Photo source: QFOX13, Seattle
When kids are taken from neglectful or troubled homes by the state, they often don’t have time to take any of their own belongings. A small group of Pierce County Detectives want to give those kids something to call their own.
Pierce County detectives who knew and loved Charlie and Braden Powell found a large dinosaur drawing made by Charlie, Susan’s oldest son, age 7. They decided to start a non-profit named “Charlie’s Dinosaur” in memory of Charlie and Braden.
They plan to collect donations so they can give away backpacks filled with toys, books, and hygiene items each month to foster children.
Thanks to … a handful of Pierce County detectives, Charlie’s Dinosaur was born, and donations helped it grow. Toiletries, toys and books – the essentials and good-to-haves – now fill backpacks for foster children in need.
"We’re hoping to put out maybe a hundred backpacks a month to children who’ve been placed for either abuse or neglect," says Anderson.
And in the process, they’re honoring two children and helping kids be kids.
From QFOX 13:
Pierce County sheriff’s detective Kevin Johnson and Sgt. Theresa Berg found the drawing of Charlie’s dinosaur when they searched Josh Powell’s storage unit after he killed the boys during a visitation and blew up his home near Graham in February.
"There were so few items that belonged to the boys that survived anything, so few items that this was kind of precious to us,” Berg said.
Both Johnson and Berg had spent a lot of time with the Powell boys after Child Protective Services took custody of them from their father.
"These kids were not strangers to us,” Berg said. “They were comfortable with us. They would run to us. We liked them and we played with them."
Investigating their deaths was difficult.
"This was probably the first case like this I can ever remember actually crying afterwards,” Johnson said. “It was tough.”
Out of that anguish came an idea for a charity to help other foster kids.
"A lot of the people that are taken into protective custody don’t have any belongings at all, and if they do, we were told they have to carry them around in plastic garbage bags," Johnson said.
"It tells me that we can do something positive for kids and out of this horrible, horrible thing at least every time I look at it, I know that we’ve done something positive," Johnson said.