Welcome To

One Bright Star

A Resource for Grieving Families who have lost a child to death.

About Us

One Bright Star was founded in 1998 by four mothers who each experienced the tragedy of a passing child, Linda Janavaras, Jan Backlund, Vicki Meyer and Barbara Rischmiller. Jan lost her daughter, Khia, after a long battle with Leukemia on November 3rd, 1990. Khia was 10 years old. Barb lost her son, Brandon, after a pole vaulting accident on February 4th, 1991. He was 18 years old. Linda lost her son, John, after being suddenly stricken with Meningitis, February 3rd, 1995. He was 15 years old. Vicki lost her son, Brandon, in a fatal car crash May 19th, 1995. He was 17 years old.

Just a Few Ways One Bright Star Helps Families

One Bright Star’s Children’s Memorial

Located at Ray Erlandson park in Mankato, the memorial has provided families with a place to remember and honor the child they lost. An annual Children’s Memorial Service is hosted in the fall. This is a special service held for families and the community to honor and remember all the children gone too soon.

Funeral Expense Grants

One Bright Star offers a funeral expense grant to assist families in Southern Minnesota with the overwhelming burden of expenses when they experience the death of a child. We work with local funeral homes to make this grant available.

Grants for Stay at Faith's Lodge

One Bright Star offers a grant to families for a stay at Faith’s Lodge, a beautiful grief retreat center, to assist families after the loss of a child. This retreat allows families to connect and move forward in their grief journey.

One Bright Star is dedicated to helping families in need of their services, and to be a resource for grieving families after the death of a child.


Join us at any of our many events throughout the year.


Comfort Conversations

Held monthly, a relaxing atmosphere for conversation, friendships, and coffee.


Mothers of Angels Events

Hosted anually, connect with other mothers in a creative atmosphere.


Children's Mini Camp

An activity-based celebration and support event for children experiencing loss.

There are currently no events.

Children's memorial Site

Our Memorial site provides friends and families a place to gather to remember their special child. It is also a visible reminder for all of us that the death of a child is not something that one ever overcomes. Our site hosts two events a year, the Memorial Service and the Children’s Night of Remembrance.

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