COMMACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Many kids and teens face bullying, which can bring them down.
A Long Island organization is looking to lift them back up.
The Long Island Coalition Against Bullying came up with a way to make targets of bullying smile: It’s called a “smile package.”
Amy Petraglia is packing up a little love, hoping to make a big difference.
“This smile package is for a 5-year-old girl that’s being bullied,” she said.
Petraglia, who is from Commack, is sending the 5-year-old a smile – a smile package.
“I think when a child gets a package in the mail addressed to them, it’s so exciting,” she said.
The package is completely catered to the bullied child, and will be delivered to her doorstep.
“When they open these packages, I’m sure it brings such a smile, and it makes them feel good about themselves, and that really helps,” she said.
The single mother of two puts these packages together in her spare time because bullying is an issue that hits home: Her 10-year-old was bullied.
“She was kicked, things were thrown at her, this bully told her she wanted her dead, she was taunted,” she told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis. “I didn’t know what to do to help her. I feel like everything I was doing wasn’t good enough.”
That is, until she came across LICAB. The man behind it, Joseph Salamone, was bullied when he was young.
“It’s very difficult when you’re going through it to remember there’s always someone who wants to help you,” Salamone said.
And that’s why he created smile packages, and has already sent out more than 100 across Long Island to let these kids know they’re not alone.
Inside every smile package is a letter to parents from the Long Island Coalition Against Bullying with other ways they can help your child. Not only does the organization pay for the package, they help find and fund therapy, or extra-curricular activities for the child to help them build confidence.
“I love it. It’s my passion, I want to help others and I want to teach my kids that,” Petraglia said. “It’s important to teach our kids to be good, kind humans.”
To request a Smile Package or for more information about LICAB, click here. The packages can be sent anonymously.