Powell boys' legacy: Helping abused, neglected kids

SPANAWAY, Wash. - After the deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell, a local non-profit is honoring their memory by helping foster children in Pierce County - turning tragedy into hope.

Down a dirt driveway in Spanaway are things that little girls and boys love - dirt, loud trucks and dinosaurs.

"I imagine today they're going to be frolicking around with us - we just don't see them," says Denise Cox, Charlie and Braden's aunt.

Amid the excitement is a simple booth, where that dinosaur honors the two boys, sons of missing mom Susan Powell, who were killed in February when their father Josh Powell torched the family home in an inferno.

During the investigation that followed, investigators found something unexpected.

"When we unrolled that poster, and this was literally the dinosaur he had drawn, everybody lit up," says Lynette Anderson, Pierce County detective.

The picture by 7-year-old Charlie Powell now represents a drive to do more.

But this isn't about how Charlie and his 5-year-old brother Braden died - it's about how their memory can help Pierce County foster kids live a bit easier.

"Having gone through that investigation, and having been very affected by it, a small group of us decided to get together," says Anderson.

Thanks to Anderson and a handful of Pierce County detectives, Charlie's Dinosaur was born, and donations helped it grow. Toiletries, toys and books - the essentials and good-to-haves - now fill backpacks for foster children in need.

"We're hoping to put out maybe a hundred backpacks a month to children who've been placed for either abuse or neglect," says Anderson.

And in the process, they're honoring two children and helping kids be kids.

Saturday's fundraiser featured BMX bike races, wrestling matches and music. All profits benefit Charlie's Dinosaur.