Upper Valley Food Support in Honor of Anna Sandell

The outdoors is her playground.

Anna Sandell, California native and Dartmouth sophomore, was in a snowmobile accident near Hanover, NH on Sunday, January 10th. Anna was very seriously injured and incurred a traumatic brain injury. Her family joined her immediately and remain nearby. Playing outdoors on a beautiful winter day in the Upper Valley was Anna’s happy place.

Anna remains in the surgical ICU at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. After an initial surgery, to reduce pressure on her brain by removing a piece of her skull, she remains stable, intubated, and sedated.

With an injury of this nature, bad things tend to happen quickly and good things happen slowly. Anna’s loved ones are grateful for every day without bad news. While her long-term prognosis will be unclear for some time, the Sandells are trying to take it day by day and be cautiously optimistic. Anything else is unbearable.

Anna skiing with her twin Robin

The Sandells have an enormous circle of family and loved ones who are embracing them, literally and virtually, during this challenging time. It is clear how extraordinarily special a young woman Anna is, and how deeply she and her family are loved and supported.

A group of friends in the Upper Valley started delivering meals to the Sandells the week after the accident. Between COVID-19 and the rural nature of the area, it isn’t easy to order restaurant meals, making it tricky for loved ones out of state to support the meal effort.

First winter as a Dartmouth student

In consultation with her parents, the idea of food support for Upper Valley individuals and families struggling with poverty, in honor of Anna and her healing, emerged. Anna’s love for the Upper Valley has roots beyond her time as a Dartmouth student. Family friends shared the beauty of the region and the joy of spending time outdoors in all seasons with Anna.

The Upper Valley Haven has been serving the most vulnerable members of the Upper Valley since 1980 and has strong connections to Dartmouth College and to DHMC. We all know the significance and comfort of food that nourishes our bodies and our souls. By making a financial donation to the Upper Valley Haven restricted to food support, is a way to lovingly honor Anna. The Haven’s Food Shelf served more than 12,000 people in 2020.

Gifts in Anna’s honor are anonymous, as are all donations to the Haven. The Haven will let Anna’s family know who has donated in her honor but will not share gift amounts.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate contact Laura Gillespie by email or by phone at 802-478-1803