Advertisement

Phoenix teen paying it forward to Arizona kids struggling with grief

Pay It Forward is sponsored by America First Credit Union and Super Star Car Wash.
Boxed Up Project was born out of Milan’s desire to help kids and teens process their grief.
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 10:21 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Helping Arizona kids and teens unpack their grief one box at a time

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Milan Corragio-Sewell is a 16-year-old in the Valley. When she’s not in school or playing tennis, she’s running her own nonprofit to help kids and teens who are experiencing grief. It’s something she went through at an early age.

“I kept all my feelings inside of me and didn’t talk to anyone about them,” Milan said. “I really struggled because I was just putting it all on myself.”

Milan Corragio-Sewell, 16, created a unique nonprofit organization designed to help Arizona...
Milan Corragio-Sewell, 16, created a unique nonprofit organization designed to help Arizona kids and teens cope with grief and loss.

Milan was only 6 years old with her friend died. She lost her grandparents a few years later.

“I had a lot of unresolved grief from those experiences in my life,” she said. “When COVID-19 hit, I saw a lot of my friends going through the same thing I struggled with.”

Learn more about Boxed Up Project

Boxed Up Project was born out of Milan’s desire to help kids and teens process their grief. She worked with local grief experts to curate a box of items designed to help them remember their loved one and help them heal.

  • Coloring books
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • Grief books
  • Bubbles
  • Fidget spinners

The boxes also include a stuffed cow, which has special meaning for Milan.

"Each box contains carefully selected items and activities to help kids and teens focus on...
"Each box contains carefully selected items and activities to help kids and teens focus on positive feelings and unpack their grief."(Boxed Up Project)

“My best friend had a massive cow, and [he gave it to me] a couple weeks before he died,” she said. “He wanted me to take care of it, and he wanted me to have it. So, having that cow in each box is just a dedication to him.”

Milan and her nonprofit are paying it forward by donating these boxes to organizations that help Arizona families dealing with loss. New Song Center for Grieving Children, Ryan House, Billy’s Place, and the Navajo Nation have all received donations from Boxed Up Project. It’s changing the way these organizations address grief.

🔗 Phoenix nonprofit calls Boxed Up Project a priceless resource for grieving kids and teens

“They’re creating curriculums around the boxes so that they have their own workshops and classes to help the kids go through each item,” Milan said. “[They] figure out how to use each item to help families work through the boxes.”

🔗 Phoenix grief organization for kids benefits from Boxed Up Project boxes

Now Arizona’s Family and our Pay it Forward partners, Super Star Car Wash and America First Credit Union, are paying it forward to Boxed Up Project.

🔗 You can help AZ kids, teens cope with loss through Boxed Up Project

Each box costs $40 to make. Arizona’s Family is hosting a donation drive all day on Wednesday, June 8, to help Boxed Up Project put together as many boxes as possible. Every penny donated will go to box production.

“We’re trying to support [kids and teens] and show that they’re not alone going through their grieving process,” Milan said. “These grief feelings are normal, and we’re here to help.”