Phoenix Children’s Bereavement Organization Benefits Boxed Up Project Boxes

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The New Song Center for Grieving Children is part of Hospice of the Valley and provides free support to children and teens who are grieving the death of a loved one. The children in their program heal through group support, individual counseling and the help of Boxed Up Project boxes.

“They feel included [and] validated,” explained Jill Lovill, one of New Song’s child specialists. “They get tools to help them deal with everything.”

The New Song Center for Grieving Children says the impact of Boxed Up Project boxes begins as soon as they get into children’s hands.(The Arizona Family via Boxed Up Project)

“You don’t want to be known as the kid who killed your special someone,” she continued. “So maybe you wear a mask in school, but when you’re at New Song, you become yourself and can talk about really difficult things.”

Boxed Up Project contacted New Song to create a partnership. They worked hand in hand to develop the perfect set of tools to put in Boxed Up Project’s grief boxes.

“They’ve been very helpful, and they all have amazing resources and great people to give these boxes to,” said 17-year-old Boxed Up Project founder Milan Coraggio-Sewell. “They create programs around the boxes so they have their own workshops and classes to help kids navigate each item.”

Boxed Up Project was started by a teenager from Arizona to help other teenagers and children.
Boxed Up Project was started by a teenager from Arizona to help other teenagers and children.(The Arizona Family via Boxed Up Project)

🔗 Phoenix teen gives to Arizona children grieving

What’s in the boxes

  • modeling clay
  • Bubbles
  • Stuffed animal
  • Log
  • Photo album
  • Stickers
  • Coloring book

“Play-Doh has many uses; one of the great things is that it can really calm your nerves,” Lovill explained. “You can get creative with Play-Doh, or you can pound it when you’re mad.”

“Bubbles are fun because they’re fascinating to watch,” she said. “But to use bubbles, you have to breathe deeply. You will slow down your body and help you relax.

"To use bubbles, you must breathe deeply.  You will slow down your body...
“To use bubbles you need to breathe deeply. You will slow down your body and help you relax.”(The Arizona Family via Boxed Up Project)

Milan says she constantly receives feedback about how these boxes are helping grieving children.

“Grief counselors from different organizations will email me saying, ‘A girl was really struggling in our workshop, so we took her aside and used the bubbles,’ or she wanted to color,” Milan said. “It’s really amazing how little of what we’re doing is helping these kids on their road to recovery.

🔗 Phoenix teen gives to Arizona children grieving

Because New Song offers its services for free, Lovill says these boxes help them with their day-to-day operations as a nonprofit organization. She says the impact of Boxed Up Project boxes begins the moment they get into children’s hands.

“It’s something that says, ‘I feel special,’ which is hard to do in grief because it usually feels isolating,” she said. “If you get this box with all these things inside that you can really connect with, it almost makes you feel special, that you have someone listening.”

↗ Learn more about the Boxed Up project

🔗 You can help children and teens in AZ cope with loss through Boxed Up Project