About Sweet Dreams Project
Hey! We're Sophia and Hannah, seniors at Rogers High School in Rogers, Minnesota. We've been friends since Kindergarten. We started Sweet Dreams for a few reasons. It started in spring 2012, toward the end of our freshman year of high school, when we were trying to think of something we could do during the summer instead of just sitting around, listening to music and being obnoxious. We had the idea to start a charity project, but we couldn't figure out what we should do.
When Sophia was twelve years old she was hospitalized with Severe Aplastic Anemia, a condition where your bone marrow stops reproducing, resulting in a loss of blood in your body. She received a bone marrow transplant from her older brother, Noah, and was in the hospital for about three months. She started at the Children's Hospital of Minnesota, but soon moved to the University of Minnesota Amplatz (now Masonic) Children's Hospital for her transplant and recovery. During that time, Sophia's grandmother made her dozens of homemade pillowcases to make her stay at the hospital seem more like home.
As soon as the idea was planted in our minds, we knew that was what we wanted to do. We didn't know how to make a pillowcase, and maybe we realized this a little too late, as we were sitting on the floor with ten pillowcases' worth of fabric sitting in front of us, but we quickly learned and now have it down to a science. Since then we have delivered more than 300 homemade pillowcases to local hospitals, including the University of Minnesota Masonic (formerly Amplatz) Children's Hospital and the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses of the Children's Hospitals of Minnesota.
During the last few years, with the help of the Rogers community, we have also collected thousands of gifts to bring to the hospital patients. In the two years of our Crafts for Kids drive we have collected almost 3,000 craft items from students and staff at four schools in the Rogers area. In 2013 we held our very first Merry Beary Teddy Bear Drive at Rogers sporting events during the holiday season, where we collected dozens of new teddy bears and stuffed animals for the patients. In 2014, we expanded our Merry Beary Drive beyond Rogers and collected more than 600 stuffed animals. We hope to continue these drives in the coming years, passing the torch to other student leaders even after we have graduated high school.
We are proud of the work we have done with our Sweet Dreams Project. Through this project we have met incredible people, brought entire communities together for a good cause, and shown people that it truly does not take much to make a difference in someone else's life. We not only feel good about what we're doing, we have a ton of fun doing it, too.