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Meet Kjerstin Davies of Charlie’s Guys in Boulder

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kjerstin Davies.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kjerstin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It was the summer of 2017 and I was pregnant with our third child. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome a little girl into the family and for her big brothers to meet her. Her brothers at the time were 3.5 and almost two. They were close in age and best friends. But on the morning of Friday, August 11 everything changed. Charlie never woke up. He would never celebrate his second birthday just a few weeks away. He would never get to meet his little sister and his brother would never get to play Transformers with him ever again. Words cannot express this deep shock and sorrow that we would carry with us now for the rest of our lives. Friends and family new and old, from near and far came to grieve and support us.

Our children (including our daughter due two months later) were showered with gifts and special experiences to help make this pain more manageable. Out of these gifts, an idea was born. Charlie’s Guys was formed to provide the same to others that was given to us. It would provide special experiences and gifts to children who had lost a sibling. The void of losing a sibling is too big measure, but these gifts and experiences can provide those experiencing this deep loss with something to look forward to help them on their grief journey. The experiences can leave them with a lasting positive memory to look back on when their grief becomes debilitating. The gifts will remind them that at all times, they are loved and not forgotten.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our challenges so far have not been with the organization. The organization has been funded greatly by individuals’ and businesses’ generosity. The families we serve couldn’t be kinder and more appreciative of us. The challenges we face are more personal. Grief makes you realize how short this life is and how meaningless it could be. The challenge we face lies here, in a perspective that simply put, challenges you.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We provide children who have lost a sibling with a special gift or experience. This provides them with something to look forward to or something to remember when they are feeling down. Our organization has provided children with limo rides to a special show, a staycation someplace fun, amusement park tickets, and more. We tailor experiences to the children’s interests and most times the person referring the child (most often times a parent or close relative) reveals it to them as a surprise. It’s an incredible bonding experience for the parents with their children as the parents are often included in experiences with their children as their chaperone. If a child is too young for an experience, we can provide them with a gift card for new clothes or purchase them a fun toy. Our one year anniversary of the organization is this May 2019 and in this short time, we have served over 75 children in over 20 states! We look forward to growing this next year to serve even more brave and courageous children.

What were you like growing up?
I am the oldest of three and have two younger sisters. I have always been organized and active in athletics. Growing up, I was shy, sensitive, and perceptive. However, I would quickly adapt to situations and would make friends easily. Relationships were my passion. I loved people deeply and have always very loyal. I babysat from a young age and have always cared for children. They bring so much joy to life! I loved being with others and still love bringing people together. After college, I became an event planner at a law firm and used my creativity and relational skills to embrace this passion for people. I later became a child educator. It is strange how planning special experiences for grieving children is something that both my life experiences and my personality has prepared me for as if part of some bigger design. I so wish I never had to lose a child in order to begin these conversations that would ultimately lead to forming this organization, but that is not how life works. Most of life is learned through hindsight and it is out of tragedy that authentic community is formed.

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  Image Credit:
David O. Baldwin

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