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Where We've Been

November 1, 2007 – Charlie Horn (Age 2 ½) was killed in a tragic accident in his own bedroom, when a dresser only 30” high tipped over on top of him.

An outpouring of community support, led the Horn family to a group of dedicated volunteers and child safety advocates. With the help of many, including Safe Kids of Johnson County, Charlie’s Safe Haven was established as an independent organization whose mission is to prevent injuries to children in and around the home.


With generous funds earned from the momentum of community support after the accident. In its first full year the organization was able to:
• Raise over $66,000
• Obtain 501c-3 status
• Supply more than 10,000 furniture safety straps to families and new parents at 12 community events
• Assist the Horn Family in working with Missouri Legislature to pass resolution (SCR 40 5/18/2008) in dedication to Charlie Horn, urging the U.S. Congress and Consumer Product Safety Commission to strengthen the standards for furniture tip over hazards; strengthen incentives for use of warning labels a safety standards for tip-prone furniture, and promote the dissemination of educational materials to the public regarding furniture tip over dangers and the use of safety devices.


• Children’s Mercy Family Health Partners, a continued supporter, made generous donations in both 2008 and 2009.
• Charlie’s Safe Haven hired a full-time Executive Director, Annette Teson.
• Featured the first Injury Prevention Day at the ‘K’ (Royals stadium) sponsored by Charlie’s Safe Haven, to help spread the word and teach practical “how-tos” for home safety.
• Thanks to the generosity from the Royals Charities, Charlie’s Safe Haven was able to distribute free furniture straps and safety checklists, as well as have experts on hand to address issues surrounding Home Safety topics.


• Charlie’s Safe Haven was officially renamed to Charlie’s House
• Charlie’s House launched its redesigned Web site with the help of a grant from The Junior League of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties, Kansas.
• Website featured one of a kind online Safety Demonstration House – Room to room guide of dangers in the typical home.
• The Horn family shared Charlie’s tragic story at the Junior League of Wyandotte & Johnson County’s annual Community Ball & Cotillion
• Charlie’s House location committee worked with the City of Kansas City to secure a long term lease on Hospital Hill to the eventual building of a real-life safety Demonstration House


• Charlie’s House opened our first temporary location in a model house in Johnson County, KS. With the partnership of James Engle Custom Homes, who allowed Charlie’s House to safety-proof a model home in an exclusive subdivision. This home, open to the public on a daily basis, provided true room-by-room instructions and examples of how to install safety techniques in the home.
• Distributed over 12,000 safety items locally, through safety fairs, home shows, speaking engagements & community events
• Charlie’s House began the “Building Blocks Campaign” to raise the $1.1 million needed to build the safety demonstration house.
• Pledge gifts from the Horn Family, and Driessesen Family Foundation initiated the Capital Campaign

• In partnership with many pediatric offices and clinics – the Physicians Alliance Network was established through the Children’s Mercy network. These pediatric offices would distribute Charlie’s Checklists and provide other safety materials to patients and families at critical times during well child visits.
• Open House Tours at Charlie’s Safety Showcase at the James Engle Model Home
• Charlie’s Chats – informational meetings to educate interested parties about Charlie’s House
• Partnership with Crowley Furniture to distribute furniture straps
• Newsletters distributed quarterly containing home safety tips and updates regarding the organization.
• Began a focus on growing social media presence
• Charlie’s Story and the organization featured story in APHA’s Injury Prevention for Children and Adolescents book (Second Edition)
• The BMA Foundation partnership begins. Charlie’s House was honored to select a dancer and become a beneficiary of the BMA Dancing with the Stars event! In our first year, our very own Brett Horn raised $35,000 for Charlie’s House, in what has turned out to be an amazing partnership for our organization.
• Charlie’s House was beneficiary of KC CAN! Auction and Dinner fund-a-need.


• John McCarthy became the Executive Director of Charlie’s House.
• In addition to distributing furniture straps and Charlie’s Checklists, Charlie’s House increased their inventory by adding Home Safety Slides and generic business cards (created to drive people to the website and social media). All of these materials are distributed on a complimentary basis.
• The Physicians Alliance program continued to grow with the addition of Shawnee Mission Medical Center being added to a distribution group (for the Charlie’s Checklists) that already includes Children’s Mercy, Cradle Connect and multiple pediatric offices in the greater Kansas City community.
• The Education Committee began to add a monthly safety article, and each article is posted on the Charlie’s House website.
• Charlie’s House website surpassed 6,900 users and 24,500 page views. On the website, Charlie’s House added a virtual house, which serves as an excellent resource for home safety.
• Charlie’s House launched the Charlie’s House 5k (dubbed, “Home Run for Safety, since it was held at the T-Bones Baseball Stadium) to support the organization. The event was a tremendous success, with over 15 sponsors, 75+ volunteers and 300 participants.


