By Anna Griffin ’23
“Hetti’s Smile Boxes” is a non-profit organization founded by sophomore Hetti Price-Bailey (Greensboro Day School ’23) of Greensboro, North Carolina. The organization’s goal is to provide free personalized care-packages nicknamed “Smile Boxes'' to children with life-threatening illnesses. With summer plans canceled Price-Bailey was stuck at home with nothing to do. When asked about why she created “Hetti’s Smile Boxes”, Price-Bailey said, “ I saw a girl around my age doing something similar and I love making people smile and the world needs something to smile about right now more than ever.”
Since creating her organization, Price-Bailey has sent out 58 Smile Boxes to children all around the United States and currently has over 40 children on her waitlist. She finds possible recipients by reaching out to different social media pages. Family members and friends of children with life-threatening illnesses can nominate eligible recipients to receive a care package. For each smile box, Price-Bailey talks with the parents of the child, and finds out details such as their favorite toys, movies, colors, and then creates their box accordingly. “Every smile box is pretty different,” Price-Bailey said, “some have lots of little toys while others have a couple of larger ones.” Each Smile Box comes with a personalized bracelet and a handmade card with words of encouragement for the child.
“My favorite quote is ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ by Mahatma Gandhi and it really inspires me to make a difference no matter how small,” Price-Bailey said. Since May, “Hetti’s Smile Boxes” has raised over five thousand dollars and has been featured in multiple local news articles, podcasts, magazines, and television stations. “The best part of making smile boxes is knowing that I sparked joy and made a small difference in these children’s lives.” Her goal for the fall is to “send out as many boxes as she can and to keep making people smile,” Price-Bailey said.
If you are interested in learning more about or nominating someone to receive a smile box, follow “Hetti’s Smile Boxes” on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If interested in sponsoring a Smile Box, the price of each one is forty-two dollars. If you would like to donate to this cause, consider checking out Hetti’s Smile Boxes GoFundMe page.