A local 9-year-old is using her entrepreneurial skills to help bring comfort to other children coping with anxiety disorders.

When Dahlia Garza developed anxiety issues and panic attacks last year, she began seeing Franciscan Health therapist Cathy Cinko, who gave her coping skills to help her through difficult times. Dahlia researched childhood anxiety and discovered that more than 4 million children suffer with anxiety disorders.

“Ms. Cathy really helped me, so I want to help her help other kids,” Dahlia said.

To provide that help, she decided to do what she does best. Dahlia operates a small crafting business, DK Sparzzle, which she operates with her grandmother, Karen Garza. She designs and creates wreaths, centerpieces and other handcrafted items, which she sells at craft shows and online. She hoped to use the proceeds from her business to purchase items like the fidgets that helped calm her anxiety.

Dahlia went to work, setting up a booth at a local craft show. When she wasn’t at her booth, her older cousin, Danny Sobkowicz, escorted her around the show so she could ask customers to purchase her items, explaining the cause. Dahlia’s sales were such a success that she doubled her profits. Her grandmother set up a Go Fund Me page, Dahlia’s Dream for others to donate to the cause.

In the end, Dahlia raised more than $1,000, which she used to purchase some of the coping tools, like stuffed animals and fidgets. She donated those items to Franciscan Health Employee Assistance Program (EAP), where she received help.

“We are very grateful to Dahlia for her donation. It is encouraging to see someone so young take on a serious issue like mental health. Dahlia is an amazing girl who is making a difference in the lives of so many experiencing anxiety and depression,” said MinDee Richard, Franciscan Health Foundation director of development.

In the future, Dahlia plans to donate additional care packs to local police and fire departments for children who may need help to keep calm during stressful situations.