Meet the board…Part 2!

It’s time to meet another member of our fabulous team at A Charlie Girl Foundation… Melissa!

My name is Melissa Johnson and I have gotten to know Kelly over the past couple of years through work at United Hospital. She started sharing Charlie’s story with me and I made the decision to join the Charlie Girl Foundation to help other children (and their families) born with Congenital Heart Defects. In October 2016, a friend of mine had a baby boy who was diagnosed with Critical Aortic Stenosis, a severe narrowing of the left aortic valve, shortly after he was born. He was discharged home after 55 days in the hospital, after multiple surgeries and was able to be home for Christmas. You can follow Henry’s story on his Caring Bridge website ( I am a Registered Nurse by background and started a new position as the Manager of Care Management at United Hospital last year. In my freetime, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my nephew and niece, and going for a run.

melissa's bio picture melissa's bio picture 2


Keep watching for additional bio’s on our board members as well as for news about more of our partnerships.

Thanks for following,



Meet the board!

It’s time to meet all the people behind the scenes that help out with making this foundation work. We will be posting a new board member for the next few weeks until you have met all of us! Keep watching because we will also be showing you our March partnership and sharing some very exciting news!

Without further ado meet Lindsey our treasurer.

Lindsey Ransom is proud to serve on the Charlie Girl Foundation board as its treasurer, honoring and remembering the spunky spirit and enduring strength of little Charlotte Ava. Throughout Lindsey’s career, she has worked as a Field Developer, Title & Escrow Specialist and as an Investor Relations Officer and is currently the Chief Operating Officer for National Renewable Solutions, a large-scale renewable energy developer. Lindsey oversees all in-house development activities for all of NRS’ projects, as well as the operations of the company.   She has extensive experience in financial planning, budgeting and also working with community members and landowners in projects in Iowa, Colorado, Ohio, Montana, New Mexico, Texas and Minnesota. Lindsey also enjoys baking sweet treats, reading historical fiction, and has done some freelance writing. She lives in Saint Paul with her husband, Ben, and their daughter and large dog, Summit, where the family regularly enjoys bike rides and sailing on the Dorothy Ann in Grand Marais, MN.


February’s Special Partner

This month our partners are Sue and Melissa with LuLaRoe! These lovely ladies sent me a message asking to help us out for congenital heart defect awareness week, which is Sunday, February 12th through Saturday 18th. Melissa and I met at church in 2011 and have shared the joys and heartaches of motherhood. Melissa and her mother in law are Sue are excited to partner with us, and we could not be more grateful!

Meet Sue and Melissa


We are Sue and Melissa! We have been selling LuLaRoe since September and have been learning so much and enjoying it. February 12th begins Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week and it will also be our first fundraising event. I (Melissa) met the McManimon family in July 2011 when we started attending Real Life Church and since then it has been a joy to get to know the family. Although we never had the privilege of meeting Charlie, we have been impacted by her story. It is our joy to partner with the Charlie Girl Foundation and help raise funds to support Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. When you buy from us during this fundraising event a portion of our sales will go directly to this foundation. We are looking forward to supporting the goals of this foundation. “We always will… raise awareness and resources for pediatric heart research.”

The sale will start this coming Monday on February 6th! LuLaRoe has amazing leggings as well as tops and dresses – check it out, shop a little and support the foundation. The link below will send you directly to Sue and Melissa’s Facebook page which directs you how to shop!

As always, we appreciate you stopping by and supporting children with congenital heart defects. We are overwhelmed by all of your support!



January’s Special Partnership

Each month we are going to try and introduce you to a new partnership with the foundation. This month our amazing partnership and fundraising opportunity is with Maria Wilson. Maria is a Thirty-One gifts consultant and a dear friend. I met Maria at Northwestern College – now the University of Northwestern St. Paul. She is a fabulous singer, has an incredible sense of humor …. just ask her about our .5k endeavor ;), and an amazing friend. Though we have not seen each other in years, she reached out and requested to join the team of supporting children and families dealing with congenital heart defects in honor of Charlie, and I’m incredibly grateful!

Meet Maria and check out her website below.


My name is Maria Wilson, and I have known Kelly since 2000 where we met at Northwestern College. Kelly has spunk. Her laughter is contagious and her heart for people is one that everyone seeks to replicate. I can’t think of a better organization to support with my own Thirty-One business. Through Charlie Girl, the McManimon family will impact other families, from their own heart to those needing compassion, grace, hope, and love during a difficult time. I am excited to partner with them!

For every sale, A Charlie Girl Foundation will get a donation. Every bit counts, and these bags are great, it’s a win win! Elliott has one of the lunch boxes. We bought it over three years ago and it is still in great condition. It is also adorable!

~ Kelly




A frozen new year

This morning it was -10 on my way to work. I as usual disregarded the frigid temps and left for work with wet hair, which instantly froze. I did at least wear boots to work instead of just my flats, and I’m thankful I did.

On my way home tonight I felt the urge to stop by Charlottes graveside. I pass it everyday to and from work but rarely stop. The site is important and meaningful to me, but it does not hold her spirit or many memories for me. It does however symbolize my loss and at times its very comforting to stop by remember her and kiss two fingers and place them on her footprints.

When I stopped today, it didn’t occur to me that it would be difficult to find her gravestone, due to the snow. In the children’s garden where Charlie is buried her grave is nearly centered on a statue. From that starting point I found the area I hoped was hers and began to kick the snow out with my boots. It took awhile and as I was doing it I realized how cathartic it was to unbury my little girl’s gravestone. Wishing of course that it was she instead that was being unburied, but just finding her name and footprints were reliving. It’s a fear of many bereaved parents that their child’s memory will be forgotten or ignored, and her graveside being buried in snow triggered that for me. Uncovering it brought her back, made it so that she could once again be identified and remembered in that space. Once it was uncovered I was able to kiss her little footprints like I do every time we visit. It was what I needed. I didn’t stay long, the air is far too cold today to stay outside long, but the short visit allowed me to grieve and remember her in the quiet space of the children’s garden.

I was grateful I visited but also instantly reminded of our first time at the cemetery. Near Charlie’s grave I saw markers in the snow labeling the spaces for a new child to be buried. The reason they are out signifies someone else’s loss. Someone else had to come to the children’s garden and pick the space where their child’s body will lay, where they will visit and grieve their child. It breaks my heart to think of anyone else having to go through the same loss.

The graveside provides a space for grief, this foundation provides a space to honor and remember. I’m so grateful for that, for an outlet to channel goodness from pain and loss. Charlie Girl’s foundation is providing an outlet to care for others, and to remember and honor her in the process.

With the new year beginning I’m reminded and motivated to do many things: eat better, work out more – or at all :), invest more in my family and faith, and finish what I’ve started. This foundation is part of that. It has begun but there is more to do! We need now to raise money. Money towards research – to eliminate the need for gravestones like Charlottes, money to provide financial support – to children and families dealing with congenital heart defects. It’s time for the foundation to grow!

In recent weeks, multiple companies have reached out willing to partner with us and begin raising funds for A Charlie Girl Foundation.  These exciting opportunities will get us started in growing this foundation more quickly. Keep an eye on the website, and Facebook pages for more information about our partners. Our newly created ‘partner’ tab will provide information as well. If you or someone you know is interested in partnering with us, please connect with us by using the contact tab above. We look forward to hearing from you!

In closing I would be remise in not thanking those who recently have donated and supported the foundation. In December alone we had multiple individuals and families donate via the website! Each donation makes a significant difference, and we cannot thank you enough for your support! Thank you all who have donated to this worthy cause!

With Love, Kelly