Being on the Kids for Kids Junior Committee is truly a family affair for Isabella as she serves side-by-side with her cousins: Juliana & Sofia Biondi and Alessandra & Annalisa Di Paolo.
For Isabella, Kids for Kids events are a great way to reinforce their family values – spending time together and helping other people in their community.
“I think it is so important for us to give back to our community and raise money for kids who really need it. And it’s a great way to spread kindness. We have so much darkness and I think a little bit of kindness can go a long way” shared Isabella when asked about the impact she feels she is making as a Junior Committee Member.
Now about to graduate high school, Isabella reflects on when she joined in sixth grade. She has witnessed firsthand the growth of the organization and has participated in many events including the annual Family Fun Day.
“It’s one of my favorites. I love when we get to interact with all of the different families, including those who represent St. Jude” said Isabella, as she is pictured below with fellow Junior Committee Member, Isabella LaMandri at our 11th Annual Family Fun Day.
Isabella and her cousins also organize “Shop for a Cause” events and set up gift wrapping stations at Barnes & Noble during the holidays for donations.
Most recently, Isabella created her own Kids for Kids School Group which has grown to be very successful in their fundraising and even more so in their efforts to raise awareness for children and families struggling with medical challenges, the very mission of Kids for Kids. Her school group has created Holiday and Valentine’s Day cards for patients at our beneficiary hospitals, held bake sales, and pizza fundraisers. Isabella also included her school’s Photography Club in the opportunity to engage with our beneficiaries and visited St. Mary’s Hospital for Children for a day of arts and crafts, portrait photoshoots, cartooning, and face painting. Isabella has been a tremendous ambassador of our Kids for Kids Junior Committee and has created a lasting relationship between the organization and her school that will remain after she graduates and continues on to further her education.
For Isabella, being a part of the Junior Committee has gone beyond just giving back. “It’s really taught me how to be confident in myself. And I think that’s a great experience to have as I go into college. I want to go into the medical field to help kids with childhood cancer. That’s my biggest hope and dream is to be a pediatric oncologist.” This dream was further engrained in Isabella on her first visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital alongside her mother and many members and donors of Kids for Kids. Kids for Kids visits the St. Jude Campus every year, and the trip in 2019 celebrated a significant milestone for the organization with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Kids for Kids Family Room at Tri Delta Place, a residential facility for patients and their families on the hospital campus.
Next year, Isabella will be pursuing her dream at St. John’s University majoring in Biomedical Sciences. Isabella was also accepted into St. John’s Ozman Program, which is dedicated to social justice and service.