"At this age, I can make a difference."
At a time when most teenagers are absorbed with clothing or hairstyles, Anne Brooker has something more important on her mind. She's on the lookout for people who are grieving. She offers comfort to these complete strangers by sending them a dragonfly figurine and a copy of The Dragonfly Story.
"The dragonfly represents such a hopeful message."
The Dragonfly Story revolves around the transformation of swamp grubs into dragonflies. The story is metaphor for life, death and rebirth, of transition from one level of existence into the next.
Anne was inspired to start her Dragonfly Project after witnessing another family's child die from a brain tumor. That family received the first Dragonfly mailing. They were so moved, they shared Anne's thoughtful action in their yearly Christmas letter. Anne realized the world was filled with people who could benefit from hearing the story of the Dragonfly.
Over the past three years, she's sent Dragonfly mailings to 2,000 families. A core group of friends and family help her comb the obituary pages and new stories for people who might needs some reassurance.
Anne just started high school this fall. But she already has a world of wisdom.
"I just followed my little dream and it's become bigger than I thought it would be."
Minnesota Oncology Hematology Foundation (in memory of Rachel Schreiner) & The Dragonfly Project