Newtown Kindness will be hosting a Therapy/Comfort Dog Walk-A-Thon this Saturday, November 2. The organization received so much support that registration hass been closed to any further people who wish to participate.
The walk will take place on from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm at the Fairfield Hills campus.
Newtown Kindness, a nonprofit organization, was created after 12/14 tragedy with a mission, according to its website, “to promote kindness as a guiding principle of humanity. Newtown Kindness is committed to fostering compassion in children and inspiring lifelong contributors to society. The organization aims to facilitate acts of kindness within communities as well as raise awareness of kindness through education, sharing and recognition.”
Saturday will mark the official announcement for its new program, Charlotte’s Litter. Joel and JoAnn Bacon, as well as their son Guy, started Charlotte’s Litter as a way to honor the memory of their daughter, and sister, Charlotte Bacon, one of the children killed on 12/14. Charlotte’s love for animals and the family’s own personal experiences with comfort dogs reportedly inspired the program, which advocates for therapy/comfort dogs to be more readily available.
Aaron Carlson, co-founder and chairman of Newtown Kindness, said, “Charlotte’s family has seen the power of comfort and hope through the therapy dogs.”
The walk-a-thon will consist of registered walkers and only certified therapy/comfort dogs. The event is not designed for personal pets or walkers that are not signed up prior to the event.
Mr Carlson said organizers have already reached their maximum capacity for attendees. Along with the organization’s volunteers, there will be 150 walkers and between 60 to 70 certified dogs with their handlers participating on Saturday.
The number of participants needed to be limited, said Mr Carlson, due to limited space for parking at Fairfield Hills. He was quick to add that he hopes to make the walk an annual event and find a way to make it even bigger next year so more people can attend.
The Newtown Kindness website has a waiting list where people can register in case registered walkers cancel prior to the event.
According to the Newtown Kindness website, the event will let attendees know more about “the Newtown Kindness mission, Charlotte and her love for animals, the impact that Therapy/Comfort Dogs have in Newtown, the program’s literacy efforts, book publishing plans, and Therapy/Comfort dog support goals.”
Mr Carlson said he has seen the way kids interact with the comfort dogs, noting, “It’s a magical thing, I can see the impact it has on children.”