Miss Universe hopeful's beautiful mission for cancer patients

By Adrienne Mand Lewin

When it comes to beauty and helping women in need recover from it, sometimes it's best to let the professionals handle it. And that's exactly what two beauty queens are doing — giving back.

Miss Arizona 2010 Brittany Bell met fellow Miss USA contestant Claire Schreiner and their mutual concern about helping people with cancer led them to form a charity. Now, Brittany is hoping a win as Miss Guam at the Miss Universe Pageant will take their vision further.

Brittany is one of 88 women who have been in Miami since January 4 doing various activities and preparing for the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant, which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Brittany will be judged in swimsuit, evening gown and interview categories

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Brittany and Claire founded The Give a Kiss Foundation, a non-profit that raises funds and promotes awareness for organizations helping those in need. It has partnered with the Face in the Mirror, a group that comforts cancer patients by providing everything from makeovers, facials and massages to wigs and scarves.

“’Give a Kiss’ means the same thing as little kids who run up to you and want a kiss — they got hurt, give a kiss and make it better,” Brittany tells HELLO! “We’re doing it by treating cancer patients.”

Brittany and Claire are using their experience in the beauty industry to give back to those in need

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The former ASU student has become close friends with Face in the Mirror’s founder, Barbara MacLean. She regularly meets with patients and speaks at monthly teas the group hosts for them.

“It is the most rewarding thing when you see these women,” the 27-year-old continued. “It’s so humbling to you. They come up with scars and wigs or bare faces to get made up. The joy in their hearts, they grab your hands and say, ‘Thanks so much for what you’re doing.’”

The charity comforts cancer patients with makeovers, facials, wigs, scarves and more

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Barbara said The Give a Kiss Foundation has helped bolster their efforts and she hopes a win for Brittany at Miss Universe would push the cause further.

“Brittany is a beautiful woman with a heart as big as the outdoors,” she tells HELLO!. “It aligns with my idea and the way I feel about life and what you’re supposed to do in it. She’s using her beauty and her interesting life to help proclaim something that she believes in.”

The Give a Kiss Foundation helps women recover their confidence and self esteem

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Founded in honor of her sister Charlotte, who died from breast cancer, Face in the Mirror has pampered about 45,000 women across the country. In 2006, Barbara was presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award by President George W. Bush.

“It’s a human touch,” Barbara added. “It is essential touch, and it is what people need as much as medicine ... one patient said to me, ‘I can give all the money I have to charities of my choice, but nobody is going to be there and hold my hand while I’m dying like you.’”

Brittany hopes to give a bigger voice to that work. “I may not have cancer or be able to know exactly what it feels like,” she said. “But I would like to know someone cared about me and thought about me while my family is busy paying bills and moving forward.”

Brittany hopes her Miss Universe work will help her further her charity goals

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Even if she does not clinch the Miss Universe title, Miss Guam hopes The Give a Kiss Foundation will help more people in need.

“No matter what happens, I’m going to continue in the things that I’m doing,” the former dancer explained. “I hope that they see what I am doing to be something to truly partner with and something to make a great fit to push to a higher level.”

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