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Flat Charlie Project

Photo of Andrew holding a blank cut out of Flat Charlie By Minnie Lambert

A book that my son, Andrew, and his class recently read has inspired me to kick off a very unique fundraising project to benefit the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation. Andrew’s class read a book titled Flat Stanley. There is a project that goes along with the book that takes Flat Stanley on a journey. Students begin by reading the book and becoming acquainted with the story. Then they make paper “Flat Stanleys” and keep a journal for a few days, documenting the places and activities in which Flat Stanley is involved. The Flat Stanley and the journal are then mailed to other people who are asked to treat the figure as a visiting guest and add to his journal, then return them both after a period of time.

Now on to OUR project. With the help of many of you, I am launching The Flat Charlie Project. You may ask, “Who is Flat Charlie?” Flat Charlie is a little guy who is trying to get to the International CHARGE Syndrome Conference and is wanting to visit lots of families affected by CHARGE along the way! However, he needs your help. He is in search of host families that will take care of him and add a missing piece to him. Each family will also have to raise money to help send Flat Charlie on to his next destination as he CHARGEs around the world on his way to the Conference.

Photo of a baby with CHARGE holding the Flat Charlie projectThe project will work as follows: Flat Charlie will be nothing more that a blank little paper boy that will leave our home first. Andrew and I will add a very special piece to him to help him on his journey. When he arrives at your home, it will be your family’s responsibility to add a missing piece to him. It is important to get the children involved as much as possible. This is a way for Flat Charlie to belong to all the children. Be as creative as you want, but keep in mind each family will have to pay postage for his travels, so we need to keep him as light as possible.

The amount of time that you keep Flat Charlie will depend on how many families we can get involved. He will arrive with a list of his host families and a map of his journey. You will cross your family’s name off of the list, mark your spot on the map, and send Flat Charlie and the map to his next destination. I hope to give each family as much time with him as possible. I will try to group certain places together to cut down on travel time. The last leg of Flat Charlie’s journey will send him back to my family, and we will be responsible for getting him to Conference.

The goal of this project is to get the kids and their families involved in a fun exercise to help support the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation. He will be presented to the Foundation from all of the families involved at Conference, along with a grand total of how much money he has collected along his journey.

Photo of a young boy with CHARGE holding the Flat Charlie project

Charlie’s journey began in South Carolina with Minnie’s son, Andrew. He then made his first trip to Michigan with Brayden Case and his family, then on to the Bowers family, and then on to Dr. Donna Martin, chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Foundation. He had quite a stay in Michigan before he headed out to his next location. He has been to speech therapy, early intervention, physiotherapy, the circus, and even met up with Dr. Tim Hartshorne on the slopes of Challenge Mountain, just to name a few things. His next stops included England, Canada, Australia, and many other areas of the U.S. before he reached his final destination at the International CHARGE Syndrome Conference, where he was presented to the Foundation from all of the families involved, along with a grand total of how much money he has collected along his journey.