Joy For Charlotte: A Kindness Movement (July 31)

On July 31, 2018, April Robson’s world was shattered when her family received an unexpected diagnosis for their two year old daughter, Charlotte. Charlotte was diagnosed with Leukodystrophy, a rare, incurable and terminal condition.

Over the past year, many of you have followed along and been so inspired by April’s grace and poise through this difficult diagnosis. Her commitment to filling her home with joy while navigating this journey is truly remarkable and has touched so many of our lives too.

In honor of Charlotte, and the joy that she brings to anyone she meets, please consider contributing joy through a random act of kindness for someone else on July 31. Tag @charlottesjoy and #joy4charlotte on your Instagram story or Instagram post to join the movement as a way to show our support and give April and her family a big virtual hug on this day.

Friends — if you would like to help promote the Joy For Charlotte Kindness Movement prior to July 31, you can find various versions of the logo for download HERE. Please help spread the word to your friends and community. 

A deeper dive into Charlotte Robson’s story

When Baby Charlotte was only taking a few steps unassisted at 12 months old, April and her husband, Ian, became worried. Despite their pediatrician reassuring them that every child develops at their own pace, the family’s concern continued to grow over the next few months as Charlotte was still not walking independently at 18 months old despite weekly physical therapy. Additional signs of other developmental regressions began to arrive which led to meetings with specialists, strabismus surgery and a slew of testing (bloodwork, genetic testing, MRI, EEG and more).

On July 31, 2018, the Robson family found themselves in a terrifying emergency room situation after Charlotte was experiencing difficulty swallowing. A repeat MRI would be done and the family would anxiously await the answers they had been searching for for months. Their lives would never again be the same as the doctors delivered the devastating news that Charlotte has leukodystrophy, a rare progressive genetic disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. The days and months that would follow would be a whirlwind as the family adjusted to their new life.

Despite the daily trials, the Robson family, which also includes 5 year old Camille and 1 year old Lochlan, continue to focus on joy, which is so evident to all who have been following their journey.

Many of you fell in love with April many years ago and have felt connected to her family as she shared their life through her blog, A.Liz Adventures which later became Smidge of This. Many of us would recreate her recipes, swoon over her calligraphy, celebrate her first, second and third pregnancies, purchase bows, jewelry, lipsticks and more from her shops, tune in for her grocery hauls and look forward to the clips of her everyday life as a rockstar wife and mama to 3!

Whether you’ve been virtually following April for almost a decade or found her more recently through Charlotte’s story, it is evident that the Robson family’s commitment to focusing on joy and filling Charlotte’s life with as much happiness and love as possible is truly inspirational.

Please consider joining the Joy For Charlotte movement on July 31 to support this incredibly inspiring family.

50 RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS IDEAS

  1. Leave a generous tip
  2. Buy coffee or lunch for someone behind you
  3. Leave a treat in the mailbox for the mailman
  4. Leave a nice note on a car
  5. Write a thank you note “just because”
  6. Offer to babysit for a struggling parent
  7. Buy flowers for a friend
  8. Leave dinner on a friend’s doorstep
  9. Donate canned goods to a local food bank
  10. Drop off donuts to the police or fire station
  11. Take a cup of coffee to your child’s teacher
  12. Write encouraging words to runners on a running path
  13. Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant
  14. Forgive someone
  15. Offer to help someone
  16. Write a letter or send a care package to a soldier
  17. Tell 5 people to have a good day
  18. Stop and hold the door today for someone
  19. Bake cookies for an elderly neighbor
  20. Visit the nursing home
  21. Pass out 5 compliments to strangers
  22. Buy from a small business
  23. Encourage someone to take the kindness challenge
  24. Donate blankets, towels, dog food or cat food to an animal shelter
  25. Let someone go ahead of you line
  26. Pick up litter
  27. Leave a happy note in a library book
  28. Donate your toys
  29. Pay off a school lunch account for a child
  30. Put someone’s grocery cart away
  31. Invite someone over for dinner
  32. Freely offer your skills to help someone
  33. Pray for someone
  34. Clean out your closets and donate your clothes
  35. Send a card to someone for no reason
  36. Tape money to a vending machine
  37. Pay for the toll for someone behind you
  38. Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger
  39. Donate blood
  40. Sponsor a child in need at a local school
  41. Give someone a hug that needs it
  42. Post a positive review for a small business
  43. Offer your seat to someone 
  44. Leave a positive comment on someone’s blog or Instagram
  45. Check in on an elderly neighbor
  46. Tell a manager how good your service was
  47. Tell your principal how great your teacher is
  48. Tell someone how much you love them
  49. Bring your neighbor’s garbage cans in for them
  50. Buy extra school supplies for the class
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3 Comments

  1. Nancy
    July 25, 2019 / 7:27 am

    I have followed April and you for many, many years. Since your weddings actually. I will definitely be participating. I think this is also a great reminder to try to live as April does everyday, and spread joy not just on July 31, but each day as well. Many of these ideas cost nothing, but can mean so much to others. Taking garbage cans in while you are tending to your own, holding doors, offering smiles and hellos, allowing someone with young kids and only a gallon of milk to go ahead of you at the grocery store, etc are all things we can engage in daily. Let’s keep the joy going each and every day as April does!

  2. KATIE
    July 25, 2019 / 4:16 pm

    I read this blog post this morning and it’s been weighing heavy on my heart all day. I hope to spread Joy in my day to day in honor of Charlotte. I can’t imagine getting that news. Sounds like Charlotte has the most amazing support system & a rockstar family.
    I paid for the person behind me lunch today and thought of this sweet family. Miracles happen. I hope they believe in the power of prayer.

  3. Chris Slappey
    July 30, 2019 / 2:42 pm

    Christina, a huge thank you from all of our family! I will be sharing this wonderful idea with my friends and family and I have already begun to think of this as an annual event of spreading joy and love. Also made a note of some of your wonderful ideas…50 great ones there! and plan to check off as many as I can in the next few days! Chris Slappey

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