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Everyday Heroes: Stephanie and Eric Cronmiller

Charlie’s Army

At Dunwoody’s Fourth of July Parade this year, you may have seen a group walking with a fire truck. That group was Charlie’s Army.

Charlie’s Army is a nonprofit organization started by Stephanie and Eric Cronmiller last year, dedicated to providing young children a voice and empowering parents to make healthy decisions and create safe environments for their families.

The Cronmillers started Charlie’s Army in memory of their four-month-old son Charlie, who passed away during a nap at a daycare in February of 2021. According to a police report, Charlie was found facedown.

Credit: Photo Courtesy of Stephanie and Eric Cronmiller

Credit: Photo Courtesy of Stephanie and Eric Cronmiller

Stephanie Cronmiller said the idea for Charlie’s Army came around almost immediately and helped her channel her grief over losing her son.

“When we lost Charlie, I immediately bounced into, what can I do?” Stephanie said. “Within a matter of a couple weeks, my husband and I knew we had to do something to continue to honor him, to keep him and his memory alive.”

As soon as late February 2021, she began researching nonprofits. By that summer, Charlie’s Army was up and running.

“We wanted to be able to advocate for children and infants who can’t talk yet,” Stephanie said. “They can’t come home and tell you that something’s wrong or they don’t like the way they’re being treated. So it’s really about empowering parents – ensuring that they are equipped with the knowledge and tools to have their best interests in mind.”

A lot of what Charlie’s Army focuses on is educating parents on the safest ways for infants to sleep and empowering often overwhelmed or tired parents and caregivers to create healthy and safe environments for children.

The foundation partners with different companies like HALO, which provides sleep sacks and swaddles for infants, and Regal Lager’s swaddle brand Love to Dream, and uses those partnerships to help provide parents with swaddles and pamphlets on the “ABCs of Safe Sleep.”

Charlie’s Army’s website lists out the ABCs of Safe Sleep, which stand for “Alone,” “Back is Best,” and “Clear the Space.” The ABCs state that the best way for infants to sleep is in a bassinet or crib, on their backs, and in a space clear of everything but a mattress and a sheet.

According to the couple, Charlie’s Army has donated multiple swaddles and pamphlets to new parents across the metro area.

In one holiday campaign through a partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life team, the foundation received a list of clinics that see the most newborns and was able to raise enough money to buy and donate HALO swaddles to new parents at Harbin Clinic Pediatrics in Cartersville.

The foundation also held a golf tournament last year at St. Ives Country Club in Johns Creek. Between sponsorships, donations and a silent auction, Charlie’s Army was able to raise about $130,000.

HOW TO HELP

To learn more information about Charlie’s Army, please visit https://charliesarmy.org/.

Click here to donate.


WE’RE STRONGER TOGETHER: A SPECIAL PROJECT

This place we call home is filled with ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary feats. Their selfless acts make this region so special – and they bring out the best in all of us. With the holidays upon us, we wanted to share their inspiring stories, celebrate their accomplishments, and offer ways that you can help.

Just as the 55 people we’re profiling can’t do it alone, nor can we. That’s why we worked closely with our partners to bring you this collection of uplifting stories.

We hope they leave you feeling inspired and ready to tackle the busy new year that lies ahead.

We hope they make you feel more connected to your community or to your neighbors.

And maybe, just maybe, they will motivate you to come up with your own small way to make a big difference in the lives of others.

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