Meadowbrook Spreads Kindness with $1,000 Donation

Meadowbrook Spreads Kindness with $1,000 Donation
Posted on 05/30/2018
Meadowbrook Donation

It’s never easy being different, and Peter Dankelson is a teenager who knows a lot about that.

Peter is a member of the Libertyville High School Class of 2019, plays electric guitar and participates in clubs. He also has had 29 surgeries to improve his vision, hearing, ability to breathe, chew and swallow.

Peter was born premature with several birth defects. But on Tuesday, he stood in a room full of students at Meadowbrook School in Northbrook to joke and talk about himself, demonstrating he’s really more alike than different from most kids. And, someone who is different isn’t someone to be scared of. He has a magnet embedded in his skull over his left ear to help him hear, and he proves it by sticking an Altoids box to his skull. He shows off his artificial ear and passes around old versions for kids to touch.

Meadowbrook students attended the assembly as the final activity of a yearlong empathy campaign spearheaded by parent volunteer Liz Wang called Project RED (Respect Each Difference).

The goal was to spread kindness through the school and reinforce messages of acceptance. Peter had simple words of wisdom for the students:

It’s OK to take a second look at someone who is different, like Peter, but it’s not OK to turn and whisper to your friend about it. It’s also one thing to be friendly to someone who is different, but it’s better to be a friend.

“Kindness costs nothing but can completely change someone’s life,” he said.

After Peter’s presentation, Mrs. Wang and committee co-chair Karyn Tefka presented a check for $1,042.58 to Peter and his mother to benefit the Children’s Craniofacial Association. The school had raised the funds as part of their yearlong kindness campaign.

Students Students hold their nose while also holding their tongue to the roof of their mouth to get an idea of the eating and breathing challenges Peter Danielson faced as a child.
Peter Dankelson talks to Meadowbrook students about his difference and how to choose kindness during an assembly at the school May 29.