Long Island Mamas is pleased to announce the inspiring August Mom of the Month Kristina Guerriero, founder of The Believe Box and Sibling Smiles.
When a tragedy happens to others, some people do nothing while others take action. Kristina Guerriero is one of those who fall in the latter category. The Coram, New York, mom of three children ages 2, 5, and 7, launched the non-profit The Believe Box in January 2012 which sends out personalized care packages to children nationwide who are battling illnesses.
Her inspiration for the organization came after seeing a Facebook page with a young sick child who had recently earned angel wings. Illness was on her mind as this was around the same time her father was diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer, and just after her mother had beaten cervical cancer. Her half sister also was falsely diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Kristina felt compelled to help others and decided to send smiles to ill children through packages, letters, cards and emails. She wanted to let their families know there was someone who cared about their children during the toughest fight of their lives.
Packages included a picture colored by another child. They also had good luck charms of things each child specifically liked in order to personalize the packages. During the Back-to-School season she plans to ship boxes of school supplies to every fighter she can.
The Believe Box relied solely on donations, but the giving sometimes experienced slow periods though the number of children needing the packages never seemed to decrease. She organized programs to help out, such as the very successful Easter program where people adopted fighters and sent over Easter baskets.
Kristina is currently in the beginning stages of setting up a bike ride and a walk to raise money for toys and shipping. She is in the process of collecting items for a raffle to auction where all money raised will go to shipping costs. Kristina says, “”These children are my inspiration and I am truly in awe of their strength.”
For the siblings of children fighting cancer, Kristina launched Sibling Smiles to provide support to them. She had noticed that during the hustle and bustle of the sick child’s treatment, siblings often felt left out and unacknowledged.
In addition to The Believe Box and Sibling Smiles, Kristina works full time as an office manager for Heart and Health in Middle Island, New York.
When asked how she does it all, Kristina said, “I try and juggle everyday life just like every other mother and do not think I am any different then anyone else. I truly believe being a mother is the toughest job there is, but also the most rewarding. My family will always come first and right there next to them is my Believe Box family and all those amazing people I have been so privileged enough to meet.”
As a result of all of Kristina’s efforts to help others through The Believe Box and Sibling Smiles, Long Island Mamas is honored to name Kristina Guerriero our August Mom of the Month.
By Tara Arichabala