Organizer hopes messages spread encouragement


There is a hole in Dana Fullerton’s soul, left there by the March 4 death of her grandson,Drystyn Turner.

you matter

Dana Fullerton, right, of Rushsylvania, received a high five from a Benjamin Logan Middle School student at the conclusion of school Thursday. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

“I still hear my son’s voice, calling me that day to tell me the news,” the Rushsylvaniaarea resident said Thursday outside Benjamin Logan Middle School where the 12-year-old grandson attended school.

It is a loss she and her family will live with for their rest of days. But where bitterness and anger could have taken root, Fullerton has chosen to plant seeds of encouragement and love.

She and five friends came out on the last day of school to send Drystyn’s schoolmates home with positive messages that they matter and they are loved.

As she explored her grief, Fullerton was inspired by Amy Wolff’s two-year-old movement.

“I had asked God what can I do to help make a difference,” she said. “Then, at a (women’s) ministry meeting, they showed her video.

“It really got my heart into it and I’m just trying to do my little part.”

She formed a local Facebook group called Don’t Give Up Team and contacted each of the districts in Logan County about gathering outside schools on the final days of classes.

Benjamin Logan was the first to accept, and Fullerton was joined Thursday by Tara Gibson, Heather Butler, Julie McManus, Tyler Berry and Megan Wolf.

Around 1 p.m., most of the middle school students poured out of the school and were greeted by the six who held signs saying, “You Matter” and “You are worthy of love.” 

Fullerton’s faith propelled her into the movement and she hopes the simple non-sectarian messages of encouragement resonate with students and adults alike.

Anyone who wishes to help out or participate can reach her on Facebook or email her at .