and Charlotte’s older brother. JoAnn is committed to de-stigmatizing grief and bereavement, particularly child loss. Her writing has been featured in many national publications including TIME, Modern Loss, and The Mighty.