In 2012, Vance had an idea, "What if we could duplicate that experience we had in Washington, D.C.? What if we could bring that experience back to the citizens of Burke County, North Carolina ?" Two years later, the couple gifted the very first Charters of Freedom setting outside of Washington, D.C. to the citizens of Burke County. Carrying that same vision, with the goal to reach other communities across America, Foundation Forward, Inc. was officially formed. It now operates as a nonprofit educational project that promotes civics, education, and the preservation of American history. Over 30 settings have been dedicated across the country in nine states.
Vance & Mary Jo Patterson
In 2011, Founders Vance and Mary Jo Patterson took a trip to Washington, DC. They visited the National Archives and experienced the United States' founding documents for the very first time. Vance recalls that when he saw something the Founding Fathers had actually penned it gave him goosebumps. When they read the words, “We the People”, he saw tears in Mary Jo’s eyes. This emotional experience made a lasting impression on the couple and would go on to shape the organization that exists today.
When someone inquires about bringing a Charters of Freedom setting to their community, we start by providing them with an informational guide on our organization, the process, and the commitments needed to start.
Letter of Intent
This is a formal document that signifies the start of a partnership between a community and our organization, set out with the purpose of building a Charters of Freedom setting.
Every community we work with is required to assemble a steering committee to help move the process along. This crucial step requires the help of community members with a can-do attitude, local knowledge, and connections.
Charters of Freedom settings are built without the use of any tax dollars. Because of this, we use community support to spread the word, generate interest, and bring in donations.
After donations have been raised and plans have been approved, our construction team goes to work on the start of what will become a Charters of Freedom setting. The installation is built to last 300-500 years.
Our team is great at getting the word out for upcoming Charters of Freedom projects, but with the help of local participation, more awareness can be raised about the piece of history coming to the community.
After construction is finished for each setting, a dedication ceremony is set up to officially hand over the Charters of Freedom to the community. These events are great opportunities to bring people to your community and obtain media coverage.
To teach and preserve American history and civics, so all will know how our government is meant to serve and protect We the People.
Foundation Forward, Inc. is an educational non-profit that installs life-size replicas of the United States’ Charters of Freedom: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights in communities across America.
Not everyone has the ability to visit the original founding documents at the National Archives in Washington, DC. That’s why Foundation Forward, Inc. is aiming to build a Charters of Freedom setting in every county across America.
Each Charters of Freedom setting is placed in a location central to the community with high visibility, high foot traffic, and easy access for school children and veterans. We also provide local schools with additional educational materials to encourage learning about U.S. history and civics.
All Charters of Freedom settings are open 24/7 to the public and provide a location for communities to reflect, gather, and celebrate the United States and the men and women who have fought to protect our freedoms.
Where History Meets the Future
The Declaration of Independence ● The United States Constitution ● The Bill of Rights