TC Painted Rock group collects donations for recovering toddler

RICHLAND, Wash — Community members are banding together to gather funds and hand-painted rocks for a local toddler recently injured in a freak accident.

Aleasha Robinson said her two-year-old daughter, Charli, was playing outside with her dog in early April.

She handed Charli a popsicle and turned away to throw out the wrapper.

When she turned back, the toddler was standing in a pile of ashes leftover from a fire lit two nights before.

“She just froze and I grabbed her really quickly. I looked down and her feet were already peeling and terribly burnt,” Robinson said.

Robinson said she immediately switched into “mom-mode” and called 911.

“I was just telling her that it’s going to be okay,” Robinson said. “I was holding her and trying to comfort her as best as I could.”

The family was life-flighted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where Charli was treated for third-degree burns.

Now, she’s recovering back in Richland but may have to undergo skin grafts and toe amputations on her right foot.

This also isn’t the first time Charli has spent recovering in a hospital.

“She was born early and we were in the NICU for about a month,” Robinson said. “She has a lot of fight in her. She’s feisty and she’s tough.”

To help keep her occupied, Robinson said she set up a rock painting area so Charli can partake in one of her favorite hobbies.

Outside of the house is a painted rock trading post where residents can drop off rocks and take new ones to either hide or keep.

“Whenever we come outside, it’s a big deal for her to come out and look at all the rocks that everybody’s brought,” Robinson said. “She just loves it.”

Robinson started the trading post about two years ago so many rock-painting lovers are familiar with Charli.

Now, those same people are working to create an auction to raise money and rocks for Charli.

“I see art auctions online and so I said why don’t we do one for charity?” said auction organizer Meleny Jorgensen. “People can also donate the rock back to Charli so she will get more of them on top of the auction.”

The idea quickly spread over social media and now some painted rocks are being bid on for $50 dollars.

“I like to give back and I like to see people keep it going because we can spread a lot of positivity which is needed right now,” Jorgensen said.

Other rock lovers created a GoFundMe which has raised nearly $4,000 dollars in just a matter of days.

“I’m in shock that the community has come together that much and thought of us,” Robinson said. “This was a freak accident and families don’t expect this to happen, so just people that are willing to help out somebody else is awesome.”

Robinson added that the rock fundraiser is a good way for “local artists to come together” as well as “contributing if people don’t feel comfortable giving money.”

“If someone wants to donate they are able to paint that rock and auction it,” Robinson said. “People can help out in a different and personal way.”

Robinson said that the family is “overwhelmed” with the outpouring of support they’ve received over the past couple of weeks.

“Everybody coming together is amazing,” Robinson said.

Charli is going back to Harborview next week so doctors can further assess her conditions.

If you want to donate to the GoFundMe, click here.

To donate to the auction or bid on rocks, click here.