Addiction stole our grandson Daniel’s mother…

Brianna’s 12-year-old son (2020) is angry that his mother chose drugs over him. Why wasn’t my mother there for me? Why were drugs more important than me? It rips my heart out to hear her sons’ gut-wrenching sobs. He knows his mother loved him, but that doesn’t bring her back. His words, when we told him his mother had gone to heaven when he was 6 years old still haunt me, “I Don’t want my mama to be dead!” Brianna Brandy Millard Smith wanted nothing more than to be sober and be Daniel’s mama. “I’m sorry I screwed up for so long! I just hope that my mistakes aren’t permanent and that I’ll get to be your mommy. I love you forever and ever”. These are words written by her in a journal she left for him that she called “The love book”. Sadly, Brianna could not remain sober. The longest she was able to stay away from drugs was 6 months. Brianna Brandy Millard Smith, our daughter, and Daniel’s mother was killed one evening, as she walked along Highway 138 near Llano, CA. A semi-truck veered onto the shoulder of the road, striking Brianna, and killing her instantly. The driver didn’t even know what he hit until he went back and found her body.

Our world was turned upside down when our daughter died, alone, in the desert on March 30, 2014. THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE YOU! And it shouldn’t be the story of another family, who will suffer the loss of a loved one to addiction. As a family, we often ask, if we did enough? That is a question that lives with us always.

Not drinking or using are the first steps toward mending a damaged relationship, whether that be a family member, partner, employer, or, more importantly, a child. Daniel’s mom didn’t get that chance. 

Cross at Brianna’s accident site on Hwy. 138 near Llano, CA. Daniel wanted a cross there, his grandfather built one and erected it at the site.

BBMS Happy Children Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was founded on October 6, 2018 (which would have been Brianna’s 38th birthday), will help with funds towards rent, toys, clothes, Hygiene goods, and food (with the help of Code 7 ministries).  The only requirement is sobriety… The goal of BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund is to help families in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.  Our daughter, Daniel’s mother,  Brianna was always seeking sobriety with the goal of being a good mother.

Because of what happened to Brianna, that we made it our mission to help as many families, living in sobriety, as we can. Every year, leading up to the two main holidays of the year, BBMS, (which stands for “Brianna Brandy Millard Smith Happy Children Memorial Scholarship Fund”) collects a variety of goods, to gift to families who are LIVING SOBER. Last year (2020), we were able to supply 11 families with care packages consisting of: Food, softly used or new clothes and toys, and other products to get them through Thanksgiving and Christmas. This brought the families hope and those who donated, a lot of joy when they saw the pictures of the children’s faces light up with glee. This past year has been hard on all of us, and with the cost of living on the increase, our goal is to at least match the donations we received last year.

“The road to success is always under contruction”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Lily Tomlin​​


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Brianna and her autistic son Daniel

The picture above is one of the last pictures of them together at Tarzana Treatment https://www.tarzanatc.org/enter in Nov 2013. She was always striving for sobriety. She wanted nothing more than to be a good mom to Daniel

Purpose of Program

Brianna Brandy Millard Smith’s Happy Children Memorial Scholarship Fund assists families committed to recovery from drug and or alcohol addiction with toys. clothes, diapers, food, and a stipend toward rent to mothers or fathers residing with their children or in process of reunification.

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Brianna Brandy Millard Smith’s Happy Children Scholarship Fund helps mothers or fathers whose children are with them or are in process of reunification. BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund will assist with a stipend towards rent be it sober living, apartment, or renting a room. Funds towards rent are payable to the landlord. We also provide diapers, toys, and clothes for the children that are with their parents or in process of reunification and committed to sobriety from drug and or alcohol addiction.

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Senior Program Officer, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

For more information on BBMS Happy Children Memorial Fund’s Guidestar profile click on the Guidestar icon.

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