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Sandy Hook: Tributes to the Lost

Family, friends remember Charlotte Bacon

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Charlotte Helen Bacon Charlotte Helen Bacon
NEWTOWN, CT (WFSB) -

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, where on Dec. 14, 2012, 20 children and six adults lost their lives, Eyewitness News will share a little about each person's life and how their families are honoring their legacies.

Charlotte Helen Bacon was just six years old, but she left a lasting impression on all who met her. People said Charlotte was extraordinarily bright and had boundless energy. She had a passion for animals and all things pink.

Outgoing, precocious and fearless, that's how friends remember Charlotte. She was a happy child and a free spirit with a personality as vibrant and stunning as her curly red hair.

At the tender age of two, Charlotte decided she wanted to be a veterinarian. She loved dogs  and dogs loved her.

"She was a sweet, kind child," said Aaron Carlson, who is the chairman at Newtown Kindness.

Carlson, of Newtown, is a close friend of the Bacon family. His daughter, Ava, and Charlotte first met as toddlers and quickly became close friends. After losing Charlotte, Carlson knew he had to do something.

"We were asked to never forget," Carlson said. "I think that's an important thing."

So he founded the group, Newtown Kindness, in memory of Charlotte with the goal to encourage and inspire acts of kindness. The slogan is "Think kindly, act boldly" was coined with Charlotte in mind.

"Charlotte was definitely a mischievous child and she kind of fits into that 'boldly,'" Carlson said. "She wasn't afraid to go out and step out of her comfort zone and do something."

In late December of last year, the group launched the first annual Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness Award. Children were asked to share a story of their own act of kindness. Winners were recognized in Newtown earlier this year on Feb. 22, which is Charlotte's birthday.

"We strongly believe that recognizing these children only creates the ripple effect of kindness," Carlson said.

Among the winners were three Newtown girls, who are classmates of Charlotte's older brother, Guy.

"Guy was on my bus so I got to see Charlotte everyday," said Natalie Horan of Newtown. "And she would go to the bus stop in her tutu and bathing suit. And it was really cute."

They were recognized for their Charlotte Bacon Chain of Love Facebook project. They wrote kind messages on hearts and gave them to family and friends who then passed the hearts on to others. All that goodwill in Charlotte's name ended up helping the girls, too.

"It was definitely helping me because I was doing something positive at such a tough time," Lindsay Dievert said. 

"I know we're helping people remember how amazing Charlotte was and all the other victims, too," Shannon Jackman said.

The girls are now helping Newtown Kindness raise money for the next major project, Charlotte's Litter. It is a campaign to help bring therapy dogs to comfort children in school as the dogs did for Charlotte's brother.

"Her brother Guy really felt a connection and a comfort in the dogs," Carlson said. "So it's a really important initiative for the Bacon family and it embodies Charlotte."

All of these efforts in memory of Charlotte are fostering hope and healing. 

"I think that when you're kind to people, you're really being kind to yourself, and because I know that you get this really great feeling inside," Jackman said.

"Kindness matters and it's just really easy to do," Horan said.

"I just feel like kindness has helped me and I think it's just helped everyone in our community," Dievert said. "It's just bringing us all together."

The memory of Charlotte is changing lives everyday with kindness.

For more information on or to register for Newtown Kindness, by clicking here or by calling Eyewitness News at 1-866-539-9372 for a mailing address.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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