• The Education Committee added the role of Community liaison to help fulfill the many requests for community educational and distribution opportunities for Charlie’s House.
• The Physicians Alliance program continued to grow with the addition of North Kansas City Hospital and the Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to a distribution group (of Charlie’s Checklists) that already includes Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Children’s Mercy, Cradle Connect and multiple pediatric offices in the greater Kansas City community.
• Charlie’s story was on Today show! A feature on furniture tip over hazards and standards, reported by Ann Curry, Charlie’s Story along with other tragic tip over accidents were featured.
• The Charlie’s House website underwent a significant overhaul, adding a web link for parents to order complimentary safety items. Through our website over 800 furniture straps were distributed, while more than 1,000 Charlie’s Checklists and Home Safety Slides were distributed as well.
• Facebook page surpassed 1,000 “Likes” and the website surpassed 8,000 users and 25,700 page views. Charlie’s House became active with a YouTube channel in an effort to use the vehicle to educate audiences through seven new videos that were created specifically by – and for – Charlie’s House.
• We hosted the 2nd Annual Charlie’s House 5k (i.e. Home Run for Safety), and the event grew to over 25 sponsors, 80+ volunteers and over 350 participants registered.
• Charlie’s House launched the first Charlie’s House Golf Classic at Shoal Creek Golf Club. Like the Home Run for Safety event, the Golf Classic raised funds and awareness for Charlie’s House.
• Dr. Tamara Peterson, a member of the Charlie’s House Board of Directors, continued our annual participation in the BMA Foundation’s Dance & Dine with the Stars event.
• 2014 also saw major contributions towards the capital campaign, as Children’s Mercy & H&R Bloch donated towards the creation of America’s first demonstration home for child safety.


• Charlie’s House celebrated 8 years of sharing our mission and growing our reach within the community. We distributed over 35,000 safety items (furniture straps, checklists, home safety slides, TV straps, Cabinet Locks and Outlet covers). We grew the Physician Alliance program to 9 hospital or physician networks, presented at over 40 events, grew our database by 50% and increased our social media posts.
• We held the 3rd Home Run for Safety 5k with almost 500 in attendance; held the Charlie’s House Golf Classic in May.
• Thanks to Farmers Insurance, we made significant progress in the Building Blocks Campaign, meeting 93% of our goal for the campaign to build the safety demonstration home.
• We experience a ‘setback’ in the scheduled construction of Charlie’s House, when the City closed ‘Safety Street’ with whom we were going to build in close proximity to and partner with on many safety issues.


• Charlie’s House extended our on line distribution of orders exceeding 3,000 individual orders with a total distribution of over 90,000 individual pieces of information and products. Such a high demand caused a restructuring of the online product give away.
• Our volunteer educators contributed to over 98 organizations including 50 events such as health fairs and Parents as Teachers. At these events and educational outreach, we handed out 21,500 safety items such as our signature checklist, TV and furniture straps, cabinets locks, gun locks, bike helmets and electrical outlet plugs.
• We successfully held the Hone Run for Safety 5k, 3k and Kids Run, the Hole in One for Safety Golf Classic and were honored to be a recipient of the Brian Mitchell Anselmo Dine and Dance with the Stars event again in June.
• In July, we were chose by the CPSC to partner in their Swim Safely campaign, helping spread the word about pool safety and the importance of learning to swim.
• While continuing to hope for a resolution to the original build site, Charlie’s House actively pursued other potential construction sites.


• Jessica Earnshaw took the role of our 3rd Executive Director
• A change in fundraising strategy occurred in 2017 with a transition away from the 5k & Golf tournament
• Partnership with Dorel Juvenile (Safety 1st) led us to attend the JPMA show in Anaheim, CA where we networked with many product manufacturers. Dorel Juvenile, also graciously provided Charlie’s House a large order of Safety 1st supplies, which we were able to get into hands of people who needed them through our online distribution network.
• In June Charlie’s Story & the Horn family were featured in USA TODAY insert on Child Safety
• Partnership with Honeywell Corporation began
• Recipient of NKC Hospital’s ‘Chip in for Charity’ event
• A group of Charlie’s House representatives attended PREVCON – Safe Kids Worldwide’s annual show – a wonderful opportunity to network with other child safety advocates
• The location committee met with city officials with the goal of revising existing lease arrangement.


• Charlie’s House held the inaugural ‘CHARLIE’S BALL” – a formal event and fundraiser designed for the entire family.
• In May the Charlie’s House lease revision passes the City Council for the second time – Charlie’s House begins meetings to officially begin construction
• Melanie Rine continued Charlie’s House participation in the BMA FOUNDATION Dine & Dance with the Stars – She set an all-time record of $91,000 in votes!