Reporting Heather Brown
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the chaos of high school, it’s often easy to overlook the small things. At Orono High School, Abbey Saville and Meggie Dumas are doing their best to make sure that doesn’t happen, so they want people to recognize each other with Charlotte’s Challenge.
The challenge is named after Charlotte Bacon, who was just six years old when she was killed in Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. It encourages small acts of kindness to others.
Now, that idea has spread to Orono High School, which is Charlotte’s mother’s alma mater.
“The small act of kindness can go a long way. Just smiling at someone in the hallway can improve someone’s day,” said Meggie.
So, lunch table by lunch table, even person by person, they ask fellow students: “Has anyone done anything nice to you today?”
“When you see a tragedy in Newtown, you realize something I do small for someone today can really have an impact on someone else in the future,” said Abbey.
Meggie and Abbey never knew Charlotte. In fact, they never even knew of her mother until Dec. 14, 2012.
Charlotte’s mother, Joann Bacon used to eat in this Orono lunchroom more than 30 years ago. The day the challenge started, Joann’s sisters came back to thank the girls.
“You show a lot of maturity in what you’re doing. It’s really gracious, so thank you,” said Joann to the girls.
Meggie and Abbey are grateful Charlotte is being remembered for good, not only in their hometown, but in Newtown as well. Last week, kid after kid were recognized for their acts of kindness there.
Orono simply wants to continue the pattern.
“It’s nice to finally recognize the kids that are doing something nice and to encourage other kids to do something nice as well,” said Abbey.
Charlotte’s Challenge is supposed to last for only 30 days, but Meggie and Abbey hope this month will create a pattern to continue it throughout the year.