Charlie’s Dinosaur drive deadline extended

We had a plan for the Charlie’s Dinosaur drive.

At first, we established a timeline to collect necessities for new foster kids through the Daffodil Festival (April 13). It seemed a natural break in life in Pierce County.

We’ve changed our mind.

This is a new drive for a new non-profit, a city-wide idea we haven’t tried before. It took a while to explain it, to get people collecting those hoodies and jammies, those toiletries and backpacks.

Now we’re rolling.

We’re hearing from bars and bistros that have signs and collection sites. People who have had a pint or two of excellent beer are, it turns out, generous. Imagine how generous they might be if they had a friendly competition with another establishment.

We’ve heard of a tweener girl who’s planning a pajama party, and inviting her friends to bring new PJs to donate.

Rite in the Rain, the people who make paper you can – yep, write on in the rain –heard about the drive on Saturday, and had a sign up on Monday.

So we are ditching our plan. We’re adding a month. We have posters to share, and we can make more.

We’ve found that, instead of a box, a piece of rolling luggage, duffle or backpack makes a great donation site.

Stop by the Tacoma Weekly office at 2588 Pacific Hwy. on your way to Pick Quick Burgers for lunch and pick up a poster, or put a donation in our girlie suitcase. Stop by any police or sheriff’s substation and donate.

Or save the trip, and shift into the drive.

People in Tacoma are doing good things for the kids who need it most.

Why stop now?

MOST WANTED NEW ITEMS Backpacks Rolling luggage Pajamas Hair dryers Jeans and tops Zip-front hoodies Coats Toiletries, including shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and body wash Combs and brushes Art supplies and books

ABOUT THE DRIVE

Child abuse and neglect cases are some of the hardest on Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies. Though they are all awful, the deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell at their father’s hand was one of the worst. Who could make sense of a parent murdering his own boys?

After they found a picture Charlie made of a happy dinosaur, five detectives saw it as the mascot of an effort to help the kids they still can. They founded Charlie’s Dinosaur as a non-profit to help children moving out of abuse and into foster care.

There’s an awkward time in that process, said Det. Sgt. Theresa Berg. The children rarely have clean clothes, toiletries or anything to pass the time in the few days when they are in meetings, hearings and temporary care. Charlie’s Dinosaur fills in that blank with a backpack or rolling suitcase filled with new necessities.

The detectives are allowing us to help fill those bags during Tacoma Weekly’s Charlie’s Dinosaur Drive for Foster Kids. The list of things the children need, and the places to bring them are next to this story.

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